Moscow Central Circle

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Moskwa Metro Line 14.svg Moscow Central Circle (MCC)
Станция МЦК «Лужники» (сентябрь 2016).jpg
Krymskaya MCC station.jpg
Shelepiha platform.jpg
MCC Ploschad Gagarina.jpg
MCC Delovoy centr.jpg
Native name МЦК
Type Heavy rail, commuter rail
System Moscow Metro
Locale Moscow
Stations 31
1 underground
3 elevated
27 surface
Daily ridership 520,000 (workday peaks)
Opened 10 September 2016
Owner Russian Railways (track infrastructure and operation)
MKZD (stations)
Operator(s) Russian Railways
Moscow Metro (client)
Character Aboveground, surface, partially underground
Rolling stock Siemens ES2G Lastochka
Line length 54 km (34 mi)
Track gauge 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in)
Electrification 3 kV DC overhead line
Operating speed 37 kilometres per hour (23 mph) (average)
110 kilometres per hour (68 mph) (maximum)
Route map

 9  Vladykino
Botanichesky Sad  6 
 10  Okruzhnaya
Bulvar Rokossovskogo  1 
 2  Baltiyskaya
Lokomotiv  1 
Izmaylovo  3 
 7  Panfilovskaya
Sokolinaya Gora
Shosse Entuziastov  8 
 8A  11   7  Khoroshyovo
 8A  11  Shelepikha
 4  Delovoy Tsentr
Ugreshskaya  7 
 3  8A   4  Kutuzovskaya
Dubrovka  10   10 
Avtozavodskaya  2   2 
 1  Luzhniki
ZIL  2 
 6  Ploshchad Gagarina
Verkhnie Kotly  9 

The Moscow Central Circle or MCC (Russian: Московское центральное кольцо, МЦК),[1][2] designated Line 14 or just Encircle Line (Russian: Окружная линия) and marked in a strawberry red/white color is a 54-kilometre-long (34 mi) orbital urban/metropolitan rail line that encircles historical Moscow. The line is rebuilt from the Little Ring of the Moscow Railway and opened to passengers on 10 September 2016.[3][4] and is operated by the Moscow Government owned company MKZD through the Moscow Metro, with the state-run Russian Railways selected as the operation subcontractor. The infrastructure, trackage and platforms are owned and managed by Russian Railways,[5] while most station buildings are owned by MKZD.


Vladykino station in November 2014

The railroad was commissioned in 1897 under the auspices of Czar Nicholas II, thus earning a "Royal Railroad" nickname.[6] The planning took five years. Thirteen design alternatives were reviewed in the process. The winning bid was for a four-track rail line, with two tracks allocated for freight, and the other two used by passenger trains. The project came with an estimated 40 million ruble price tag.

In May 1902, construction began. Following a defeat in the 1905 Russo-Japanese War, construction was scaled back. As the costs overran the estimate by a third, the number of tracks being built was reduced to two. Bridges, of which there are 35 (4 big and 31 small), were particularly costly. Their low clearance hindered electrification efforts for over a century to come.[7] The vast railroad infrastructure included housing facilities, water towers, smithies, and miscellaneous shops.[8][7] Station houses — architectural masterpieces built in the typical early-20th-century Russian industrial style[9] — had electricity.[8] Heat was provided by masonry heaters, some of which were Russian-made, and some imported from Holland. Station clocks were purchased from Swiss manufacturer Paul Buhré. Known for their accuracy, these clocks, for a while, became the city's de facto time standard. Only one such clock has survived. It is located in Presnya station supervisor's office.

The first train ran in 1907.[6] On 19 July 1908, the railroad officially opened. The opening ceremony was attended by the Czar, Royal Dynasty members, and government and city officials.

In the first few months, the railroad was used exclusively for passenger traffic. Due to a high train fare — at 3.40 rubles — ridership was virtually non-existent, and the line brought in the total of 132 rubles in revenue since the operation started. Thus, on 10 October 1908, passenger trains were discontinued in favor of freight service.

Between World War I and the October Revolution of 1917, the passenger service was restored, although freight remained the only viable revenue source. By the late 1920s, other forms of public transportation had emerged and in 1934 passenger service was ended, only to resume again 82 years later.


