The MCC project, one of the more ambitious projects in the city, is nearing completion. Opening in September, the route will be 54 kilometres long. The circular route will offer 14 new links with metro stations and six links with commuter train stations. The entire railway is now complete, and trains are undergoing trial runs.
The city hopes the MCC (former SMBR, Smaller Belt Railway) will become basically a second metro circle line, and it is already marked as Line 14 on metro maps. It estimated that the average commute, for some riders, will be reduced by 20 minutes or so. The railway will take city fare passes, and those entitled to benefits will be able to travel free. School and university students will be able to use their student metro passes. Free metro links and interchanges will be available within 90 minutes of entering the metro.
Convenient interchanges and high speeds
that will link metro stations, railways and surface transit. They will connect with 17 stations on 11 metro lines (current radial lines and the unfinished third interchange circuit) and with ten stations on nine radial railway routes.
Commuter train passengers will be able to change to MCC trains, without going into central Moscow. The MCC’s northern section alone will reduce passenger traffic at local railway stations by 15-40%.
Surface transit routes will be adjusted to the new transit hubs, and it will take only a few minutes to change. Eleven MCC stations will have indoor interchanges.
Approximately 100 pairs of trains will run along the CMR daily in both directions. Peak hour intervals will not exceed six minutes, otherwise totaling 11-15 minutes. It will take 75 minutes to travel the entire CMR circle. Average trip times will be reduced by 20 minutes. For example, time to cover a distance between the Leninsky Prospekt and Mezhdunarodnaya stations will be reduced 2.5 times, and it will take three times less time to reach Vladykino from Rokossovsky Boulevard. Riders using MCC stations daily will be able to save almost a week a year.
Once open, five city districts, including Metrogorodok, Beskudnikovsky, Koptevo, Khoroshovo-Mnyovniki and Nizhegorodsky, will be more accessible. One-third of the second interchange circuit’s stations are located in these districts. In the first 12 months, the MCR could carry 75 million riders, and its annual capacity could reach 300 million people by 2025.
Benches, glass corridors and navigation panels
The transit hubs will have office space, retail space, and cafes and car parks. At night, all MCC transit hubs, interchanges, bridges and underpasses will feature white and yellow lamps with a warm hue.
Seventeen stations will have glass corridors. The longest, a 160-metre corridor, will be at the Vladykino transit hub. Other glass corridors will be built at the ZIL, Avtozavodskaya, Volgogradskaya, and Khoroshovo stations, etc. Moscow’s Urban Development and Construction Complex (Stroicomplex) website shows how the 22 transit hubs will look.
Benches and chairs for about 60 people are to be installed at each station. Each platform and ticket office area will have a unique design. The Vladykino station, for example, will have individual chairs. The Belokamennaya station will have 15 metal benches for four people each. The Luzhniki station will have over ten wooden benches with cast iron legs.
All MCC entrances will be equipped with train arrival and departure screens. Screens will be installed at 31 platforms, at every ticket office hall and at transit hub waiting halls. These screens will also provide a countdown to the next train and display air temperature .
MCC stations will offer 37 navigation panels and five Live Talk intercom systems, to provide passenger service. Over 7,000 boxes for system feedback, ticket office and floor-mounted dustbins, mirrors and other infrastructure components will also be installed. As the 2018 World Cup approaches, the city will offer navigation information and station name announcements in English.
People with disabilities will be able to use lifts, escalators and tactile tiles. About 2,500 video surveillance cameras will be installed in MCC security zones, waiting rooms, ticket offices and on platforms. Each transit link will be monitored by 30-60 cameras. Video cameras will also be installed around the stations.
High-speed air-conditioned trains with Wi Fi
Modern Lastochka (Swallow) trains will reach speeds up to 120 kph and will carry up to 1,200 passengers. Five-car trains will be the first to hit the rails, and ten-car trains are also possible. Each carriage will have a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, Wi Fi access, electric outlets for charging telephones and other devices. The trains and stations will be equipped with restrooms and can be accessed by people with disabilities.
Lastochka trains will feature automatic operating systems similar to those used during the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. These systems will first “advise” train drivers and will later be able to completely control the trains. But an operator will, nevertheless, remain in control.
Each MCC train will have room for 12 bicycles which don’t have to be disassembled. Special bicycle racks will be installed in second and fourth railcars of five-car trains. There are plans to set up bike racks near each transit hub. Bicycle rental centres have already been established near the City, Luzhniki, Ploshchad Gagarina, Botanichesky Sad and Vladykino stations.
For investment and work
The former SMBR, which is over 100 years old, was mostly used by cargo trains that served industrial zones on the route and other regions. Many of these industrial zones fell into disuse, production facilities were shut down and these zones, at best, were turned into warehouses.
Passenger service will spur the redevelopment of these zones, with investors financing projects that have adequate transport links. Engineers at the Research & Design Institute who work on the Moscow City Master Plan estimate that it is possible to build 750,000 square metres of buildings in these areas, including over 300,000 square metres of hotels, 250,000 square metres of retail outlets and 200,000 square metres of new office space and technology parks. These venues will help create over 40,000 jobs.
Investors are interested in projects around eight MCC stations, including Botanichesky Sad, Vladykino, Yaroslavskaya, Otkrytoye Shosse, Novokhokhlovskaya, Varshavskoye Shosse, City and Nikolayevskaya. Private investment will require fewer city resources.
Around the MCC: pedestrian zones and noise reduction
The MCC will provide convenient access to the city’s gardens and parks; it will link the Mikhalkovo estate, the Botanical Garden, the National Exhibition of Economic Achievements (VDNKh), the Vorobyovy Gory nature reserve and others. Additional trees, grass and gardens will be planted around the stations, with Active Citizen website users supporting the idea.
Convenient access-ways and pedestrian lanes will be built near the MCC first. New access roads will be built near each station, and existing roads will be resurfaced. Bus stops, car parks and bus laybys will be established. Concrete pavements, lawns, benches and rubbish cans will be installed. A pedestrian zone will connect CSKA Stadium and the Novopeschanaya station.
Sound walls will be installed along the MCC to keep noise down for nearby residential buildings.