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More than half a million people travel around the ring every day. Read the article for the secret of such popularity among Muscovites.

On September 10, the Moscow Central Circle (MCC) marks the first solid date – five years. Before that, few people could have imagined that the “rusty belt of the capital” could be successfully incorporated into the transport system of a metropolis, and even more so to make it popular with residents.

Not everyone believed in the project: some even said that the city did not need it, and that trains would carry air. But the skeptics were wrong. The MCC has proven its success, forever changing the idea of ​​the role of rail transportation in a metropolis. In 2021, more than half a million people daily choose the ring for their trips on weekdays. MCC has become a real trendsetter in the transport industry and continues to develop. Read the article on what they are doing for the comfort of passengers and what the future holds for the ring.

Yesterday: a source of inspiration and work on bugs

The Moscow circular railway appeared in the city at the beginning of the 20th century: the first train was launched on it on July 19, 1908. At that time, the project had no analogues in the world, and the best engineers and architects were involved in the construction. All objects became part of a single urban ensemble: four large and 68 small bridges, 30 overpasses, residential buildings for employees, as well as 14 stations and stopping points.

The Ring increased the freight turnover of Moscow several times, but it did not find recognition among the passengers. Residents did not like the remoteness from the center, the lack of transfers to other types of transport and, most importantly, the price of travel. The fee was charged for each mile, and a full circle cost almost three rubles (this is 20 kilograms of potatoes or lunch in a decent restaurant). As a result, passenger trains were removed, and in Soviet times, the rails were used only for cargo transportation. After the closure of some of the factories in the 1990s, the road was named “the rusty belt of the capital”.

More than 100 years later, they decided to give a new life to the railway. The MCC is the first successful attempt to create a high-quality railway infrastructure in the center of Moscow. By 2012, an overground metro project was agreed and colossal work began. For about four years, specialists, in fact, have been building a new railway. Most of the bridges were redesigned, instead of old tracks, quieter, continuous welded tracks were laid, all electrical and communications were renewed, transport hubs and warm pavilions at stations were made.

The MCC was the first project to create a new transport framework for Moscow. The movement on the ring was launched on September 10, 2016 under the slogan “The city has gotten closer”. Initially, passengers were received by 26 stations, from which it was possible to transfer to ground transport, 12 metro stations and six railway platforms, and after a couple of months their number increased to 31. This made it possible to draw up routes bypassing the city center.

The modern Lastochka trains were launched on the ring. At first, these were models for intercity transportation, but by 2018 the park was replaced by city trains: more spacious, with a spacious passage, handrails, places for low-mobility passengers and bicycle racks.

The advantage for the townspeople is the developed payment system – one with the metro. From the MCC, you can change trains for free within 90 minutes by metro, and from November 2019 – to the Moscow Central Diameters. And so that passengers could appreciate all the conveniences of the ring, the first month of travel on it was free. By the way, don’t have to pay passengers and City Day – September 11, 2021.

The predecessor of the MCC: what was the Moscow district railway Metro line 14: how was the year on the Moscow Central Circle

Today: smooth operation and accessibility for thousands of residents

The MCC, in fact, became the 14th, surface metro line. The launch of the megaproject breathed life into the once depressed areas, in the place of abandoned territories, residential and commercial facilities began and continue to be built, new jobs are appearing.

The MCC has also not only improved the transport accessibility of 34 Moscow districts, where more than three million people live, but also linked them together. Public transport has become more accessible for those who previously did not have a metro within walking distance. This applies to residents of the districts Metrogorodok, Beskudnikovsky, Koptevo, Khoroshevo-Mnevniki and Nizhegorodsky and others.

Today, 31 stations are open at the MCC, 26 transfers can be made to the metro and 10 to railway stations, including four stations of the Moscow Central Diameters (MCD-1 and MCD-2). The opening hours of the ring are close to those of the metro – from 05:30 to 01:00. The intervals of movement of “Lastochki” have also decreased: if at the start of the MCC, the train had to wait from six (during rush hours) to 12 minutes, then from 2019 – up to four and eight minutes, respectively.

The success of the MCC has surpassed the wildest expectations. In the first year of operation, the ground ring carried 98 million passengers, and in 2019 – already 142 million. Today, more than 500 thousand people choose the MCC for their trips on weekdays every day, and in five years 633 million passengers have been transported.

What is the secret of the popularity of the MCC among residents? From the very beginning, the Moscow Government did not create a separate artery, but inscribed the MCC into the existing transport system. Muscovites quickly appreciated both the benefits of a unified tariff system with the metro and the convenience of transfers between the MCC, metro and suburban railways.

