Two new commuter lines inaugurated in Moscow
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin inaugurated a fourth Moscow Central Diameter (MCD-4) suburban commuter line last Saturday. It is now the Russian capital’s longest, with a length of 86 kilometres, which is one kilometre longer than the MCD-3, which was inaugurated in August.
The new Kaluzhsko-Nizhegorodsky MCD-4 line runs from West to East through Moscow and connects seven central railway terminals of the capital. It connects over 20 districts of Moscow, and 4 cities in the Moscow region. The new diameter creates a surface metro line permitting the largest number of transfers: there are 36 options of interchanges to the metro, MCC and other diameters, across 18 stations.
“We forecast that it will be used by 260-270 thousand people per day by the end of 2023. At the same time, the infrastructure is designed to accommodate future growth in passenger traffic”, said Maksim Liksutov, Deputy Mayor of Moscow for transport. In the future, two more stations, Begovaya and Rizhskaya, will also be opened on this line. It is expected that the nearby lines of the Moscow Metro will relieve approximately 9 percent of passengers, and thus congestion, due to the redistribution of passenger flows. Indeed, the daily passenger flow of the fourth diameter may reach 455 thousand people.
Currently, the rolling stock in use on the newly inaugurated lines are the EP2D and EP2DM models. They run at intervals of up to 5 to 5.5 minutes during peak hours and without interruptions during the daytime. The fleet of MCD-4 trains is planned to be completely renewed by 2025 however, and the EP2D and EP2DM trains will be replaced by the three-door Ivolga 4.0. The EP2D and EP2DM trains have been developed by Demikhovo Engineering Works (DMZ), subsidiary of Transmashholding, while the Volga trains will be manufactured by Tver Carriage Works (TVZ), also part of Transmashholding.
In August, Moscow launched the Leningradsko-Kazansky Third Moscow Central Diameter (MCD-3) rail line. The ceremony took place at the Manezh Exhibition Hall as part of the Year of the New Transport Framework exhibition, on 17 August 2023. It was attended by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, Moscow Region Governor Andrei Vorobyov, and Russian Railways Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Executive Board Oleg Belozerov.
The 85-kilometre Leningradsko-Kazansky Third Moscow Central Diameter (MCD-3) intersects Moscow diagonally from north-west to south-east, providing connectivity between Moscow’s Zelenograd and Ramenskoye in the suburbs. Stretching over 85 kilometres, it boasts 38 stations, including 14 with convenient transfers to the metro, Moscow Central Ring, and suburban commuter lines. MCD-3 aims to enhance public transportation services across more than 20 Moscow districts while relieving traffic congestion on Leningradskoye and Novoryazanskoye motorways and Vologogradsky Prospekt.
These Moscow central diameters represent a novel form of public transit, bridging suburban commuter rail routes with the Moscow Metro. The collaboration behind this project involves the Transport Ministry of Russia, the Moscow Government, the Moscow Region Government, and Russian Railways. The inauguration of MCD-1 and MCD-2 in November 2019 marked the beginning of this initiative, with MCD-1 connecting Odintsovo and Lobnya, and MCD-2 linking Nakhabino and Podolsk, the Kaluzhsko-Nizhegorodsky MCD-4. One more is planned for 2025: the Yaroslavsko-Paveletsky MCD-5.