By 1 June, the Moscow metro’s Circle Line will be prepared for rails replacement. It is planned that there will be no joints between them. Such a track reduces the noise level by quarter, with lower vibration. So the train moves more smoothly.
Before starting the work, the metro specialists first need to replace the special pads under the rails. Those ensure a reliable and safe fastening of continuous welded rails. 100,000 pieces, or 90 percent of the pads, have already been replaced in the Circle Line.
“We use advanced technology to make the trains move more smoothly. So, the Circle Line, one of the oldest branches of the Moscow metro, will not be any less comfortable than the recently opened stretches of the metro. Here the preparation for laying special under-rail pads is almost complete,” said Maxim Liksutov, Deputy Moscow Mayor, Head of the City Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development.
Currently, repairs are underway on the 14 km stretch from Belorusskaya to Kurskaya station. The pads are replaced at night, when the metro is closed. So the specialists have only a little over two hours at their disposal while the third rail is de-energized.
New rails reduce the maintenance and repair costs. So the metro will save RUB 400,000 per year on servicing a kilometre of a continuous welded track.
Continuous welded rails have been laid on all new sections of the metro since 2012. This method is also used on the Moscow Central Circle (MCC). Also, there are new rails in the central stretches of the line inside the Circle, for example in Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya, Zamoskvoretskaya, Sokolnicheskaya, Serpukhovsko-Timiryazevskaya and Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya lines. Nor are there joints between the rails on the stretches of Filyovskaya and Solntsevskaya lines.
“Before 2020, we’ll renovate 265 km of the rails, replacing the standard jointed track with a continuous welded one,” Maxim Liksutov reported.
In addition, the Moscow metro regularly renovates the standard rails. This ensures safe movement of the trains. Last year, the metro replaced more than 80 km of the rails. This year, over 100 km is planned to be replaced. Their service life depends on the train traffic intensity and other factors. Analysing the stress on each stretch, the metro is working out a repair schedule.
The Moscow metro is regularly renovating its infrastructure. In 2018, it replaced 19,700 sleepers and 170 km of the cables (supply voltage to the third rail). Also, it tidied up the facades, vestibules, and underground passageways at 39 stations.
In addition, the Moscow metro is repairing escalators. In 2020 and 2021, they will be replaced on further nine stations. A timely repair of escalators ensures safe passenger traffic. The new escalators will be made of modern fire-resistant materials, such as stainless steel. Special brushes and a LED light system will be fitted on the staircase band to protect the escalator against penetration of small objects. Since 2010, new escalators have appeared on 14 stations.
Lighting systems are being modernized in the metro tunnels. New lights are due to be installed in 2021. They resist vibration caused by the trains, consuming three times less power and serving up to seven times longer than the previous analogues. All the lamps in the tunnels will be connected to a single distribution system, so that the metro operators will quickly detect the faults and promptly replace the lights.