Each of the 232 stations on the Moscow Metro might have a unique look, but there is one design feature the majority share – two tracks flanking a central island platform. But how about the exceptions?
Adopting a standard
Russian-language Wikipedia describes how the ‘standard’ station design came to be.
On 15 June 1931 at the meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union it was decided to build the Moscow Metro to improve the transport situation in the city. In November 1931, construction began on the first experimental site on Rusakovskaya Street. During the design, a debate arose about the type of future metro stations: whether they will have island or side platforms. It was decided to adopt a three-vaulted station with island platform design.
And so the design spread across the Soviet Union in the decades that followed.
But what of the exceptions?
Eight Moscow Metro stations have side platforms, but only one of which is underground – Алекса́ндровский сад (Aleksandrovsky Sad).
Excluded from the initial plans for the first stage of the Moscow Metro, it was decided to build the station once the route had been decided, so the tunnel was expanded in size to allow curved platforms to be built beside the tracks.
Vykhino (Выхино) was built as an above ground station with side platforms.
Мякининo (Myakinino) was constructed on the second floor of a shopping mall.
And finally we have Технопарк (Tekhnopark) – an above ground station retrofitted to an already operational stretch of the Zamoskvoretskaya line.
Six Moscow Metro stations have platforms located in a curve, and we’ve covered two already – Алекса́ндровский сад (Aleksandrovsky Sad) and Кутузовская (Kutuzovskaya).
Международная (Mezhdunarodnaya) and Выставочная (Vystavochnaya) stations were designed to “light metro” standards, but changed during construction to handle normal sized trains, requiring platform extensions alongside curved tunnels.
Triple track stations
And finally, the strangest station design – three tracks served by four platforms.
Партизанская (Partizanskaya) was built with such a configuration to handle crowds headed to a nearby stadium that was planned but never built.
While Полежаевская (Polezhayevskaya) was built as a junction station for a never constructed branch line.
Meanwhile on the Nizhny Novgorod Metro there is a platform arrangement not found anywhere else in Russia – two island platforms and four tracks located in a single station cavern.