Nizhny Novgorod Metro

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Nizhny Novgorod Metro
Metro NN Collage 2016.png
Native name Нижегородский метрополитен
Nizhegorodsky metropoliten
Locale Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Transit type Rapid transit
Number of lines 2
Number of stations 15[1]
Daily ridership 141,000 (2016)[2]
Annual ridership 37,24 million (2015)
Website Official Site
Began operation 1985
System length 21.6 km (13.4 mi)[1]

The Nizhny Novgorod Metro (Russian: Нижегородское метро), formerly known as Gorky Metro (Russian: Горьковское метро) is a rapid-transit system that serves the city of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Opened in 1985, it consists of 15 stations[1] and is 18.8 kilometres (11.7 mi) long.[1] The metro connects with the City Rail system at the interchange station of Moskovskaya. It has the third largest number of stations of any Russian subway system, the largest two being Moscow and St. Petersburg.


Nizhny Novgorod (known in Soviet times as Gorky) is a large city on the middle of the Volga river. In the mid-1970s the population rose to above 1 million, thus meeting Soviet requirements for the development of a rapid-transit system. Construction began on December 17, 1977, and the network was opened to the public on November 20, 1985, becoming the third subway system in Russia, and the tenth in the former Soviet Union.

Drilling of tunnels had begun in September 1978, from the Leninskaya station. It took a long time to develop the necessary design documentation, modify road and tramway transport, and demolish houses. In 1979, piles were driven for the foundation of the Moskovskaya station. In June 1980, it was proposed to extend the Gorky Metro to three lines.[3]

On July 13, 1984, during the construction of the station Moskovskaya, the walls collapsed. Two workers from the student brigade, who had helped with the construction of the metro, died. A legend associated with this event says that the ghosts of dead students are still walking through the tunnels and metro stations.[4]

On November 20, 1985, the Gorky Metro was opened. The first section was a 7.8 km (4.8 mi) long line with six stations: Moscovskaya, Chkalovskaya, Leninskaya, Zarechnaya, Dvigatel Revolyutsii, and Proletarskaya and a depot and engineering building. In 1987, two more stations were opened, Avtozavodskaya and Komsomolskaya from the Proletarskaya station, and in 1989 Kirovskaya and Park Kultury. In October, 1990 the Gorky Metro was renamed Nizhny Novgorod. On December 20, 1993, two new stations of the Nizhny Novgorod metro were opened – Kanavinskaya and Burnakovskaya on the new Line 2. On September 9, 2002, the 13th station Burevestnik on Line 2 was opened.[5]

On September 22, 2012, the Nizhny Novgorod Metro was completely closed for the first time to complete the work of switching power to the new control system of the station under construction. On November 4, 2012, the Gorkovskaya station of the Line 1 in the Upper City was opened.

On June 12, 2018 Strelka station of Line 2 is scheduled to open.[6]


Nizhny Novgorod Metro Bridge

There are 14 stations in the Nizhny Novgorod metro. Of these, 13 are underground stations and one is a ground station. There is also the Yarmarka ghost-station, the construction of which was abandoned in favour of the Strelka station.

The stations are located on two lines with a single interchange station - Moskovskaya with a cross-platform interchange. After the construction of the Line 3 (Nagornaya), two more transfer stations will appear - Operny teatr and Olgino.

On the Line 1, right-hand traffic is organised, on the Line 2 - left-hand traffic. This method of motion is due to the branching of the rails at the Moskovskaya station, because of the lack of a full-length tunnel for Line 2.

All but one of the thirteen stations are underground, and all are shallow level designs. Moskovskaya is the former USSR's unique pillar-fivespan, Chkalovskaya, Leninskaya, Park Kultury, and Kanaviskaya are the standard single-vaults, and the rest are the standard pillar-trispans. The Burevestnik station is an exception as it is a surface station with side-platform layout.

