Passenger Traffic Launched on Moscow Central Ring Railway
On 10 September, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin launched passenger traffic on the Moscow Central Ring railway. The work completed on the Moscow Central Ring is the biggest city improvement project implemented in Moscow in 2016.
The Moscow Central Ring, formerly the Smaller Ring of the Moscow Railway, is 54 kilometers long. It can carry from 150 to 300 million passengers. “There are a total of 31 stations. Today we are opening 26 of them. According to the schedule, five more stations will be launched in the coming months,” Sergey Sobyanin said.
The Mayor said the MCR has turned into Moscow’s passenger ring and is already a part of the capital’s transport system: “There are 17 links with the metro and 11 interchanges with railways lines. The commuter trains come up to the ring, and passengers travelling to the center can change for the Ring and then on to the metro, another commuter train line or above-ground transport.”
This project is implemented jointly by Moscow, Russian Railways and the Russian Ministry of Transport. The decision to build the MCR was made in 2012 despite potential hurdles in the project’s implementation. In the course of the work, about 4,500 structures had to be demolished. 200 kilometers of new main tracks and almost 4,000 kilometers of utility lines were laid. Also, 28 engineering structures had to be built: ramps, bridges, overpasses and underpasses. At the same time, freight traffic will continue to use the MCR railway.
The Circle Railway was built at the order of Emperor Nicholas II in 1903-1908. It opened on 19 July 1908. Only a small section of the Smaller Moscow Ring Railway was open to passenger traffic, which was closed completely in 1934. From then on, the railway was used exclusively for freight traffic via the Moscow railway center as well as to serve the industrial areas along the Moscow Ring Railway. The transit was terminated in 2010.
A full circle around the Moscow Central Ring will take about 80 minutes. Maximum speed is 120 km per hour, while average speed will be 40 km per hour.
The passengers will be carried by special five-car urban electric trains of the new generation with enhanced comfort level (Lastochka). The cars are equipped with information monitors, 220V sockets, free Wi-Fi and toilets.
The traffic intensity is estimated at up to 134 pairs of passenger trains per day. The interval during the rush hour will not exceed six minutes, with the average 12-minute intervals throughout the day. If passenger traffic increases, the five-car trains will be substituted with ten-car trains whereas the intervals will be reduced to three minutes.The trains’ designed capacity is 1,200 passenger for a five-car train and 2,400 in a ten-car trains.
The MCR railway will have the same timetable as the metro. The first train starts at 5:30 am and the last one at 1:00 am.
The MCR railway uses the same tickets and tariffs as the Moscow metro. You can change from the MCR to the metro or monorail and back within 90 minutes starting from when you first go through the turnstile. For that reason you should keep your ticket until arrival at the final destination.
The shortest interchange will take three minutes without going outside: you can use a lift or an escalator to walk into the metro hall. The longest interchange will require a 600-700 metre walk of about 10-12 minutes, which is comparable with changing trains in the metro.
The five interchange stations – Delovoi Tsentr, Kutuzovskaya, Ploshchad Gagarina, Lokomotiv and Vladykino, – have the passage to the metro arranged in the so-called thermal envelope so that passengers do not have to walk outside.
The infrastructure of the Moscow Central Ring railway is adapted for mobility impaired passengers. The first and the last cars have specials seats. The interchange stations are equipped with lifts and escalators, or special lifts. The entrances and exits at the stations have wheelchair ramps. There are also low-level ticket offices for wheelchair-bound passengers. Just like in the metro, the MCR railway has Mobility Impaired Passenger Service Centre personnel. At a request, they will accompany for free those who find it difficult to move alone in public transport.
The stations have vending machines with hot and cold drinks, and information terminals. There will also be sockets for charging mobile phones, benches and flowers for passengers’ convenience.
The MCR railway will be serviced by 237 surface transport routes, with 20 of them already adapted for better integration with above-ground metro.
At its design capacity, the MCR railway will carry up to 300 million passengers a year, which is equal to the full capacity of a metro line. In 2017, the first year of its operation, the number of passengers is estimated at 75 million. Nearly half of them, i.e. 34.5 million, are metro passengers; 20.2 million – railway passengers, 12.7 million – bus riders; 7.5 million – residents of nearby neighborhoods.
As the Moscow Central Ring railway opens, passengers will have around 350 new routes for travelling around the city. The load is expected to drop at the city railway terminals (20 to 40 percent), and also on the Circle Line (up to 15 percent) and radial (up to 20 percent) metro lines in the city center, especially in its northern part.
