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The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal

Informed but opinionated commentary and analysis on urban transportation topics from the Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal. Names have been omitted to protect the guilty.

Our Mission: Monkeywrench the Anti-Transit Forces

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Sunday, October 31, 2004


Home of So Few Transit Links Than You can Possibly Check(tm), Unless you have no life other than websurfing

Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds. Einstein

IMPORTANT NOTE: FOC's ("Friends of the Cabal") (you know, like "FOB's"--"Friends of Bill" [Clinton]) have now all been promoted to "Adjuct Scholars" of The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal. You know, like Wendell Cox, Randal O'Toole, et al are "Adjunct Scholars" (sic) to the Reason Foundation, the Buckeye Institute, the Cascade Policy Institute, and 500+ other conservative/libertarian "Think (sic) Tanks". Congratulations, Dudes!

From the Cabalmaster:

(or: The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal Explains it All for You!)

Truth be told, Your Favorite Transit Pundits doubt that a large number of transport ministers follow our blog. But on the off chance that there’s one or two:

Developing countries may have difficulty generating the capital necessary for large infrastructure projects – rail lines, for example. If so, then they might seek financial assistance from a “development bank.” One such institution is the “International Bank for Reconstruction and Development,” aka the World Bank. The World Bank Group www.worldbank.org. includes five organizations with headquarters in Washington, DC. Together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) www.imf.org, these are sometimes called the “Bretton Woods” institutions. Loans are financed by subscriptions paid by member countries, and by sale of bonds to private investors and institutions.

The World Bank is not without its critics (econjustice.net/wbbb, www.50years.org/index.html). Some charge that the Bank discourages rail projects in favor of roads. This is not unfounded. Studies prepared for the Bank question the economic benefits of full-scale metros and promote busways (see, for example, “Implementation of Rapid Transit; go here wbln0018.worldbank.org/transport/utsr.nsf and download the pdf file from the list of “What’s New. . .). The Bank does provide financing for some rail rehabilitation and improvement projects (www.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf/0/b71166543c80210285256d7b00681aa7?OpenDocument), but some might argue that it doesn’t do enough: a “Google” researcher concludes that the world total of rail track-miles is declining, and that rail investment is declining as a share of total transportation investment answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=109850.

Anyway: if the World Bank has turned thumbs down on your rail project, you might consider using one of the world’s original “market-based” strategies – take your business elsewhere!

On May 17, 2004, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Ergodan joined state and local transport officials to break ground for a new rail tunnel beneath the Bosporus, the strait dividing Europe and Asia at Istanbul. The “Marmaray” project includes the 13-km (8-mile) tunnel itself and upgrading of connecting rail lines. The earthquake-resistant tunnel will be built at an average depth of 58 meters (190 feet) below the surface. www.ibb.gov.tr/ibbeng/news/news_detail.cfm?sayfa=4444. Project cost is estimated at $2.5 billion. Of this amount, $815 million will be paid by a Japan International Credit Bank loan. (Not by coincidence, the construction tender was awarded to a Japanese-led consortium.)

(The Mamaray project, by the way, will carry heavy commuter traffic as well as freight.)

Ok, so that’s one “alternative funding source.”

As for the second . . . imagine a former American colony receiving a loan for rail development from a COMMUNIST country !!!

(Well, sort of. The Americans referred to their colonization of the Philippines as “tuletage,” and today’s China has a booming capitalist economy. But still . . .)

On February 26, 2004, Philippine and Chinese officials signed an agreement for a $400 million loan for a 32-km (20-mi) commuter rail project in northern Manila. The funds will be provided by the Export-Import Bank of China english.peopledaily.com.cn/200402/27/eng20040227_136018.shtml. This was described as the largest Chinese-financed project in the Philippines to date.

“Phase 1, Section 1” of the Metro North Rail Project was estimated to cost $503 million, with the balance to be financed by the North Luzon Railways Corporation through commercial loans. The Philippine government has proposed that China expand the loan agreement to include the planned rehabilitation of the Philippine National Railway (PNR) Main South Line www3.mb.com.ph/BSNS200405058813.html.