The rolling stock of the metro is provided by the Proletarskoye depot and a total of eighty 81-717/714 models are in use. The length of each train is four cars long. With this stock it is possible to make 20 trains, however, there are never that many in operation. The interval between trains is about 7½–8 min long in midday.

City layout[edit]

Unlike other Soviet time metros, Nizhny Novgorod does not feature the traditional triangle layout of three lines, six radii intersecting under city centre. This is because of the unusual layout of the city. Nizhny Novgorod is located on the right bank of the Volga River, at its confluence with the Oka River. Over the 20th century, the city developed in a polycentric manner. The historical city centre, including the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin, bears most of administrative, cultural, and educational functions, and is located on the high, hilly right bank of the Oka. The low flat left bank hosts majority of the city's industries and some major residential districts grouped around the three centres in Kanavino. Kanavino is where the city's central railway station and the largest urban transport hubs are located), Sormovo (largest industry is the Krasnoye Sormovo plant) and Avtozavod (GAZ).

Avtozavodskaya Station
Gorkovskaya Station

Metro layout[edit]

Faced with such a geographical arrangement, the planners adopted a design that would feature two lines with four radii opened in a series of stages (and each stage in segments). The main hub of the system, the Moskovskaya Station, located next to Nizhny Novgorod's main railway station, would feature a four track two island platform arrangement offering a cross-platform transfer.

Stage 1

The first stage would be Avtozavodskaya Line, following south along the left bank of the Oka, through residential and industrial zones of Leninsky district, the massive GAZ automobile plant and into the Avtozavodsky City District.

Stage 2

The second stage would be the Sormovskaya Line which would go from Moskovskaya west into the Sormovo districts.

Stage 3

The third stage would feature a combined auto and metro bridge across the Oka taking the Avtozavodskaya into the city centre.

Stage 4

The fourth and final stage would be the Sormovskaya passing into the Meshcherskoye Ozero residential area north-west of the railway station, on the bank of the Volga. All of this would be finished by the late 1990s and the system would be a total of 25 kilometres long with over 20 stations.

Order of opening

The order in which the stages were opened was influenced by the industry-specific flows of passengers of the Soviet period, and the depot placement issue. Cross-river traffic was not as intense as it is today. GAZ was not only the dominating employer of the Avtozavodsky district, but it also consumed a lot of workforce from the northern parts of the city. The only suitable plot for the train depot was found near the automobile plant.

Dissolution of the Soviet Union[edit]

While the pace of metro construction in the Soviet Union was impressive, the consequences of the dissolution of the Soviet Union made the future very difficult for the Nizhny Novgorod Metro. So, when the first stage was completed in 1989, construction began on the second, and that was the state in which the Gorky Metro embraced the 1990s. The dissolution of the Soviet Union had devastating effects on the economy and on people's lives. Aided with a hyperinflation, almost all funding of expansion of metros, was cut for Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Those segments that did open in the early 1990s were mostly completed already, and the bankrupt companies and workers struggled to finish them off. In late 1993 the first two station segment of the Sormovskaya Line was opened in Nizhny Novgorod.[5]


Segment Date opened Length
Moskovskaya - Proletarskaya November 20, 1985 7.8 km
Proletarskaya - Komsomolskaya August 8, 1987 2.4 km
Komsomolskaya - Park Kultury November 15, 1989 2.2 km
Moskovskaya - Burnakovskaya December 20, 1993 2.6 km
Burnakovskaya - Burevestnik September 9, 2002 1.3 km
Moskovskaya - Gorkovskaya November 4, 2012 3.5 km
Total: 14 stations 18.9 km


Nizhny Novgorod Metro
Opernyy teatr
Dvigatel Revolyutsii
Park Kultury


and #
Name Name in
Cyrillic script
Date of first
station opening
Most recent station
of stations
Ride time (end
stn. to end stn.)
Line 1 Line 1
Линия 1
20 November 1985 4 November 2012 14.5 11 18 minutes
Line 2 Line 2
Линия 2
20 November 1985 9 September 2002 7.1 5 10 minutes
Total: 21.6 15

Line 1[edit]

Line 1 is also known as Avtozavodskaya. The line runs between the stations of Park Kultury and Gorkovskaya, and was opened in 1985. It has one interchange station Moskovskaya on line 2. It connects the lower and upper cities via a metro bridge.

