History of the Moscow Metro

History of the Moscow Metro

The first plans for a Rapid Transit System in Moscow were formed back in the times of the Russian Empire, when the Tsarist administration, impressed by their journeys to other European capitals such as London, Berlin and Paris thought to create a fast rail service that would serve Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

At the time, the city of Moscow barely resembled what it is now, not only in infrastructure, but also in layout. The first known proposal came from the engineer Titov in 1875 when he suggested to build a rail tunnel from the Kursky Railroad Terminal to the area of Marina Roshcha. However as advanced tunneling methods were not widely known in the Empire, this was never realized.

It was only at the turn of the 20th century when Moscow's population reached its million mark, that many city planners and engineers started seriously considering the idea of a rapid-transit system. It was on 15 May, 1902 (coincidently Moscow Metro would actually open exactly 33 years later) that engineer Pyotr Balinsky and famous bridge designer on the Transsiberian Railroad Evgeny Knorre suggested to Moscow's general-governor the first detailed project for an elevated rapid-transit system.

The design was to connect the Zamoskvorechye with the Tverskaya zastava through the Red Square (exactly the path of the future Zamoskvoretskaya Line which would open in 1938-1943) In total 83 kilometers would be used for the project, which would then span along the railways out of the city. The design gained wide discussions in all levels of Moscow's society, but after serious discussions the Moscow Duma declined it on 7 August of that year. It is though that only by action of the "Tram lobby" that the Duma refused Balinsky and Knorre, at the same time, the Tram was actively being built and was bringing sizable revenue into the city.

However within a few years, as Moscow's rapidly growing population was approaching its two million mark, the need for a rapid-transit system had only became more obvious, and within five years, once again wide planning discussions were begun, only this time they were initiated by the City authorities. However the First World War, the October Revolution and the Russian Civil War shelved all of the discussions into a distant future.

External links

* [http://engl.mosmetro.ru/pages/page_0.php?id_page=517 Moscow's General Plan]

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