Moscow Little Ring Railway

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The Moscow Little Ring Railway in the western part, close to Moscow City.

The Moscow Little Ring Railway (Russian: Малое кольцо Московской железной дороги) is a ring-shaped railway which encircles the center of the city of Moscow, Russia. It was built between 1902 and 1908 and is currently used for cargo traffic. The railroad is operated by the Moscow Railway, a subsidiary of the Russian Railways. Originally, the railroad has seventeen stations and was used for passenger connections. The station buildings are constructed in the same style and are referred to as typical samples of Russian industrial architecture of the beginning of the 20th century.[1] As of 2011, twelve railway stations operated at the railroad. The total length of the ring is 54 kilometres (34 mi).[2]


In 1800, the Kamer-Kollezhsky Val became the outer border of Moscow. In 1879, some areas, including Sokolniki, were appended (annexed) to the city, however, at the time Moscow was encircled by a number of settlements, which formed the agglomeration and had poor transport connections to each other. A number of proposals to build a ring railroad around the center were made in the 1860s and the 1870s. One such project was rejected in 1877 by the Moscow City Duma which cited inefficiency.[3] However, the transportation problems became more obvious, and in 1898 after Tsar Nicholas II sent a message declaring that it was desirable to built a railroad, a project competition was opened. The project by Pyotr Rashevsky, who proposed to build a ring of the total length of 54.4 kilometres (33.8 mi), won the competition.

The construction started in 1902, and the railway was completed in 1907. The first train run in July 1907. In 1908, the railroad was declared to be completed, and it became part of the Nikolayevskaya Railway, of which the main line run between Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Passenger service was organized. There were four trains per day. The trains first stopped in Nikolayevsky Railway Station, got to the ring at the Presnya Station, and then separated into two, one train running clockwise, and the other one running counterclockwise.[3]

The Direction of the Nikolayevskaya Railway was located in Saint Petersburg, and thus it was inconvenient for decision making. In 1916, the ring railway was transferred to the Moscow-Kursk Railway. In 1934, it became a separate railroad, and in 1956 it was included to the Moscow Railway.[3]

Between 1917 and 1960, the Moscow Little Ring Railway served as the border of the city of Moscow. In 1960, the Moscow Ring Road was almost completed, and the city was extended up to the Ring Road.[4]


Vorobyovy Gory Station building.

In the clockwise direction, the following stations have been built,

  1. Vladykino;
  2. Rostokino;
  3. Belokamennaya;
  4. Cherkizovo;
  5. Lefortovo;
  6. Andronovka;
  7. Ugreshskaya;
  8. Kozhukhovo;
  9. Kotly (halt, defunct);
  10. Kanatchikovo;
  11. Neskuchnoye (halt, defunct);
  12. Ploshchad Gagarina Station (halt, not yet in use);
  13. Vorobyovy Gory (not in use);
  14. Potylikha (halt, not in use);
  15. Kutuzovo (not in use);
  16. Presnya-Tovarnaya;
  17. Voyennoye Pole (halt, defunct);
  18. Serebryany Bor;
  19. Bratsevo (not in use);
  20. Likhobory.


Diagram of Moscow Metro future plans and Little Ring Railway passenger service

The Little Ring Railway currently serves industrial enterprises located outside the center of Moscow. Many of these went bankrupt as the result of the economic crisis of the 1990s, or else were or are planned to be relocated outside of Moscow. Instead, there are plans to reopen passenger traffic, which would bypass the congested city center. There are thirteen Moscow Metro stations located close to the Little Ring Railway, as well as eight passenger railway stations. In 2008, the plans were signed by the Moscow authorities and the Russian Railways. It was originally planned that passenger service should have been opened in 2010 at the stretch between Presnya and Kanatchikovo stations,[2] however, it was postponed for a later date. According to current plans, by 2015, the whole ring should be made available for passenger service.[5]


  1. ^ Агеева Р.А. и др, Р.А. и др (2007). Имена московских улиц. Топонимический словарь. Moscow: ОГИ. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Малое кольцо Московской железной дороги - от грузов к пассажирам. Схемы и планы" (in Russian). Транспортный сервер Москвы. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Брок, Валерий. "Забытое кольцо Москвы". ЖД дело 1997 (1-4). Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Северо-Восточный административный округ Москвы" (in Russian). Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "A visit to a section of Smaller Moscow Belt Railway under construction". Moscow city government press centre. Retrieved 17 June 2013.