Passengers of the Leningradsky train station will be among the first to notice the difference as the station’s passenger flow will decrease due to a convenient interchange to the Likhobory station of the MCR railway from the NATI platform. Those who use the Kazansky train station are also going to see a change for the better thanks to a convenient interchange between MCR’s station Andronovka and the Frezer platform of the Kazan railway line. Passengers on the Kaluzhsko-Rizhskaya, Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya and Sokolnicheskaya metro lines will save a considerable amount of time by using the MCR railway.
The MCR railway passes through 26 districts of Moscow with two million residents.
The MCR will connect over 20 universities.
Seven large sports facilities lie close to the Ring railway (CSKA stadium, Luzhniki Olympic complex, Eduard Streltsov stadium, VTB Ice Palace, Torpedo health and fitness centre, Krylya Sovetov stadium, FC Lokomotiv stadium), and also parks and nature zones with an area of 3,300 hectares, including Losiny Ostrov and Luzhniki.
The MCR railway will also have a certain educational aspect as passengers will be able to see for the first time the previously closed and almost inaccessible territories such as ZIL, Losiny Ostrov, as well the historic passenger stations of the Circular railway. Six monuments and museums lie along the Ring.
Neurosurgery Building Open in Botkin Hospital
Sergey Sobyanin has opened building No.21 of the Botkin Hospital in Moscow. The upgraded hospital building is equipped with air conditioners and individual bathrooms. Four branches from the vascular center have also moved the building after the renovations.
“Over the past few years, Botkin Hospital has renovated several buildings and I hope that all of the main renovation works will be over by 2018, meaning that the biggest hospital in Moscow (and probably in Russia) will also be the most up-to-date hospital,” the Mayor of Moscow said. According to him, the building used to have rooms that would house 4-5 people.
“Now, the rooms will fit 1-3 people and, most importantly, all operating rooms have the most up-to-date equipment,” Sergey Sobyanin pointed out. Head physician of the Botkin Hospital Aleksei Shabunin clarified that the equipment used in the new building is just as high-quality as equipment used in foreign hospitals and clinics. According to the head physician, the most important thing is the new, modern equipment that enables staff to perform complicated operations on the brain with minimal damage.
This summer, the area surrounding the hospital underwent improvements. The roadway and sidewalks were repaired and a platform for helicopters was built next to buildings No. 21 and 22. It will be operating in test mode starting on August 31. Helicopter evacuation of people injured in traffic accidents is becoming a more popular method of emergency care in Moscow. The method cuts the time needed for evacuation by 12 minutes on average.
Inostranka to get an Educational Cluster and Bookstore
A bookstore and literary cafe for presentations and meeting with authors will be erected on the territory of the Rudomino All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature. An entire wing of the library will be used for holding educational events.
“This year, we made the decision to establish an educational cluster. We are going to set aside an entire wing of the library – auditoriums and places to relax that are perfect for educational services. We will start by offering language courses, which we will hold jointly with the relevant institutions (English with the British Council, Spanish with the Cervantes Institute),” said the library’s Director General Vadim Duda. He added that there will later be Italian, German and French language courses at the library as well.
Duda also noted that the library is currently undergoing renovation, after which there will be a cultural center on the first floor, along with a reception area and a place for readers to sign up, as well as a bookstore and a cafe. Moreover, the library’s management plans to open a multimedia Pearson Language Lab for learning foreign languages, as well as several cultural centers, including the Slavic Cultural Center (scheduled to open at the end of 2016 - beginning of 2017) and the Italian Cultural Center (scheduled to open in 2017). In 2017, the library’s atrium will have special places for open-air meetings, as well as a small cinema.
New International Airport in Zhukovsky
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has opened the fourth international airport in Moscow – Zhukovsky Airport. Air Kyrgyzstan will be one of the first airlines that will be running regular flights from the new hub.
Thomas Vayshvilla, the head of Ramport Aero, which is the investor and operator of the airport, signed a cooperation agreement with the airline, along with the Kazakh airline SCAT and the Russian airline Aviastar-TU.
The new international airport has the longest runway in Europe (5.5km). The airport will serve as a single aviation center for experimental, state and civil aviation. A number of commercial facilities, such as an international cargo terminal, a service center for aircraft, two multi-story car parks, a hotel, two office centers, and a shopping center will be erected on the airport’s territory. All of this will allow the airport to collect additional non-aviation revenue and offer better service conditions for a broad spectrum of airlines, including low-budget airlines.
Overall, there will be 10 billion rubles invested into the airport over the course of 5 years, over 10,000 jobs will be created and over 240,000 sq.m of airport infrastructure will be erected. As a result, a total of 13 billion rubles will be pumped into the regional economy.