It was designed in 1980. In Soviet times, the line was called Avtozavodsko-Meshcherskaya, and was intended to last until the residential microdistrict near Meshchersky Lake was built.

Line 2[edit]

Line 2 is also known as Sormovsko-Meshcherskaya or Sormovskaya. The line runs between the stations of Burevestnik and Moskovskaya, and was opened in 1993. Construction of the line was stopped several times because of the crisis in Russia. For the 2018 FIFA World Cup, a new Strelka station is being built on the line, which will be located near the stadium under construction. After the World Cup, it is planned to extend the line to the Volga station in Meshchera and Varya station in Sormovo. It is also planned to complete the Yarmarka ghost-station.

In January 1981, the line had the project name - Sormovsko-Nagornaya. It had to connect the industrial Lower City and the historical Upper City.


The future of the Nizhny Novgorod Metro after 2025

Gorkovskaya station – the first station on the right bank of Oka – was opened in November 2012,[7] allowing the Nizhny Novgorod Metro to become the transport artery that it was designed to be.

Before 2012 extension the biggest problem was that despite being the longest of its "new" Russian Metro rivals (new refers to Novosibirsk, Samara and Yekaterinburg) it had a passenger traffic that was one of the lowest – 16.8 million annual ridership in 2004. For comparison, the Novosibirsk system was almost double that.

The root of this problem was not the layout but the Soviet priorities on stage openings. Over the past decade, the new Russian population's social structure greatly changed. Many chose to abandon the factories and, particularly the younger generation, in favour of a career in commerce. For Nizhny Novgorod, this had a great effect on the daily transport pattern, where the city centre became a nexus for the region's business. Many agree that it was a grave mistake not to link up the two banks of the Oka river prior to continuing the expansion into the residential districts.

Construction of Metrobridge began in 1995. It was built in November 2009.

After extension to the historical centre of the city, there are three major suggestions for further development:

  • 1. Extension of Sormovskaya Line with construction of Strelka station, it will be constructed near planned new Stadium for 2018 FIFA World Cup.
  • 2. Extension of Sormovskaya Line to Sormovo. At present, Sormovoskaya Line is quite a mess. Neither the first segment of the line, nor its one extension to a surface station — Burevestnik reach Sormovo proper and end amid an industrial zone. Many commuters thus choose not to use the metro altogether, as they would be forced to switch to land transport. It was chosen to use part of the surface railway's tracks for completion of the line. The northern extension of the Sormovskaya Line began at the same time when the station pit was dug up for the future Yarmarka station, but since it has been disbanded and covered up.
  • 3. Eastern extension of the line in the city centre with construction of stations Operny teatr (Opera house) and Sennaya. Still there is fear[citation needed] that the first station on the right bank — Gorkovskaya would not be able to deal with the massive passenger traffic, meaning that the right bank will have to open with several stations.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d МЕТРОПОЛИТЕНЫ РОССИИ за 2012 год [METROS of Russia in 2012]. Новосибирский метрополитен (in Russian). Novosibirsk metro. 2012. Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  2. ^ "Passenger Nizhny Novgorod metro has grown by 35% a day after the closure of the Molitovsky bridge". Стлица Нижний. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  3. ^ "Nizhny Novgorod Metro". mapa-metro. 
  4. ^ Wiejak, Marta (17 May 2018). "Interesting Facts You Should Know About Nizhny Novgorod". The Culture Trip. 
  5. ^ a b "Nizhny Novgorod Metro".  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ На станцию метро “Стрелка” прибыл первый поезд. (in Russian). Retrieved 2018-04-23. 
  7. ^ Строящиеся станции Нижегородского метро [Construction of Nizhny Novgorod subway station] (in Russian). 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2018. 

External links[edit]