The North Rail project is the first phase of a project to rebuild the PNR Main North Line, with branches to the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, Clark (the former U.S. Clark Air Base) and Subic Freeport Zone (the former U.S. Subic Bay naval station) www.atimes.com/atimes/China/FD07Ad02.html. Philippine and Chinese officials attended the groundbreaking ceremony on April 5, 2004 www.malaya.com.ph/apr06/metro1.htm.

Yes, there’s a third “alternative funding source.” News reports covering the groundbreaking for the North Rail project in the Philippines stated that South Korea will provide financing for the PNR Main South Line project.

(Y’know, we can’t help but wonder whether “foreign” development banks will ever loan money to build a subway in a cash-strapped city such as, say, Detroit . . .)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


Home of So Few Transit Links Than You can Possibly Check(tm), Unless you have no life other than websurfing

Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds. Einstein

IMPORTANT NOTE: FOC's ("Friends of the Cabal") (you know, like "FOB's"--"Friends of Bill" [Clinton]) have now all been promoted to "Adjuct Scholars" of The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal. You know, like Wendell Cox, Randal O'Toole, et al are "Adjunct Scholars" (sic) to the Reason Foundation, the Buckeye Institute, the Cascade Policy Institute, and 500+ other conservative/libertarian "Think (sic) Tanks". Congratulations, Dudes!

From the Cabalmaster:

Continuing our coverage of the World’s Ultimate Secret Subway:

The “Legend of Metro Dva” has inspired article reprints www.mmforce.net/msu/heart/articles.php?mid=1516, FAQs faqs.org.ru/transp/metro2.htm, “eyewitness” accounts by persons who claim to have worked on “secret” underground projects trehgranka.metro.ru/magazine/pressa/moscow/1999-09-25.htm,
computer games www.buka.ru/game/Game_3063.htm, games.dtf.ru/index.php?type=id&game_id=52475,
www.ag.ru/?gallery?13421, gameguru.ru/img/img/stalin_subway.html. . . and some rather wild- and crazy-sounding tales. As you’ll see, some of these “additional details” stretch far beyond the point of credibility. We remind Intrepid Websurfers that, although we believe it likely that something other than the “usual metro” (together with ancient catacombs, channels and so forth) lies beneath Moscow, it is possible that Metro Dva is entirely a folk tale.

The leader of the “Diggers of the Underground Planet” (more on this group below), the self-styled “Digger-Savior,” www.novostroy.ru/html/news/news1698.htm, says that the secret “Metro-2” certainly exists. Not only have the Diggers seen it “hundreds of times,” but have investigated its many sections, and even reached the Ramenki underground city (aka “Deep-Underground Command Post”). However, owing to tightened security, the portion beneath the Arbat district of central Moscow (“Leonid”) is now impossible to “penetrate.”

[The story about a group of . . . “foamers” (dare we use the word!) . . . reaching top secret military facilities sounds unlikely. However, numerous reliable reports in recent years have made clear that security around various military and nuclear facilities in the former USSR is . . . “not what one would think, or hope, or pray” (dare we use the expression!). It’s clear that Russian “foamers” (dare we use the word, again!) can get away with a lot more than those visiting from other countries could.]

The tales get even taller. It is said that Boris Yeltsin, “at the beginning of his presidency” (that is, not long after dissolution of the USSR at the end of 1991), hosted two NATO generals for an excursion on the “branches” of Metro Dva. The FSB was “shocked,” and “found it necessary to restrict access” to even the highest-ranking state officials.

[We acknowledge that the above is plausible. However, good tall tales include an element of plausibility; the idea is to keep the listener off guard as the truth gets stretched farther and farther beyond the “breaking point.”]

Metro Dva construction continues even today, claims the “Digger-Savior,” but entirely “at the speed of a tortoise” (that is, at a snail’s pace) owing to lack of funds. Also, the Secret Subway is just a part of the hidden world of Underground Moscow. The tunnels and passageways extend down twelve levels from the surface. The maximum established depth, in military bunkers, is 840 meters (2,700 feet, slightly more than 0.5 mile). “They” would dig even deeper, says the “Digger-Savior,” but for Mother Nature, in the form of granite bedrock.

