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The first three stations were scheduled to open in 2007, but this has been postponed to 2010. In 2007 a decision has been made to open the first line in 2014, consisting of four stations. As funding is not constant it is difficult to estimate an opening date. As of 2013, it is unknown when the system will open (in the best-case scenario that might happen in 2019).
As of Feb. 2010, some 3.6 km of tunnel has been made, out of a total 6.7 km.
Lines and stations
The current plans include opening four stations and the depot by 2014. The four stations will be:
- Komsomolskaya ploshchad (Komsomol Square)
- Ploshchad revolyutsiyi (Revolution Square)
- Torgovyi tsentr (Trade Centre)
- Prospekt Pobedy (Victory Avenue)
The total length of tunnels will be 5.7 km, with an additional 1 km track to the depot.
Further plans include expanding the first line east to the Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant (one station), and west (3 stations) by 2018.
Two more lines running from north to southeast and from northeast to southwest are planned; their time of construction is undefined.
Financing the project
In March 1998, before the 1998 Russian financial crisis, Pyotr Sumin, governor of the Chelyabinsk province, called the Chelyabinsk Metro one of the most important construction projects in the region. Construction companies in arrears on their taxes to the local and federal governments offered their services to build the Metro in lieu of payment. The project was therefore being financed by the tax debt of the construction companies to various government bodies. Now it is funded jointly by the governments of Russia, Chelyabinsk Oblast and the city of Chelyabinsk, allocating in total around $40 mln a year.
The project was initially due to be completed by 2000, but has been postponed several times due to lack of financing.
The construction plan was developed many years ago and as the city has expanded and transport needs have changed greatly, critics argue that the initial stations will be of little help in reducing traffic congestion or improving the transportation system.
Alternative projects such as a metrotram or surface trains have been rejected.
- Interview of the city road construction deputy director (in Russian)
- [dead link]
- Дарья Лукашевская (2011-10-17). "В Челябинске метростроители завершили сооружение конструкции станции «Комсомольская площадь»". Uralpress.ru. Retrieved 2011-12-07.
- - UrbanRail.net page on the Chelyabinsk Metro
- http://www.chelmetro.ru/ - the official website
- http://www.urc.ac.ru/Chelyabinsk/City/transport/metro/ - unofficial metrofan site
-  - a PDF document which includes detailed schemes of the metro system and its stations