- History of the Moscow Metro
The first plans for a
Rapid TransitSystem in Moscowwere formed back in the times of the Russian Empire, when the Tsarist administration, impressed by their journeys to other European capitals such as London, Berlinand Paristhought 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
1875when he suggested to build a rail tunnel from the Kursky Railroad Terminalto 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 Balinskyand famous bridge designer on the Transsiberian Railroad Evgeny Knorresuggested to Moscow's general-governor the first detailed project for an elevated rapid-transit system.
The design was to connect the
Zamoskvorechyewith the Tverskayazastava through the Red Square(exactly the path of the future Zamoskvoretskaya Linewhich 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 Dumadeclined it on 7 Augustof 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 Revolutionand the Russian Civil Warshelved all of the discussions into a distant future.
* [http://engl.mosmetro.ru/pages/page_0.php?id_page=517 Moscow's General Plan]
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