Asked (presumably) for comment, the press secretary of the Moscow Metro stated that her organization is concerned with passenger transport, but not with construction of tunnels and underground facilities – secret or not. She noted that infrastructure construction is the responsibility of the “Metrostroy” (“Subway Construction”) enterprise, and suggested that questions related to “infrastructure” be presented to Metrostroy. She added that questions related to “secret” facilities be presented not to Metrostroy, but to “special services” – that is, the FSB.

The Metro Dva FAQ page faqs.org.ru/transp/metro2.htm includes a number of additional details – some of which are, at best, questionable.



(Remember, you read it first on our blog – unless you read Russian and are already familiar with the Metro Dva lore online.)

The facility was once referred to on government documents as “D-6.” However, the name used at present is not known – except, of course, to high Russian state and military leaders, and we doubt they’ll be telling anytime soon.



A “narrow-gauge railway” – this we take to mean an underground railway similar to that used in the mining industry – was built in 1947 to connect the Kremlin to one of Stalin’s dachas, at Matveyevskoye, southwest of central Moscow. Large-scale tunneling for Metro-2 began during the early 1950s, and this railway was reconstructed to form the first line of Metro Dva (the inner portion of “Leonid”).

An old story (or fable) holds that because Stalin could make scattered appearances around Moscow in quick succession, he had a Secret Subway reaching all corners of Moscow for his own use. The story had a basis in fact . . . perhaps.



Beijing! Bucuresti (Bucharest)! London! Pyongyang! Washington!

[Yes, we can verify the existence of an “analogous system” in one of the above. You’ll never guess which one!]



The depth of the network is described as “strongly variable,” from 50-200 meters (150-600 ft) below ground. Recent Metro Dva tunnels are said to be 100-200 meters (300-600 ft) deep. The inside diameter of the tunnels constructed from the early 1980s is 5.45 meters (17 ft 8 in), “practically the same” as the “public metro.” However, most recent Metro Dva tunnels have a concrete lining, 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) thick, between outer and inner metallic linings.

If “Iosif,” Leonid,” “Yuri” and “Boris” all exist as described, the minimum total route length is about 150 km. Based on the stated tunnel size, and allowing for the thickness of linings, the minimum quantity of excavated spoil is about 23 million cubic meters (nearly 800 million cubic feet) – not including stations and ventilation shafts. That, as they say, is a lot of dirt.

Ventilation shafts are described as “usually not disguised,” although they are “much more rare” than along the lines of the “usual metro.” The “ventshakhty” (“vent shafts”) often contain evacuation elevators.



Now come the details that tend to suggest that the whole thing could be nothing more than an elaborate Russian folk tale.

--Metro Dva tunnels have no “contact rail” (third rail) – in other words, the lines are not electrified. However, tracks are embedded in concrete, just as are tramway (streetcar) tracks, because microbuses operate through the tunnels in addition to trains. Metal borders (barriers) line the lower portion of the tunnel walls. Diesel railcars, capable of 60 km/h (40 mph) carry passengers, and (small) gasoline locomotives, capable of 15 km/h (9mph) pull goods (freight) trains. There are also motorized velocipedes (“handcars”). The latest Metro Dva diesel railcars are articulated.

Microbuses, diesel railcars, gasoline locomotives and motorized velocipedes? Working on a single-line (single-track) tunnel system far underground, with “rare” ventilation shafts?

Um, we don’t think so. Soviet diesel fuel was notorious for low quality, and Soviet diesel engines were, at one time, notorious for smoke emission. Use of gasoline traction is avoided underground owing to fumes and the risk of fire and explosion. Battery-electric locomotives have considerable range, but use of such traction on lines having the reported length of “Yuri” stretches the imagination.

On the other hand . . . Soviet lack of attention to industrial safety bordered on callousness, and this was also true of “military” and “security” facilities.

Y’know, Metro-2 makes a fascinating yarn, but we’re not sure we’d want to ride. Based on the reported scarcity of ventilation shafts, the air down there must be dank and stagnant. Reports that government officials do not use Metro-2 in peacetime tend to reinforce the impression that travel by Metro-2 is not very pleasant. (This would be true in particular given small-profile tunnels equipped with a narrow-gauge mining railway. No surprise to anyone who has ever worked in an underground mine.)