Construction of a Movie and Concert Hall in Moscow City
A movie and concert hall in the form of a nine-story building under a transparent dome shaped like a clock is under construction in the heart of Moscow City. It will be a part of the “central nucleus” of the quarter together with the shopping and entertainment center Afimall City, along with the Novotel Moscow City hotel. The hall will host concerts, forums and other events. The hall can be converted to suit different types of events and will be able to accommodate 1,500-4,000 people.
The stage can also be configured in different ways – the design includes a total of 16 different options. There is a unique opening dome 64 meters in diameter above the stage.
Aside from the concert hall, a beach club with two pools will appear in the building. The interiors will be completed in accordance with a design by Dutchman Marcel Wanders.
The complex is scheduled to open in 2017 and the construction workers are already in the process of mounting the dome.
New Metro Station to Open
The Moscow Department of Urban Construction press service has announced that Lomonosovsky Prospekt metro station will be open in December of this year as part of the metro section that runs from Park Pobedy to Ramenki. “Construction workers are finishing up the installation of decorative panels along the platform walls and the station’s columns. As of right now, the finishing works are about 90 percent complete,” says Marat Khusnullin, head of the Moscow Department of Urban Construction.
Construction workers are installing panels with pictures over a blue background and graphic elements in the form of intersecting rows of numbers on the columns. The numbers symbolize the exact sciences and reflect the station’s connection with the scientific work of Mikhail Lomonosov. According to Khusnullin, the authorities made the decision to build an additional entrance to the station for the convenience of passengers. “The third entrance will run underneath the avenue and will allow passengers to bypass having to cross the street above ground,” he said. A tunnel that is about 200 meters in length has been constructed for this purpose.
“Flying over Russia”: a ride with special effects
The details of the “Flying over Russia” ride, which will open in the Zaryadye Park media center in 2018, have been clarified. Audience members will be suspended in front of a 12-meter screen with special consoles and experience various types of special effects, from flashes of lightning and gusts of wind to volcano eruptions. Special aerial photography will be used in order to create a virtual tour of the nature reserves, mountaintops and coasts of Russia. Those who go on the ride will see the real beauty of Russia, not just computer graphics. The virtual journey will include at least 30 locations from all over the country – the Far East, Siberia, the Urals, the Far North, the Caucasus, the Baltic region and Central Russia, including Moscow. 39 consoles will be set up along a special platform that will create the illusion of flight. The visuals will be projected on a spherical screen and accompanied by a set of climatic and sound effects. Each séance will be about 7 minutes long. “Flight over Russia” in Zaryadye Park will not only be a source of entertainment, but a cultural attraction in Moscow.
One of the first films that was made for rides like this one was created for Disneyland in California. Today, these programs exist in theme parks across different states, along with in Canada, big cities in China, Abu Dhabi and others.
Arbat Square Improvements Completed
Arbat Square is located at the intersection of Gogolsky Boulevard, Znamenki Street and Arbatskiye Vorota Square. It houses emblematic architectural monuments of the capital - the lobby of the Arbat metro station in the form of a red five-pointed star (one of the first symbols of the Moscow metro) and Khudozhestvenny Cinema (one of the oldest cinemas in Russia, erected in 1909). Arbat Square was beautified along with nearby streets Vozdvizhenka and Znamenka, as well as Krestovozdvizhensky Pereulok and Starovagankovsky Pereulok. The sidewalks have been expanded by an average of 1-1.5 meters via the standardization of traffic lane width. The capacity of the roadways has not changed.
Parking on Vozdvizhenka Street, Znamenka Street and Krestovozdvizhensky Pereulok is prohibited. Pockets with capacity for 13 cars have been set up on Starovagankovsky Pereulok for parking. In November, 31 trees and 25 bushes will be planted on Znamenka Street next to the monument to Mikhail Frunze.
Thus, one of the oldest quarters in Moscow, which includes Mokhovaya Square, Vozdvizhenka, Znamenka and Arbatskaya Square is now a comfortable public space that has been united into a single urban environment with New Arbat, Bolshaya Nikitskaya and other streets that have recently undergone improvement works.
“Arbat Square is a fairly complicated urban space with two metro exits and a lot of pedestrian traffic. Moreover, there was a two-story squatter building just a few steps away from the metro exit. It was there for 20 years, and people had to use this narrow pathway to get to the metro. It shouldn’t be like that. The building was taken down in February 2016. Now, Arbat Square and the streets surrounding it are a quality space,” the Mayor of Moscow said.
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