80 Years Underground: Moscow’s Subway Jubilee
It’s hard to imagine life in any modern megapolis without an advanced metro system, and in this regard Moscow is no exception. Muscovites are proud to have the world’s most beautiful metro, which has become a symbol of the capital’s combination of technological achievements, culture and art. Moscow’s underground is 80 years old this May – it was opened on 15 May 1934 – and on that date, the administration has several surprises prepared for the public.
On the 15th and 16th of May a train parade was held on the circle line. On those two days visitors were able to view trains from all the metro lines,as well as a special ‘retro’ train from Sokolnicheskaya (red) line, which looks similar to the first trains used back in the 1930’s.
A unique historical exhibition will be opened at Partizanskaya station on the dark-blue line, for those who would like the opportunity to see the real retro trains. The organizers promise that for the first time the public will have the opportunity to view seven historical carriages, some of which are the same age as the underground.
During the month of May all station announcements will be made by famous Russian artists, singers and film directors. This was first done back in 2004, and was an immediate hit with Muscovites.
Another fun surprise awaits users of the circle line, where faceless cardboard cutouts will be set up at each station. Commuters can take photos of themselves being train operators, station personnel or other metro workers and share them in social networks using hashtag #mosmetro80.
In celebration of its jubilee, the Moscow metro is launching a festive lottery. The lottery tickets will be sold at all cash-desks, and cost the same as one train ticket (50 rubles). As stated on the official website –http://www.mosmetro80.ru – at least one third of all tickets are supposed to be winners.
We picked up some other interesting facts about the Moscow subway:
With an area of 2,5 thousand square kilometers, the capital boasts a broad network of public transport. Due to the notorious traffic on the streets,the Moscow metro, though one of the youngest city transport systems, is one of the most popular among citizens and tourists. The metro carries about nine million people every day, with the minimum headway being only 90 seconds – these are the best figures in the world.
Have you ever noticed that when a train moves toward the city center a male voice announces the stations,but when it moves toward the suburbs,announcements are made by a female voice? On circular lines the principle is as follows: when the train moves clockwise a male voice is used, and when it moves counter-clockwise it switches to a female’s voice. This is done in order to help blind people.
Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow hills), is considered to be the most romantic of Moscow’s underground stations. It was the favorite meeting point for lovers, who would meet in the vestibule and then go up the escalators to the top of the hills where they could walk together. After a long reconstruction the station has been reopened, however the escalators have not been restored.
Many stations are faced with marble panels which hide interesting things, and if you are curious you can take a closer look.On some of these panels you will find petrified imprints of creatures that lived in the dinosaur era. One of the most beautiful exhibits – a large nautilus shelf in red marble – can be found at the Dobryninskaya-circle line.