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Launching passenger service on a new section of the Moscow Metro’s Big Circle Line

December 7, 2021, Sochi

The President took part in a videoconference ceremony to launch passenger service on a new section of the Moscow Metro’s Big Circle Line.

The new section connects Mnyovniki and Kakhovkaya stations, running through the city’s Western, Southwestern and Southern administrative areas, and in addition to new stations also includes a section of the Kakhovskaya line, currently under reconstruction.

When completed, the Big Circle Line, Moscow’s most ambitious metro construction project, will be 70 kilometres long, and its interchange circuit will have 31 stations and will link operational and planned metro lines. The fully operational Big Circle Line will considerably expand the range of metro route options, will provide for more comfortable and convenient rides, and metro carriages will be less congested during peak hours.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Sobyanin, friends, good afternoon!

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin: Good afternoon, Mr President!

Vladimir Putin: I am happy to see all of you.

Today, a very important and exciting event is taking place in Moscow – we launch passenger service on a new section of the Moscow Metro’s Big Circle Line. Indeed, for the first time in history of domestic metro engineering, ten stations are being launched at once.

Naturally, I would like to congratulate all of you on this event, this success.

Sergei Sobyanin: Thank you, Mr President!

Vladimir Putin: The new stations of the Big Circle Line will definitely considerably improve transport access to many parts in the west and south of Moscow. Mr Sobyanin and I have discussed this many times. Public transport trips will become faster and more convenient for millions of people and the metro radial lines will carry less burden. It would be no exaggeration to say that the city’s entire rhythm will change.

I know that, as of today, 22 stations on the Big Circle Line are now open. The track is almost 44 km long, and the length of single track tunnels is 90 km. This is an enormous amount of work. After the entire line is completed and the Big Circle Line loops – 70 kilometres of track – it will be the world’s longest metro circle line. Muscovites have every reason to take pride in the accomplishment of such a large-scale, much needed project.

I know that every municipal service was involved in carrying out this project. Thousands of specialists – builders, designers, architects, engineers and technicians – were involved in it. I sincerely congratulate you on this achievement and thank you for your hard work, the results of your hard work. You have done an enormous job through a concerted effort and resolved the most sophisticated technical problems. This entailed building a new line in a dense city environment with many connections and crossings with the existing radial lines.

Notably, today's event is an important milestone in the development of the Moscow Metro, the entire metro system. In the past decade, together with this new section of the Big Circle Line, the Moscow Metro got 100 new stations and the Moscow Central Circle.

Mr Sobyanin, we opened the MCC in 2016, correct?

Sergei Sobyanin: Yes, Mr President, you and I opened it then. Today, half a million passengers use it on a daily basis. It is an enormous and hugely popular service.

Vladimir Putin: The metro lines have expanded by 50 percent, as you reported to me recently.

Of course, this fast pace of construction should continue into the future.

You know, I remember how 10 years ago, maybe even more, you and I were discussing the problems facing Moscow, which is a vast metropolitan area. Back then, we were talking about how transport and transport interchanges were a key challenge for Moscow, Muscovites, and city officials. Absolutely one of the main challenges, if not the most important one. Making the city more modern and dynamic was a critically important task. Mr Sobyanin, today I can say with good reason that you and your team have been up to this task.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone involved in the construction of the Moscow Metro. Much work lies ahead. I will not give you any numbers. I will leave it to the Mayor to describe what the future holds for Muscovites in terms of transport services, including the metro. I will not give these numbers – though they are quite impressive – and I wish you every success and all the best.

Please, Mr Sobyanin.

Mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin: Thank you, Mr President.

Back then you supported the strategy for Central Transport Hub development as the Moscow transport hub is now called; this was the name when we were considering it, but it was renamed the Central Transport Hub in view of its importance. Over 60 percent of all Russian passengers pass through here; this is a huge number. It includes suburban railways, the Moscow Central Diameters (MCDs), roads, air routes and so on.

The Moscow Metro's Big Circle Line is the pivotal project of the transport hub. It absorbs and brings together all these transport modes because the Big Circle Line will offer interchanges to 44 different directions, including commuter railway routes, the MCC and MCD as well as radial metro lines. It is the key project which is, along with the MCC, the new frame for Moscow’s entire transport system and the Moscow transport hub. It is the most difficult and most needed. It is difficult because, as you said, almost an entire new underground city is being built under Moscow: overall, 150 kilometres of tunnels will be bored.

All this construction is being done in a living city, crossing operating railways and metro lines, as well as vehicle thoroughfares. Roads are sometimes narrowed during construction which causes problems. All this obviously creates incredible complexity – technological, organisational and even political complexity.

I can report to you that two thirds, even more, 70 percent of this truly giant and very complicated project has been completed. Thirty percent is left – that’s nine stations that we will certainly complete, for the most part, next year. I believe that in 2023 the new circle line will be completed and will start operating at full capacity.

Mr President, I would like to thank you for your continuous attention and support for this project, and not just this, but in general, for the comprehensive development of Moscow metropolitan area’s transport system and the Central Transport Hub.

Of course, I would also like to thank all those who worked hard on this project, especially the metro construction workers who are here and who work on this unique project, as well as the Moscow Metropolitan and the workers that are playing an active role in its development. Later, they will have the challenge of operating one of the world’s biggest metro systems.

Thank you, Mr President!

Please allow me to launch the service!

Vladimir Putin: Go ahead, please!

Sergey Sobyanin: Chief of the Metropolitan,launch the new service!

Thank you, Mr President! With you permission we will take a ride.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, thank you once again.

Mr Sobyanin was too modest. By 2023, Moscow will have 293 stations and a network of lines with an overall length of 530 kilometres. The Mayor is cautious and speaks only about the near future, but as I understand it, 14 more stations will be put into service before 2023. Mr Sobyanin, I am sure that all this will be implemented, that all these plans will be carried out and all the goals set by the city administration will be achieved.

I wish you all success! I would like to congratulate you once again on this exciting event.

Sergei Sobyanin: Thank you very much. We will be working with your support and assistance.

Vladimir Putin: I wish you all the best!


December 7, 2021, Sochi