MOSCOW METRO RAIL

Ef­fi­cient and artis­tic.

Woman's Era - - Contents - DBN Murthy

Imade ex­ten­sive use of Moscow metro rail. Ini­tially it was a bit dif­fi­cult to de­ci­pher the sys­tem due to signs, all in Rus­sian, and an­nounce­ments in Rus­sian and some­times in English. These metro sta­tions are eas­ily iden­ti­fi­able with a big M let­ter in front of the sta­tion. Most of the sta­tions I trav­elled are un­der­ground, some with two or three lines meet­ing. In­ter­chang­ing lines, all dif­fer­ently coloured, is easy after one fig­ures out where to go. Most sta­tions are ac­ces­si­ble through el­e­va­tors while some have steps. Much walk­ing, go­ing up and down el­e­va­tors and steps is needed. Un­for­tu­nately, some of these are not dis­abled­friendly as there are no es­ca­la­tors, some­times only steps. But there are help­ful co-pas­sen­gers who would as­sist those car­ry­ing lug­gage. Sta­tions are clean and no smok­ing is al­lowed any­where in­side.

Moscow has a pop­u­la­tion of 12 mil­lion out of which nine mil­lion travel daily on the metro rail sys­tem which has 10 dif­fer­ent lines, two cir­cle lines and two con­nect­ing rail­way net­works. Ob­vi­ously, dur­ing peak pe­riod the trains are crowded, though there are trains at 90sec­ond in­ter­vals. Moscow metro is one of the most ex­ten­sive and busy metro sys­tems in the world. Some of these sta­tions are ar­tis­ti­cally dec­o­rated with mu­rals, statutes and paint­ings, works of art that have held mil­lions spell­bound. Sta­tions are well-lit with signs at many places. Even the num­ber of the line is marked on the floor with ar­rows in­di­cat­ing the di­rec­tions. Se­cu­rity ex­ists at all metro sta­tions. Each bag has to be passed through an xray belt. Per­sonal check­ing is rare but one has to pass through a metal de­tec­tor. The se­cu­rity per­son­nel are ef­fi­cient but po­lite. Plas­tic cards can be bought at metro sta­tions with

the num­ber of rides one wants. Each ride costs about ` 40. Moscow metro net­work ex­tends to 325 km car­ry­ing 9915 trains daily. Sig­nalling, cen­tralised traf­fic con­trol and au­to­matic in­ter­lock­ing are some of the fea­tures of the metro sys­tem. The metro work started in 1934 and newer lines are be­ing added reg­u­larly cater­ing to in­creas­ing de­mand.

PROB­LEM FOR FIRST-TIME USER

The first-time user of the Moscow metro, a for­eign vis­i­tor for in­stance, could have prob­lems ini­tially in fig­ur­ing out the sys­tem. First, he or she has to lo­cate the metro sta­tion, in­di­cated out­side by a big let­ter M, and then search for the ticket of­fice, which is of­ten near the en­trance. Then that per­son has to hand over the Rus­sian money of the de­sired de­nom­i­na­tion and tell the counter clerk or show fingers how many rides he/she wants to buy. The plas­tic card can be used on the metro, bus, tram and trol­ley bus. It is held over the sen­sor near the en­trance gate that au­to­mat­i­cally al­lows one in­side. Once in­side, that per­son could stay on the metro or any other ve­hi­cle as long as needed and travel ex­ten­sively from line to line with­out com­ing out of the metro sta­tion or any pub­lic ve­hi­cle. That is the con­ve­nience of buy­ing a metro card. It would be use­ful to know a few Rus­sian words com­monly used. Also, it is de­sir­able for a tourist to have a list of Rus­sian Cyril­lic al­pha­bets and their English al­pha­bet equiv­a­lents. It is, of course, es­sen­tial to have a coloured map of the Moscow metro net­work. No one uses his or her cell­phone while seated and very few talk to oth­ers.

Metro coaches are modern with good light­ing and pub­lic an­nounce­ments. A line map would show the route and the sta­tions with a red lamp glow­ing over it. An­nounce­ments in gen­eral are in Rus­sian and of­ten in English too. They an­nounce the sta­tion where the metro train has stopped and the next sta­tion that is com­ing up. There are only a few seats while pro­vi­sion is there for stand­ing. A few seats are re­served for dis­abled, aged, women with chil­dren and preg­nant women, but of­ten those oc­cu­py­ing such seats do not get up, with ex­cep­tions. Trains are crowded dur­ing peak hours.

MOSCOW HAS A POP­U­LA­TION OF 12 MIL­LION OUT OF WHICH NINE MIL­LION TRAVEL DAILY ON THE METRO RAIL SYS­TEM WHICH HAS 10 DIF­FER­ENT LINES, TWO CIR­CLE LINES AND TWO CON­NECT­ING RAIL­WAY NET­WORKS.

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