When asked to think of the Moscow Metro, deep tunnels and ornately decorated stations are what usually come to mind. However the network is a big one, and there are always exceptions. So where does the Moscow Metro run above ground?
Line 1 emerges from the underworld at two locations:
- Preobrazhensky Bridge over the Yauza River, near Preobrazhenskaya Ploshchad station north of Moscow
- Luzhniki Bridge over the Moskva River, at Vorobyovy Gory station
Vorobyovy Gory station is located on the bridge, with windows looking out on the Moskva River below.
Line 2 reaches the surface for an extended period south of Avtozavodskaya station, where it crosses the Moskva River via the Nagatinsky Bridge.
My hotel in Moscow was located next door to Avtozavodskaya station, so I went for a long walk through the surrounding industrial area until I found the actual tunnel portal.
It was the middle of winter, so the tracks were dusted with a layer of snow.
But the third-rail powered trains didn’t seem to be having any trouble with the weather.
Line 3 hits the surface at three locations:
- An above ground interchange with line 4 at Kuntsevskaya
- Mitinsky Bridge across the Moskva River near Myakinino station
- An above ground station at Izmaylovskaya
The station at Kuntsevskaya provided a great vantage point to see the trains out in the open air.
The station architecture would be best described as spartan.
Line 7 has two oddities:
- An above ground interchange station with the suburban rail network at Vykhino
- Above ground track between Volgogradsky Prospekt and Tekstilshchiki stations
Line 12 is a one-off line: the last four stations are located on an above viaduct.
Finally, we have Line 4 – as well as the Smolensky Bridge over the Moskva River at Smolenskaya, the end of the line is completely above ground, with seven stations open to the air.
The line parallels the mainline railway outside Киевский вокзал (Kievskiy vokzal).
Along the way are a number of crossovers.
As well as a maintenance depot.
The signals along the route are easy to see.
Each station has a pair of side platforms that flank the tracks, instead of the usual ‘island’ platform in the middle.
But beneath the concourses, many of the stations appear dark and dank.
But no matter where you are standing, it is still frigid cold waiting for a train during a Russian winter.
It is little wonder that above ground stations are uncommon on the Moscow Metro.
According to Wikipedia Vorobyovy Gory holds two records for the Moscow Metro – longest platform at 282 metres (925 feet), and highest station with an elevation of 15 metres (49 feet).
- UrbanRail.net has a map showing the above ground sections of track