Example of a transport hub on the Moscow Central Circle

Around 2010, many millions of people used the city's subway system daily. Some 35-40% used private transportation, leading to severe road congestion.[10]

Upgrade plans for the railway line were signed by Russian Railways and the Moscow Government between 2008 and 2011 with consent of Vladimir Putin (Prime Minister at the time). Construction work planned for 2013–2016 would convert the Little Ring line of the Moscow Railway for joint passenger and freight use but in 2012, at a meeting with new Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Odintsovo, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin acknowledged that trains on the circle railway would not be fully ready until 2020.[10] The required work included:

  • Electrification of the whole line with 3 kV DC overhead wires and the construction of substations
  • Complete track replacement with additional third track on the northern half of the circle
  • Construction of new passenger stations and rehabilitation of old yards
  • Construction of Podmoskovnaya depot for EMU trains
  • Construction of an additional second track and station upgrades on the northern section of the Greater Ring of the Moscow Railway (a large orbital line outside the city), for the re-routing freight traffic away from central Moscow
  • Replacement for most bridges and overpasses
  • New rolling stock specifically designed for urban service
  • Construction of transfers with existing and under construction Moscow Metro stations

Construction commenced in 2012, and passenger services began in the third quarter of 2016.[6][11] During the reconstruction of the railway, many of the original passenger stations were re-purposed for passenger use and complemented with new stations.[12]

Opening and operation[edit]

Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin and President Vladimir Putin on the opening day of the MCC.

The line opened on 10 September 2016 in the presence of President Vladimir Putin and Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin.[13] The line was free to ride for the first month of operation.[14][15] By the end of 2016, the daily ridership on the Central Circle Line was expected to reach 400,000 and by 2025, the ring railway is expected to carry up to 300 million passengers annually.

The operation of the Central Circle is similar to the S-Train systems in Germany and other countries.[16] Ticketing on the Moscow Central Circle is fully integrated with the Moscow Metro; the same payment cards (such as the Troika card) can be used on both systems, and free transfers are possible within 90 minutes since the first entry into the system, in a way similar to the transfers between the Metro proper and the Moscow Monorail.[17] The line serves the purpose of a connector between the different radial lines of outer Moscow, much as the Koltsevaya Line does in inner Moscow.[18] 130 trains per day circulate around the line, with an interval of 5–6 minutes during the rush hours, and 10–15 minutes at other times. The line's hours of operation are the same as the rest of the Metro, from 06:00 until 01:00.[19]

Despite its name, the Moscow Central Circle is not circle-shaped. The line stretches 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) outward in the northwest and draws as close as 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to the Kremlin in the south.[6] The Metro's Bolshaya Koltsevaya line (an extension of Line 11/Kakhovskaya Line), which is under construction and will also be a circle line, will reach further to the south.

An estimated 1,500,000 people lived near the line in the early 21st century.[6]


Map of Moscow Metro, Central Circle and future plans
Geographical map of Moscow Metro with Central Circle colored in red line, the rest is colored in dark gray.

The Central Circle Line has 31 stations. There are 5 direct transfers to other Moscow Metro lines and 9 more transfers available within walking distance from MCC stations. Free transfer between MCC and metro stations requires the first rail journey before transfer to be done within 90 minutes.[20]

— ↑ Loop line towards Likhobory ↑ —
Okruzhnaya  10  Okruzhnaya
Vladykino  9  Vladykino
Botanichesky Sad  6  Botanichesky Sad
Bulvar Rokossovskogo  1  Bulvar Rokossovskogo
Lokomotiv  1  Cherkizovskaya
Izmaylovo  3  Partizanskaya (within walking distance)
Sokolinaya Gora
Shosse Entuziastov  8  Shosse Entuziastov
Ugreshskaya  7  Volgogradsky Prospekt (far apart)[20]
Dubrovka  10  Dubrovka (within walking distance)
 10  Kozhukhovskaya (far apart)[20]
Avtozavodskaya  2  Avtozavodskaya
 2  Tekhnopark (within walking distance)[20]
ZIL  2  Tekhnopark (far apart)[20]
Verkhnie Kotly  9  Nagatinskaya (far apart)[20]
Ploshchad Gagarina  6  Leninsky Prospekt
Luzhniki  1  Sportivnaya (within walking distance)
Kutuzovskaya  4  Kutuzovskaya
 3  8A  Park Pobedy (within walking distance)[20]
Delovoy Tsentr  4  Mezhdunarodnaya
Shelepikha  8A  11  Shelepikha
Khoroshyovo  7  Polezhayevskaya (within walking distance)
 8A  11  Khoroshyovskaya (within walking distance)
Zorge  8A  11  CSKA (far apart)
Panfilovskaya  7  Oktyabrskoye Pole (within walking distance)
Baltiyskaya  2  Voykovskaya (within walking distance)
— ↓ Loop line towards Okruzhnaya ↓ —

