On 10 September, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin launched passenger traffic on the Moscow Central Ring railway (MCR). The 54 kilometres long Moscow Central Ring, formerly the Smaller Ring of the Moscow Railway, can carry from 150 million to 300 million passengers. “There are 31 stations overall. Today we open 26 of them. According to the schedule, five more station will be launched in the coming months,” Sergei Sobyanin said.
In the first year of its operation, the MCR railway will have 14 links to the metro and six links to the radial railway lines. The remaining links are scheduled to open in 2017. The route will have 31 passenger stations, including 17 metro and 10 commuter train interchanges. Each transit hub will also provide bus and tram links.
Russian Railways (RZD) operates passenger services on MCR using 33 five-car ES2G Lastochka EMUs. The Lastochka trains can reach speeds of up to 120 km/h. They run at six minute intervals during peak hours and 11-16 minutes other times. If passenger traffic increases, the five-car trains will be substituted with ten-car trains whereas the intervals will be reduced to three minutes. The trains’ designed capacity is 1,200 passenger for a five-car train and 2,400 in a ten-car trains. The EMUs are equipped with information displays, 220V sockets and free Wi-Fi.
Travelling by the MCR will be free of charge for the first month. Afterwards, passengers will be able to pay for their trips with updated Yediny, 90 Minute and Troika city tickets, and with social cards. Transfers between the MCC and the metro will remain free for 90 minutes.