Third Moscow Central Diameter Launched

On Aug. 17, officials launched the third Moscow Central Diameter (MCD-3). The MCD is an ambitious passenger transportation project that aims to create a seamless metro network in the Moscow agglomeration, making it one of the largest of its kind in Russia and the world. The first two diameters were launched on Nov. 21, 2019, and since then, over 600 million passengers have traveled by the MCD.

The MCD-3 is a new 85 km long railway line that connects the districts of the north-west and south-east of Moscow. Currently, there are 38 stations in operation, and three more stations, Mitkovo, Malino, and Rizhskaya, will start the operation later. The MCD-3 passes through 24 districts of Moscow and 4 districts of the Moscow region, providing an additional access to the metro for approximately 3.5 million residents. Passengers can also take advantage of 21 metro interchange options, including the Big Circle Line (BCL), the Moscow Central Circle (MCC), and other diameters. The introduction of the MCD-3 is expected to relieve up to 15% of traffic on three metro lines and reduce harmful emissions into the atmosphere by up to 36 thousand tons per year.

The construction of the MCD-3 involved creating an entirely new cross-city route to connect previously unconnected directions of the network. The most challenging part of the project was the construction of the Mitkovskaya section near Elektrozavodskaya metro station (Line 3). Previously, passengers had to create their own routes to Kazansky and Leningradsky railway stations and then transfer to the metro or make a change at the first transfer station when traveling from the south-east to the north-west.

To connect different railway directions, a new connecting line called Mitkovo was built, which includes a 400-m long tunnel and several large facilities and infrastructure. The project also includes the modern urban railway station Zelenograd-Kryukovo, which meets the standards of the Moscow Transport. Additionally, a station for trains of the high-speed highway St. Petersburg-Moscow will be opened in the future.

Furthermore, the Moscow Transport research centers have developed new transport schemes for the stations in the Moscow region to shorten the transfer time for passengers traveling from the Moscow City Railway stations to surface transport stations and to make the journey more comfortable.

The key advantages of the MCD-3 for passengers are:

– a two-fold increase in the number of passenger seats, from 0.9 to 1.9 million per day. This means that even during rush hours, trains will be noticeably more spacious;

– a 1.5 times increase in train frequency, with intervals as short as 5.5 minutes during rush hours, and the cancellation of daytime breaks

– the cost of fare on the MCD-3 will be reduced by up to 3.5 times

The MCD-3 passengers will be transported by 30 modern trains: 11 Ivolga model trains and 19 EP2D model trains. On traditional suburban routes to Leningradsky and Kazansky railway stations, passengers will be served by 33 Lastochka trains, 18 EP2D trains, and 41 ED4M trains. By 2024, the older generation ED4M trains will be replaced by modern models on the routes to the railway stations. This means that next year, all long-distance suburban routes will be served by 100% renewed rolling stock. On the diametral route, 100% new trains are already in operation.

Further plans for the development of passenger transportation in Moscow and the Central Transport Hub include the implementation of three significant projects:

• Launch of the MCD-5 diameter;

• Modernizing passenger transportation between Moscow and the largest cities (regional centers) of the nearest subjects of the Russian Federation;

• Creating a system of high-speed railroads (HSR).

Passengers traveling on the lines can enjoy comfortable and updated trains running on a convenient schedule, with free interchanges to the metro and the MCC. The MCD-1 and MCD-2 connect over 40 districts of Moscow and several cities in the Moscow region. The routes for the MCD-1 and MCD-2 already existed before the launch of the MCD project, utilizing the existing railway network as a foundation. However, significant infrastructure transformations were carried out prior to the launch and continue to this day.

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