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River tram near Kotelnicheskaya embankment. Photo by J. Berliner. July 1955. Main Archive of Moscow

Modernization of river transport in 1953 allowed the city to get new comfortable ships and provide citizens with a large number of routes.

River shipping in the capital has been gaining popularity since the 1920s. It was then that the first motor boats appeared, which received the name “river trams” from the townspeople. In 1931, regular passenger traffic was organized along the Moskva River.

Thanks to the construction of the Moscow Canal, which connected the Moskva River with the Volga, the number of freight and passenger routes has increased. From the capital, one could get to suburban areas or go to remote places, for example, to Rostov-on-Don, Astrakhan and other cities.

By the end of the 1940s, the ships were very technically outdated, and the modernization of river transport was necessary. To do this, the capital has designed the motor ship “Moskvich”, which has proven itself from the best side during operation. In total, for more than 30 years, about 500 motor ships of this type have been produced.

In 1953, the replenishment and modernization of the water park continued. On June 26, the Moscow City Executive Committee orders to increase the level of service for transportation on the Moskva River. The management of public utilities, together with the Glisser shipbuilding shipyard, had to organize the production of new types of ships and improve the operation of the existing ones. For this, four fitters were seconded from the Department of Automobile Repair Plants, an electric welder from the Moscow Tram Department, and a gas welder from the Moscow City Industrial Council.

By June 28, a new type of boat M-379 was manufactured and put into operation. Two more types of boats were reconstructed and repaired. In the future, highly qualified specialists were attracted to work in order to build vessels of increased capacity – up to 75 passengers.

Passengers on motor boats have been organized across the river. As a result, Muscovites were able to get to the right places faster even during low-traffic hours.

The development of river nodes has led to an improvement in infrastructure. Four new landing stages were designed – places on the steamship pier for boarding passengers. This made it possible to reduce the time for dispatching ships. Also, for the convenience of passengers, there are four new bicycle parking areas with 100 places each near the beaches.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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