Saint Petersburg Metro

Saint Petersburg Metro

Infobox Public transit
name = Saint Petersburg Metro
Петербургский метрополитен
"Peterburgskiy metropoliten"

locale = Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast
transit_type = Rapid transit
began_operation = 1955
system_length = km to mi|105.6|abbr=yes|precision=1
track_gauge = RailGauge|1520
lines = 4
stations = 60
ridership = 3.43 million
operator = "Peterburgsky Metropoliten"

Saint Petersburg Metro ( _ru. Петербу́ргский метрополитен) is an underground rapid transit system in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Formerly known as Leningrad Metro (Ленинградский метрополитен), the system exhibits many typical Soviet designs and features exquisite decorations and artwork making it one of the most attractive and elegant metros in the world. Due to the city's unique geology, the Saint Petersburg Metro is the deepest subway system in the world. [ The system's deepest section is 105 metres, Admiralteyskaya station ] Serving nearly three million passengers daily, it is also the 11th busiest subway system in the world.__TOC__



Some of the features of the Saint Petersburg Metro make it stand out amongst others, even those in the ex-USSR. It is customary to have all stations in the centre of a city to be built very deep, not only to minimize disruption, but also, because of the Cold War threat, they were built to double as bomb shelters (and many old stations do feature provisions such as blast doors and air filters). However, in most cities, as the lines reach the outer residential massifs, the lines become shallow (and in some cases even surface). However, in Saint Petersburg this is not the case. The difficult geology means that of the 60 stations 53 are deep level. The design and architecture went through numerous phases. The original stations were predominantly pylon type of which there are 13 stations. Also popular was the column layout, and there are 14 such stations in the system.

The first stage is exquisitely decorated in the Stalinist Architecture, but already from 1958, Nikita Khruschev's struggle with decorative extras restricted the vivid decorations to simple aestatic themes. During this time a new design called "horizontal lift" became widespread, and 10 stations were built with this layout. The horizontal lift design is a variation of a station with Platform screen doors, and has not been found elsewhere outside Saint Petersburg. However, because the design became unpopular with passengers, and for technical reasons, no stations featuring this design have been built since 1972. From the mid-1970s a new open "single-vault" design was developed by the local engineers and became very popular, not only in Saint Petersburg, but some other cities as well, known technically as "Leningradky Odnosvod" to this day it became the most popular of all and there are 16 such stations in the city.

The remaining stations are located virtually on the edge of the city, and one, Devyatkino, is territorially in the Leningrad Oblast, far away from the harsh underground geology that forms the Neva Delta. The three shallow column stations that are located in the southwestern section of the city and are all on the Kirovsko-Vyborgskaya Line. The first one, Avtovo is considered to be one of the most beautiful stations in the world and was opened as part of the first stage in 1955, the other two were built in late 1970s to a typical Moscow-style pillar trispan design. In addition there are four stations that are on the surface, all termini and are all located prior to the lines' connection with the train depots. The city's northern climate means that even here all of the station space is inside an enclosed structure.


First plans for rapid transit in Saint Peterbsurg existed as early as in 1899 and focused on an elevated rail system. However, after the October Revolution and the Russian Civil War the capital moved to Moscow, and for more than a decade the plan was out of the question. However in the late 1930s the idea resurfaced, following the successful opening of Moscow Metro in 1935. Like in Moscow, excavation of underground structures in Saint Petersburg turned out to be generally difficult because of underground rivers and cavities.

The modern system's history began in 1940 when construction of a line linking together all of the central rail terminals commenced. Delayed by World War II, the system was opened on 15 November 1955, with the first seven stations (the eighth one, Pushkinskaya opened a few months later). These became part of the Kirovsko-Vyborgskaya Line, initially connecting the Moscow Rail Terminal in the city centre with the Kirovsky industrial zone in the southwest. Subsequent extensions included a northwards one under the Neva River in 1958 and then the construction of the Vyborgsky Radius in the mid-1970s to connect the new housing developments in the north. In 1978 the line was extended past the city bounds into the Leningrad Oblast.

Construction of the second north-south Moskovsko-Petrogradskaya Line began shortly after the opening of the system; the service between Tekhnologichesky Institut and Park Pobedy commenced five years later in 1960, and a northwards extension to Gorkovskaya opened in 1963, forming the USSR's first cross-platform transfer station at Tekhnologichesky Institut. Moskovsko-Petrogradskaya line was subsequently extended towards the city south in 1970 and 1972 and north in 1982 and 1988. The final northwards extension of the line to the Parnas station opened in 2006 following numerous delays.