It has become easier to get to the airports. From the Verkhniye Kotly station, you can change to the Aeroexpress train to Domodedovo airport, and from Okruzhnaya, Shelepikha and Delovoy Tsentr – to Sheremetyevo. In 2021, near the Lokomotiv station, the Eastern Station opened, which took over part of the intercity trains from the Kursk direction.

Another important component of the MCC’s success is that from the moment of its launch, the focus has always been on passengers and their comfort. Therefore, the service on the ring is constantly being improved, both at the stations and on the trains, and all innovations are taken taking into account the opinion of the townspeople.

All conditions for a comfortable trip are created on the ring: clear navigation and Live Communication stands, ATMs and vending machines with drinks and snacks, chargers, sockets and even an electronic library. Everything was thought out for the convenience of passengers with limited mobility: elevators, lifting platforms, ramps, wide-aisle turnstiles. Like at metro stations, the MCC is staffed by employees of the Passenger Mobility Center. By the way, last year in “Lastochki” there were seats with green covers. These are places for people with non-obvious disabilities, for those who find it hard to stand.

Another innovation appeared in 2020. Muscovites voted for the idea to create “cars of silence” in the project “Active citizen”… It is not recommended to talk and listen to music in such cars, which helps passengers to relax or work comfortably on the road.

Tomorrow: new technologies, precision and safety

The MCC continues to actively develop and integrate with other modes of transport. So, in 2022, it is planned to connect the MCC with the Kiev direction of the railway – the only radial line where there is still no transfer to the ground ring. It will be possible to do this due to the construction of a connecting line between the Kiev and Belorussky directions, which is being carried out to launch MCD-4.

A covered walkway will appear between Okruzhnaya MCC and MCD-1 stations next year, and additional lobbies will appear at ZIL and Botanichesky Sad stations. In the next five years, new lobbies are planned to be built at Delovoy Tsentr, Rostokino, Verkhniye Kotly, Krymskaya and Khoroshevo stations, as well as to connect the MCC with the promising Troitskaya and Biryulevskaya metro lines.

The MCC has the most ambitious plans for the future. Face Pay, three minute intervals, and even … no drivers. At the same time, the main task is to ensure safe uninterrupted traffic and maintain the growth rate of passenger traffic without discomfort for residents.


One way to reduce the load during peak hours is to run double-decker trains. The first such composition in test mode cruised on the MCC from August 25 to September 8. 76 percent of Muscovites who managed to ride the train and leave their feedback supported the idea. Now the experts will have to assess whether the train is suitable for regular transportation in terms of technical parameters.

But to globally resolve the issue of growing passenger traffic will help reduce the intervals of train traffic during peak hours to three minutes. Such a mode of operation cannot be ensured without the introduction of artificial intelligence and the development of infrastructure. Therefore, the MCC is testing an unmanned transport control system for the ES2G “Lastochka” electric train.

The closed loop has become an ideal testing ground: the safety of residents is ensured by the absence of intersections with automobile and pedestrian routes, and modern infrastructure and the latest rolling stock are an excellent technical base for automation.

In 2017–2019, the first stage of testing was completed with a run-in of the Lastochka train with a level of automation, which implies work without a driver: in manual mode, only the rolling stock was put on and off the route, the rest of the time the driver did not operate the electric train, but only controlled the opening and closing of carriage doors.


This industry institute develops automatic control systems for the movement of electric trains and tests unmanned technology. For the second stage, the ES2G-136 train with a higher level of automation was created on the basis of the Ural Locomotives plant. The new motion control system assumes a set of similar functions, but the technology has been significantly improved and modernized.

Now you can control the train remotely in the evening and at night without deteriorating the parameters of movement. Machine vision and navigation equipment have been improved, new lidars (light sensors that can recognize and display the smallest details of the environment. – note) have been installed with an automatic cleaning system. A number of other systems have also been improved: cameras with higher performance have been installed, additional sensors in front of the train, on the roof and in the area of ​​the doors of the cars.

While the train is being tested at the MCC without passengers and two or three times a year – on the experimental loop of JSC VNIIZhT in Shcherbinka. There, specialists monitor how the system detects obstacles and applies braking.

“In a 12-hour shift, you can make 30-40 approaches to different types of obstacles at different speeds and under different lighting conditions. All these parameters are analyzed and then trained by a neural network, which is an important part of technical vision. After that, we return the train to the MCC and see how the system behaves on the existing infrastructure, ”said Sergei Kudryashov.

If the train passes all the tests, then in the future, after passing certification and the adoption of the necessary legislative framework, it may be allowed to carry passengers. The unmanned system will make it possible to secure traffic, significantly facilitate the work of drivers and, of course, shorten the interval between trains.

“We are continuously conducting tests at various stations and in various weather conditions, while simultaneously solving the issue of creating a regulatory framework that would allow us to operate a train without the participation of a driver,” stressed Sergei Kudryashov.

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

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