Rolling stock[edit]

The line is operated by 61 Siemens ES2G Lastochka trains from Podmoskovnaya depot (trains with numbers from 012 to 072).[21] Andronovka, Belokamennaya, Likhobory and Presnya MK MZD yards also serves as depots.


  1. ^ "МКЖД официально переименовали в Московское центральное кольцо". Rossiya Segodnya. 
  2. ^ "МКЖД получила название Московское центральное кольцо". 
  3. ^ Rupasova, Anastasia (2016-09-09). "How Moscow's new light rail system will make life easier for passengers".  (The author incorrectly refers to the system as "light rail", even as she correctly identifies the rolling stock as Lastochka, which is a standard railway trainset)
  4. ^ "Власти Москвы запустят МЦК для пассажиров 10 сентября (Moscow's authorities will start operating passenger service on Moscow Central Ring on September 10)". 
  5. ^ "Стартовал второй этап тестовой обкатки «Московской кругосветки»". Retrieved 2016-12-04. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "Московская кругосветка № 23 (54)" (PDF) (in Russian). Большая Москва. 2015-06-24. Retrieved 2016-03-18. 
  7. ^ a b "История МЦК". Единый Транспортный Портал. Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Кочкурова, Анна. "Альбом сооружений Московской окружной железной дороги 1903-1908 гг". История России до 1917 года. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  9. ^ Агеева Р.А. и др, Р.А. и др (2007). Имена московских улиц. Топонимический словарь. Moscow: ОГИ. Archived from the original on 12 September 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Премьер Дмитрий Медведев провел совещание по развитию московского транспортного узла до 2020 года (Prime Minister Medvedev chaired a meeting on the development of Moscow transportation hub thru 2020". Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-13. 
  11. ^ И. Ленский (2015-06-27). "Здравствуй, городская электричка! Интервью гендиректора ОАО "МКЖД" А. В. Зотова" (in Russian). Без штампов. Retrieved 2016-03-18. 
  12. ^ "Moscow City Transport (Mosgortrans)". Archived from the original on 2009-09-25. 
  13. ^ "Вечерняя Москва - Владимир Путин и Сергей Собянин открыли движение на Московском центральном кольце" (in Russian). Вечерняя Москва. 2016-09-10. Retrieved 2016-09-10. 
  14. ^ "МКЖД получила название "Вторая кольцевая линия" на схеме метро Москвы" (in Russian). ТАСС. 2016-06-07. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  15. ^ "Сергей Собянин: Первый месяц МЦК будет работать бесплатно" (in Russian). Официальный сайт мэра Москвы. 2016-08-31. 
  16. ^ " - неофициальный сайт о Малом кольце МЖД" (in Russian). В 2016 году запланировано открытие регулярного пассажирского движения электропоездов (городская электричка) по Малому кольцу МЖД. 
  17. ^ Moscow Central Ring riders will be able to use standard multi-fare passes, 90 minute tickets and Troika cards, Official site of Moscow City Government
  18. ^ "МЦК: До начала регулярного движения осталось меньше месяца" (in Russian). Большая Москва. 2016-08-16. Retrieved 2016-09-01. 
  19. ^ Как выглядит МЦК накануне открытия — The Village (in Russian)
  20. ^ a b c d e f g Бесплатные пересадки Московского центрального кольца, MCC official Facebook group
  21. ^ "ES1 — List of rolling stock". TrainPix. Retrieved 2017-07-11. 

External links[edit]