The third Nevsko-Vasileostrovskaya Line was first opened in 1967 and eventually it linked the Vasilievsky Island, city centre, and the industrial zones on the southeastern left-bank of the Neva in a series of extensions (1970, 1979, 1981 and 1984). The newest line, Pravoberezhnaya, was first opened in 1985 as a line serving the new residential massifs on the right bank of the Neva before coming through the city centre in 1991 and continuing northwestwards in the late 1990s.

Saint Petersburg's unforgiving geology has frequently hampered attempts by Metro builders. The most notable case took place on the Kirovsko-Vyborgskaya Line. While constructing the line in the 1970s, the tunnelers entered an underground cavity of the Neva River. They managed to complete the tunnel, but in 1995 the tunnel had to be closed and a section of it between Lesnaya and Ploshchad Muzhestva flooded. For more than nine years, the northern segment of the line was physically cut off from the rest of the system. A new set of tunnels was built and in June 2004 normal service was restored. [ [ Saint Petersburg English Newspaper - Neva News - METRO Extensions ] ]


The Metro is managed by a state municipal company "Sankt-Peterburgsky Metropoliten" ("Saint Petersburg Metropolitan", _ru. Санкт-Петербургский Метрополитен) that was privatised from the Ministry of Rail Services. It was renamed from "Lendingrasky Metropoliten imeni V.I. Lenina" ("Vladimir Lenin Metropolitan Railway of Leningrad", _ru. Лениградский Метрополитен имени В.И. Ленина) to coincide with the city's name change in early 1990s. The company employs several thousand men and women in station and track management as well as rolling stock operation and maintenance.

The Metro is financed by the city of Saint Petersburg, from passenger fares and from advertisement space at the stations and on the trains. Metro construction is undertaken by a subsidiary "Lenmetrostroy" ( _ru. Ленметрострой) that is financed by the Metro as well as directly by the Ministry of Transportation.

Rolling Stock

The rolling stock of the metro is provided by five depots with a total of 1403 cars forming 188 trains. Most of the models are the 81-717/714 that are very common in all ex-Soviet cities. In addition there are older E and Em type trains on the Kirovsko-Vyborgskaya Line and newer 81-540/541 on the Pravoberezhnaya Line.


Originally built as a system that could offer shelter in case of a nuclear attack, to date the security measures of the Metro surpass those of any other rapid-transit system, including a similar Moscow Metro. For example, amateur photography is strictly forbidden, not just underground, but throughout even in vestibules. Professional photography and cinematography is tolerated, provided the crew have permission. Security personnel patrol all stations ensuring public order, and every station is equipped with CCTV surveillance following recent terrorist threats. In 2008 CCTV witnessed the lethal fall of a passenger in front of a train (source: TV news).

Future plans

The Metro has a very large expansion plan for the next half century. The current Pravoberezhnaya Line will be split in 2008 and a new fifth line (Frunzensko-Primorskaya) will take the northern (Primorsky) radius away from Pravoberezhnaya and open with a new (Frunzensky) to the south. A ring line will follow and should be complete by 2025, along with the shortened Pravoberezhnaya Line extending to the northwest under the Gulf of Finland. Other biradial lines will come through the city centre. Under current plans the system should double in length by 2050, and given that construction, which was frozen for more than a decade after the financial instability of the 1990s, has now fully been resumed, it is likely that this objective will be met.

At the same time, there are several short-term projects on station upgrades, including escalator replacements and lighting upgrades.

ee also

*List of rapid transit systems


External links

*ru icon [ Peteburgsky Metropoliten] - Official website
*ru icon [ Thoughts about Petersburg Metro] - Extensive resource site supported by Metrofan djtonik
*ru icon [ Metrowalks] - Excellent collection of photographs of every station and transfers.
*ru icon [ o-metro] - Large technical and photo collection by Metrofan Alexey Nevolin
*ru icon [ Kommet] - Official advertisement bureau with interactive map
*ru icon [ Podzemka] - Extensive collection of maps and schemes, including rare historical ones.
*en icon [] - Saint Petersburg Metro section
*ru icon/de icon [ Metrosoyuza] - Site supported by Metrofan Peter Donn
*ru icon [ ex-ussr subways] - Technical details.
*ru icon [ Metroworld] - Information on the Metro.
*ru icon [] - Informative site, but inactive for about four years
*en icon [ St.Peterburg for tourist] - Scheme of the Petersburg underground

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