MOSCOW, May 15, 3:30 /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow’s Metro marks its 79th birthday on Thursday. Regular service along the first underground section of 11.2 kilometres from the Sokolniki station to the Park Kultury station was launched at seven in the morning on May 15, 1935. Back then, Moscow’s Metro had only 13 stations.
Today, Moscow’s Metro has 194 stations and more than 325 kilometres of tracks. It is the world’s second metro system in terms of the number of passengers after Tokyo’s. The network of the Moscow Metro is still being expanded. In terms of the volume of construction of metro lines, Moscow’s Metro is second to only Shanghai’s.
It is planned to commission 18 kilometres of tracks in 2014, thirty kilometers - in 2015. In all, in the next five years, it is planned to commission 75 kilometres of rails.
An average of more than seven million people use Moscow’s Metro daily, the figure goes up to more than nine on working days. This is the world’s biggest passenger traffic. About 12,000 trains serve passengers daily.
Moscow’s Metro is reputed as the most beautiful in the world. It boasts original and unique interiors featuring interesting pieces of socialist realism art. More than 20 types of marble, granite and porphyry were used to decorate stations in the centre of the city. First stations were built to the designs of such world-acclaimed architects as Vladimir Geilfreikh, Ivan Fomin, Alexei Shchusev, Alexander Deineka.
Two more lines were commissioned before the Second World War erupted. In the autumn of 1941, when Nazi troops approached Moscow, the metro was used as an air-raid shelter. After the war, Moscow’s Metro was further enlarged, with more radial and a circular line built. Nowadays, the radial-circle structure of metro corresponds to the historically established layout of Moscow. It branches out from the centre to the outskirts providing the most reliable and rapid transportation.
Moscow’s Metro offers the services of wireless internet and a special service for wheelchair passengers.