From the Hedgehog to the Moskva-2020: Upgrading the Moscow Metro’s carriages

September 15

Moscow leads the way in terms of metro construction projects. The city is building new lines into the remote districts. There are plans to build a metro line in Troitsk, and the Solntsevskaya Line will be extended towards Vnukovo. In addition to extending its lines, the Moscow Metro continues to renovate its infrastructure.

First, it is receiving more advanced and people-friendly carriages. In the next few years, the metro will get about 1,300 brand-new Moskva-2020 carriages. New trains will make up over 80 percent of the metro’s rolling stock by 2023. Moscow’s metro carriages will be even newer than those in European metros and American subways. Today, the metro’s trains average about 15 years old, but this figure will be reduced to ten years.

Passengers that ride the metro every day are looking forward to the new trains with their climate control systems, USB outlets and media screens with updates on interesting city news and facts.

The Yauza and the Rusich

However, this was not always the case. The metro’s old type 81-717/714 trains carried passengers for a long time. The first trains in this series were manufactured in 1976, and they starting filling the Moscow Metro’s lines two years later. The older trains included the E series with various modifications, better known as Yezhi (Hedgehogs). The Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya Line saw the last older trains from this series this past summer. But about 2,200 numbered passenger carriages continue to operate today.

Type 81-717/714 train

As a rule, the metro gets new trains once a decade. However, an I (И)-type carriage failed to complete tests in the 1980s. Its successors, the Yauza train, never accounted for a sizeable share of the metro’s rolling stock. Only a few such trains entered service. At the same time, the metro continued to operate older train sets.

The Yauza train

The next train, the Rusich, was launched in late 2003 on the Butovo Line. Various modifications of this new generation train were manufactured until 2013. The metro still operates about 720 such carriages on the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya, Circle and Butovskaya lines. Initially, the Rusich was developed for the metro’s surface lines and therefore became the first train to be equipped with heaters and later air conditioners.

The Rusich train

The Oka and the Moskva

The city started upgrading the metro’s rolling stock ten years ago. After receiving several hundred Rusich carriages, metro authorities moved to introduce several Oka trains starting in 2012. These trains now operate on the Serphukhovsko-Timiryazevskaya, Solntsevskaya, Kalininskaya and Big Circle lines.

The Oka model

The city fielded the next train model just five years later, in 2017. This is the innovative Moskva train with gangway connections, enlarged door openings, seating for people with disabilities and USB outlets. They mostly operate on the Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya, Filyovskaya and Nekrasovskaya lines.  It is also possible to see them on the Sokolnicheskaya, Kaluzhsko-Rizhskaya, Solntsevskaya and Big Circle lines. Since 2010, the percent of new trains has climbed from 12.6 percent to over 60 percent.

Denis Grishkin, Press Service of the Mayor and Moscow Government

The Moskva-2020 

The Moskva train was launched three years ago, and the entirely new Moskva-2020 train was unveiled on City Day at the Mitino train maintenance facility. The first passengers will board this train quite soon.

The new carriages are more comfortable, with 160-cm door openings, 20 cm larger than those on Moskva trains. Passengers will be able to quickly enter and exit the carriages even during peak hours, with minimal service intervals.

Gangway connections were expanded by 57 percent to 160 cm. This section now freely accommodates passengers, and there is still enough room left for walking between carriages.

Each eight-carriage train now has five times as many USB outlets, that is, 368, rather than 72. In all, 25 percent of all passengers can use them at the same time. Riders will be able to charge their devices without walking to the front because the outlets are located between the seats throughout the train. Noise levels have been reduced by 15 percent, compared to the Moskva trains. Passengers will be able to listen to or watch their devices in quiet comfort.

Staying on course

For passenger convenience, each train has exterior screens showing the line’s terminus. While standing on the platform, passengers can look at the carriages in the train’s midsection and see where it is headed to help them avoid going in the wrong direction. Console-mounted overhead LCD monitors are another upgrade. The wide-angle HD displays will update passengers and will be visible from any part of the carriage.

Press Service of the Mayor and Moscow Government

Safety and comfort

The new trains are equipped with CCTV cameras, eight per carriage. The data is immediately transmitted to the metro’s integral dispatch control centre whose employees can respond quickly and provide any necessary assistance in case of emergency. An early smoke detection system also helps keep passengers safe. The new carriages’ handrails are coated with warm materials, and the floors are covered with a substance that prevents slipping. The carriages’ cold blue-and-white interiors have been replaced with warm pink-gold hues. Passengers standing near the doors will feel more comfortable because glass screens now separate the seats from the door openings.

Over 170 trains in three years

Moscow leads the way in terms of rolling stock replacement rates. The city has made up for the time lost in the 1980s and the 1990s and has provided the metro with some of the most advanced trains.

The Moskva-2020 train surpasses its foreign equivalents in many respects. For example, the new carriages’ door openings are 23 percent wider than those on Siemens, Alstom, Hyundai and CAF trains. So far, other train manufacturers do not use interactive navigation panels. Only the Hyundai Rotem H10 carriages feature outlets near every seat, but the South Korean train costs 30 percent more than its Russian counterpart.

Since 2010, the average age of the Moscow Metro’s trains is down from 22.5 to 15 years. The London Tube’s carriages are 19 years old, on average, and those in the New York Subway are about 23 years old.

In the next three years, the city will purchase over 1,300 Moskva-2020 carriages. Over 170 new trains will run on the Circle, Big Circle and Kaluzhsko-Rizhskaya lines. As a result, the share of new trains will exceed 80 percent, and the average age of the carriages will drop to ten years.


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