'Watercolour', 'Striped Express', 'Thank You, Donor!': secrets of themed metro trains

October 23, 2019

In themed trains dedicated to significant Moscow programs, history, science and culture, Muscovites can learn about Tabakerka Theatre’s past, about red-listed plants, discover some facts about Moscow Central Diameters right in the metro.

Most unusual trains run the Circle Line. Each of its stations offers transfer to other lines, so more passengers can see the trains. Also, themed trains run on Serpukhovsko-Timiryazevskaya, Kaluzhsko-Rizhskaya, Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya, Sokolnicheskaya, Zamoskvoretskaya and Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya lines.

'8 March Women's Train' was the first themed metro train to launch. It was running on Sokolnicheskaya line until about 1975. Then the train's type A carriages had been replaced by the new ones, as part of a scheduled upgrade.

The oldest of the existing themed trains is the 'People's Militia Man' dedicated to the Great Patriotic War veterans. It started running on Zamoskvoretskaya line in 1988, but did not differ much from regular trains. In 2006, the carriages acquired inscriptions 'The People's Militia Man' and '1941-1945', with content about war offered inside.

There have been dozens of themed trains released recently, seen by millions of passengers. Read the story behind themed trains in mos.ru article.

From concept to train selection 

Concepts of themed trains come both from the Moscow metro and other agencies, museums or theatres.  The initiating party works out and presents the train design's concept.

The whole team is engaged in the development of the themed train's design, including subject matter experts. So, doctors and leading specialists of the Moscow Healthcare Department took part in developing layouts for  'Thank You, Donor!' and 'Healthy Moscow' trains. 'Hello, Moscow!' train's concept was developed by historians, Moscow researchers and art experts. Besides, designers and writers work on the designs, too. They develop the layout and prepare the text to be placed on the carriage walls.

'Metro officers always check the project's content, reliability of information and correctness of the text. Also, the metro authorities request the initiator to confirm that the layout has been checked by philologists, for example, the staff of the Pushkin State Russian Language Institute,' told the Press Service of the Moscow metro.

When developing a project, one first has to choose the line the themed train is to run on, to prepare the train of proper series.

Then designers visit the depot several times to adapt the ready design layout to the size of a particular train. To make the final image, one has to consider everything, down to a millimetre. Printed colours must be the same as on the layout,' the Press Service added.

'The Great Russian Actor Oleg Tabakov' train was launched on Kaluzhsko-Rizhskaya line for a reason.  It is very symbolic, as the hostel of the Moscow Art Theatre School and Studio, where the actor once lived, was located near Rizhskaya station. You will find the old building of Oleg Tabakov Moscow Theatre near Turgenevskaya station, with the new theatre's stage located near Sukharevskaya station.

For this project, the train type 81-717/714 has been chosen. It is a number train, as it has no letter designations (like Rusich, Oka or Moskva). The train's design will include images of stained glass windows, which decorate the new stage of the Oleg Tabakov Theatre on Malaya Sukharevskaya Square, and the actor's photos. Passengers can learn about Oleg Tabakov's family, about Tabakerka Theatre that occupied the basement in Chaplygina Street, and 'Matrosskaya Tishina' play. Also, the carriages will have rare archival photos and film scenes featuring the actor.

From assembly at the depot to official launch

It takes about three months and more to launch a themed train, taking into account the layout development and all the coordination issues, with assembly taking 5-7 days. There is no special place for painting and decorating the train, but the depot. 'We seek to complete works as fast as possible, since the metro's main purpose is to carry passengers,' the Press Service of the metro added.

Details of the train's launch ceremony are discussed at the final stage of the train's decoration. 'Aleksandrovets', 'Thank You, Donor!' and 'Moscow Industry' themed trains have been launched from the depot to run the lines.  In February 2018, the official launch ceremony of 'My Marshak' train took place at Partizanskaya station, attended by passengers.

Sometimes, themed trains start to run at night, as it was with 'The Great Russian Actor Oleg Tabakov' train that hit the Orange Line, and 'Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre' train dedicated to the 120th theatre's anniversary, which started running the Green Line. Each carriage of that train was dedicated to significant events and people who contributed to the creation and development of the Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre.

Passengers listened to excerpts from performances of different years, read by renowned theatre actors. The train carried citizens from November 2018 to April 2019. During that time, around two million people learned more about one of the most popular Moscow theatres.

Six months on the line and a new display

Themed trains have been running on the lines for an average of six months. During this time, the train is seen by about three million passengers. The period is rather short due to the service life of the film decorating carriages. However, there are metro trains that remain unchanged. It is a New Year's Yozh-3 train, running only during the winter holidays, or 'Watercolour' train, which has only its interior display updated. By the way, this train has been refreshed in September to tell about Moscow red-listed plants. The travelling exhibition includes five sections and 35 works specially prepared for this project.

'Watercolour' name train was launched on Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya line in 2007. At different times, it featured masterpieces from the Tretyakov Gallery, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Vyatka Vasnetsovs' Art Museum, Moscow Museum of Modern Art and the Watercolour and Fine Arts Academy of the People's Artist of Russia Sergei Andriyaka.

There are themed trains launched to run for quite a short time. For example, 'Moscow Spring A Cappella' train, dedicated to the same-name international festival and contest, that was running on the Circle Line for only two weeks. Quotes by the Moscow Spring A Cappella festival participants from different countries were written on the carriage walls. Passengers learned about the festival's history and facts about a capella singing.

Themed trains are one and the same train, as a rule. After the project finishes, the film is removed to make the train ready for new decoration.

Moscow metro runs 18 themed trains, including the New Year train that hits the line during winter holidays, and the 'Journey to Christmas' train. Today, citizens are welcome to take a trip on the 'Watercolour', 'Sokolniki', 'Red Arrow' 'People's Militia Man', 'Victory Museum', 'Hello, Moscow!', 'Alexandrovets', '210th Transport Department's Anniversary', 'Moscow Central Diameters', 'Thank You, Donor!', 'Moscow Industry', 'Striped Express', 'Shchukin. Collection's Biography', 'VDNKh Is 80', 'Healthy Moscow' and 'The Great Russian Actor Oleg Tabakov' themed trains.

Source: mos.ru

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