Putin backs new light rail line in Moscow

Photo: Presidential Press and Information Office.
Photo: Presidential Press and Information Office.

President Vladimir Putin has thrown his weight behind the construction of a new light rail line in Moscow.

Favoured over an underground line because of the smaller cost and quicker completion time, the new 50km link will connect the Belarus and Savyolovo lines from 2019.

Currently commuters spend around two hours, changing line three times, when they travel from the town of Lobnya, north of Moscow, to the city of Odintsovo, west of the capital.

A new straight-through radial route will reduce trip durations to less than 60 minutes, with no need to make interchanges.

Presenting the scheme to the Russian statesman, the Moscow Government said Putin showed his support for the project and said: “All right, let’s get on with it.”

While construction could begin in 2018, Moscow revealed there are plans to connect other lines with new light rail links in the future. The creation of a radial route between the Riga and Pavelets lines was one option being considered.

Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin said: “On the whole, we can build five to 15 of these lines, depending on the situation and passenger-traffic numbers.

“This absolutely realistic project will change the situation for the Moscow transit hub, with up to 300 million passengers using these lines. The entire transport infrastructure, including the Moscow Ring Road (MKAD), will see a 10-12 percent reduction in traffic volumes.”

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