Moscow (re)opens its Central Circle railway line

Moscow (re)opens its Central Circle railway line :Until now, the Moscow transport network was already one of the world’s largest and most efficient systems. However, with the opening of the Moscow Central Circle on Saturday, 10 September, it has further improved in capacity and efficiency.

The Moscow Central Circle – also called metro line 14 – is a 54 km long railway line fully integrated with the city’s public transport system. This mega project was initially launched at the beginning of the 20th century in order to alleviate freight congestion in the Russian capital. In line with its mobility plan launched in 2011, the Moscow Transport Department looked again to the Moscow Central Circle and beginning 2013, the department has undertaken several renovation projects, including the rehabilitation of old stations, the construction of new stations and interconnected transport hubs, and the electrification of the entire line.
A fully integrated and accessible line

After three years of construction, the Moscow Central Circle is again welcoming passengers. So far, 24 stations are available for passengers, but in 2020, when the project is fully completed, the line will comprise 31 stations.
In this huge, $1.2bn project, integration is key: transport interchange hubs allow passengers to change between metro, commuter trains and surface city transport. To ensure better connections at these interchange hubs, the whole urban transport plan of Moscow had to be adapted: all in all, a total of 105 bus, 31 tramway and 40 trolleybus routes were adjusted.

Moscow Metro operates the Moscow Central Circle, which contributes to a better integration at other levels, including a common ticketing system, common services for the passengers, and an integrated work schedule for staff.
The rolling stock consists in 130 Lastochka trains that offer passengers facilities such as toilets, climate control, wi-fi, and electrical outlets. Additionally, the carriages are accessible for mobility impaired passengers, passengers with children and people carrying bikes or strollers.
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In red and white: the Metro Central Circle line (line 14)
Huge project, huge impact

The Moscow Central Circle is expected to transport around 75 million passengers during the first year of operation. “This circle line will have the same impact on Moscow as the metro had following its opening 80 years ago”, said Dmitry Pegov, Head of Moscow metro. The new line is indeed key in reinforcing urban mobility in the capital. It should help to decrease the overall travel time around the city by up to three times, making Moscow more liveable for its inhabitants.

“The Moscow Central Circle is more than just transport infrastructure, it is an urban development project. It will certainly attract the new development of housing, employment and services around its stations, and this will, in turn, foster more socio-economic activity. The line illustrates how public transport can improve accessibility, boost business and structure the city”, said Mohamed Mezghani, the Deputy Secretary General at UITP.

The opening of the new line is already expected to contribute to the redevelopment of old, abandoned industrial zones.

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