From the general plan of 1938 to modern stations: Solntsevo to soon get long-awaited metro service

From the general plan of 1938 to modern stations: Solntsevo to soon get long-awaited metro service
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Yevgeny Samarin
21 June marked the launch of one of the longest-awaited metro sections, the Solntsevskaya Line. Not everyone knows that residents of Solntsevo and nearby areas have waited for the metro in their district for more than 50 years. This story describes the progress of the yellow line toward Moscow’s southwest. 

Residents in the Ramenki, Ochakovo-Matveyevskoye, Troparyovo-Nikulino, Solntsevo and Novo-Peredelkino districts and Moskovsky and Vnukovskoye villages – some 600,000 people – have had to spend a big part of their lives in traffic jams. The only way most of them could reach the Yugo-Zapadnaya, Prospekt Vernadskogo or Salaryevo metro stations in the mornings was by bus on a slow and congested motorway. Novoperedelkino metro station, one of the most anticipated, will save up to 90 minutes of commuter travel time a day.


First plans: mid-20th century

The first plans to run a metro line under Michurinsky Prospekt and northward towards Aminyevo were introduced in the metro general plan in 1938. The ambitious project failed to work out. It was in 1962, after the construction of the Moscow Ring Road (MKAD) and the city boundary expansion, that the city again considered running the metro to this district. The original project received some changes – the line’s starting point was shifted from Leninskiye (Vorobyovy) Gory to Kievskaya station, from where it would run down to Troyekurovo District. The change in plans was due to the extension of the Sokolnicheskaya Line, where Leninskiye (Vorobyovy) Gory is located, up to Yugo-Zapadnaya station. The concept took its final form in 1965 with a decision to continue the line not exactly into Troyekurovo, but southwards along Michurinsky Prospekt, across the MKAD and into Solntsevo District. This was accomplished with minor modifications, but construction didn’t actually start until 2012 – 47 years later.

A point on the map – since 1971

Solnechny metro station appeared on the map of projected metro lines in 1971 as an extension of the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line that by then stretched from Shchyolkovskaya to Kievskaya station. The urban development that emerged in 1937 became the city of Solntsevo with about 80,000 residents. The future Solntsevskaya Line was projected to run to Solntsevo from Ochakovo through Govorovo and on to Peredelkino station.

In 1973, it was Solnechnoye not Solnechny that appeared on the metro map. Back in the 1970s, residents of Solntsevo, Ochakovo and other nearby districts could only dream of travelling to Moscow by metro. Construction was never started.

Expressway and light metro

Solntsevo became part of Moscow on 10 May 1984 and city authorities raised the issue of metro construction again. And again they changed the route. The new project envisaged aligning Solntsevskaya Line with the Solntsevo-Mytishchi Motorway. Like its predecessors, this plan never came to pass. In the 1990s, a difficult time for Russia, any far-reaching dream had to be put aside.

In 2004, a new project was presented: ‘light metro’ from Yugo-Zapadnaya station to Vnukovo Airport. This never saw reality either. As a result, in 2014-2016, the red line was extended in another direction – along Leninsky Prospekt and Kievskoye Motorway. There are plans to extend it even further into the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky administrative areas in early 2019.

They also decided to connect Michurinsky Prospekt with Solntsevo District by way of the yellow line rather than expressway or the blue or red lines.

There was another problem – the eastern section of Kalininskaya Line terminated in the city centre at Tretyakovskaya station. This meant that they would have to continue the line across the centre up to Park Pobedy, the deepest station in the Moscow Metro system that opened in 2003 on the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line. At Park Pobedy they planned to build two main halls and four tracks. Later the yellow line would stretch to the southwest. However, the deep-level central section was the most costly of all whereas the demand wasn’t that high as the metro is packed with passengers in the city centre. Providing just one transfer on the entire Solntsevskaya Line − at Park Pobedy station − would attract hundreds of  thousands of passengers to the overcrowded Park Pobedy-Kievskaya section. 

Rapid metro development

The solution was finally included in the massive development of the entire metro system some seven years ago.

In April 2012, preparations for the construction of the Lomonosovsky Prospekt station began. This meant that the dreams of Solntsevo residents would soon come true with construction of the Solntsevskaya Line now underway.

On 31 January 2014, the first section of the new Solntsevskaya Line became operational. Service was only available between Park Pobedy and Delovoi Tsentr stations, but that was just the beginning. On 16 March 2017, the yellow line reached Ramenki station. Within less than a year, the first section of the Third Interchange Circuit was opened – from Delovoi Tsentr to Petrovsky Park – and was connected with the yellow line. Thus, the Solntsevskaya Line received four transfers to other metro lines and the Moscow Central Circle at the Park Pobedy, Shelepikha, Khoroshyovskaya and Petrovsky Park stations.

Seven new stations

The new section of Kalininsko-Solntsevskaya Line is special because it was a record-breaking effort. This extension is 13.4 km, plus a 1.8 km branch line to the Solntsevo maintenance facility. Moscow has never opened a metro line section this long. Service will begin by year end. It will include seven new stations, many of which are unusual. Michurinsky Prospekt, for example, will be Moscow’s first semi-underground metro station and the interiors of Rasskazovka station will feature a design resembling a library’s reading hall. The columns look like filing cabinets fitted with QR codes enabling passengers to download books at the station.

What else?

The next few years will also be record-setting in terms of the volume of metro construction. In 2018-2022, 67 new stations and 154 km of track will be put into service – a volume comparable with Moscow Metro expansion for all of 1972-2010. The Third Interchange circuit will be complete and the Kalininsko-Solntsevskaya Line will run along Borovskoye Motorway to Vnukovo Airport.

Archive materials are courtesy of the Moscow Main Archive Directorate (Glavarkhiv)