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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Metro Will Go Mini And Light

For MTAn artist's rendering of a light metro line in which trains travel in a futuristic-looking tube almost eight meters above the ground.
Moscow's sprawling metro system is to get two new types of transport -- a compact mini-metro and an above-ground "light" metro -- within the next two years, the metro's top official said Wednesday.

The light rail, which is to be enclosed in a futuristic-looking tube and to travel along an 7.5-meter-high overpass, will cover the eight-kilometer stretch between the as yet unbuilt Dmitry Donskoi Boulevard station at the southern tip of the gray line and the South Butovo district. The line will have seven stations.

The mini-metro -- so called because the trains are smaller, the stops closer together and some of the track less deep than the standard metro -- will stretch over some 2.8 kilometers connecting Kievskaya metro station with the Moscow-City business center.

Both projects are to be completed in 2004, metro chief Dmitry Gayev said at a news conference. "This is no fad. It will be qualitatively new passenger transportation," he said

The light metro will have a capacity of 10,000 to 20,000 passengers per hour, while the mini-metro will service up to 35,000. The city's existing metro system has an hourly passenger turnover of about 420,000.

Gayev said a light metro line is also planned for Astafyevo, Shcherbinka and Bitsevsky Park in the south, and possibly for Solntsevo and the Moscow region towns of Mytishchi and Balashikha.

The light metro, which would have a separate charge, will be temperature-controlled, environmentally friendly and flanked by noise-muffling screens along its path, Gayev said.

The first train, produced by the Mytishchi machinbuilding plant, is undergoing tests and will hit mass production late this year. Each car, which will cost up to 25 million rubles, will be divided into two sections connected by an accordion-like rubber tube.

Both new projects will be funded by the city, with 2.8 billion rubles allocated for the light metro this year and 500 million rubles for the mini-metro, Gayev said. Next year, spending will soar to 3.8 billion rubles and 950 million rubles, respectively.

This year's planned metro construction spending totals 6.5 billion rubles.

Another major metro project due for completion in 2004 involves the construction of a monorail between Timiryazevskaya metro station on the gray line and VDNKh on the orange.