We here at The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal agree – unanimously (!!!) – that if Metro Dva is operated as described above – with diesel traction – then it’s the public transport system that we Opinionated Ones would “least enjoy riding.”



A 2003 article, here www.rgz.ru/arhiv/18.03.2003/politika/txt2.html, notes the completion of the “real” Moscow Metro extension from Kievskaya to Park Pobedy, and the impending operation of the first test train. But, the article continues, this will not be the first underground train in this district of the capital . . .

Metro Dva, the article explains, was the most popular theme in the “yellow press” at the beginning of the 1990s. Lurid tales of Secret Subway lines and branches, built to carry the highest-ranking state leaders, now “trouble the imaginations of citizens and journalists.” One who contacts the Moscow Metro press office will hear feminine voices stating that “on this theme, no one has comments, and there will be no comments.” Thus, it was necessary to turn to the “foamers” (dare we use the word, again!) – er, “diggers” – whose imaginations might be described as “even more troubled.”

The article speculates about why there is no “complete” information about Metro-2 in “open access:” terrorists dream of attacking civil-defense facilities such as Metro Dva, so better to keep key detail secret.

[Yes, there are terrorists in Russia and they do attack targets in Moscow – including the Metro. A suicide bomb attack aboard a Moscow Metro train killed at least 30 people and injured nearly 370 on February 6, 2004 english.pravda.ru/accidents/21/96/382/11987_metro.html. Another, outside a station, killed ten people and injured 51 others on August 31, 2004 www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/08/31/russia.carblast.]

The Diggers give assurances that Metro Dva is much more extensive than reported previously – 1,500 km (900 mi). The various Secret Subway lines are located “chaotically:” above one another, or parallel, intersecting frequently with each other and the “civil metro” (that is, the “real” Moscow Metro). Metro Dva lines are “interrupted frequently” with heavy doors, dead ends and bunkers. The Secret Subway tunnels extend in all directions from the Kremlin, almost to St. Petersburg (!) and the Ural Mountains (!!).

[A decades-old joke among Soviet dissidents and political prisoners explains that cells in the infamous Lubyanka prison had “the best view in Moscow!” Why? “Because from there, you can see all the way to Siberia!!”]

Oh, and in case of siege, perhaps a second Siege of Leningrad (1941-1944), tanks and helicopters will travel along the underground “prospekti” (boulevards), emerging at various military bases.

The stories don’t end with Metro Dva. The “TsKP” at Zarya is said to house 1,500 “inhabitants,” and the Ramenki “Deep-Underground Command Post” is said to have space for 30,000 – and facilities for support this number of people for 50 years following a “nuclear catastrophe.” All the comforts of home, including gardens and windows with simulated views.

Those Metro Dva trains? They are hermitically sealed (. . . helps keep out the diesel fumes . . . ) and if necessary for “urgent evacuation” can be converted to submarines, exiting from Metro Dva into the Moscow River through special hatches. (Hey! So that explains the diesel traction!!) And Metro Dva trains are “always new” and “always clean” (some Moscow Metro trains are rather old, and some are rather tatty).

Surely, you ask, the article writer does not take all the “foamer fantasies“ seriously? No; the writer refers to the story of Metro Dva trains that double as submarines as “Imps from the snuffbox,” or “snuffbox fantasies;” wethinks the box contained something a bit stronger than mere “snuff.” (Or maybe not; foolish of us to forget, comrades: CCCP had most powerful “snuff” in world!!!)

The wilder stories sound like the product of “delirium” – but serve a useful purpose. As the writer notes, the piling up of fiction makes it easier to hide the truth.

More believably, constant pumping is required in order to keep all those underground facilities dry. The Russian government has attempted to reduce the cost of maintaining said facilities hronicle.ru/2002/34/money2/01/. No word just yet on whether (expensive) guided tours of Metro-2 will be offered to help defray maintenance expenses.



Intrepid Websurfers who have followed the Metro-2 story thus far may share our frustration. Despite the near-total lack of independent verification, it is almost an exercise in futility to remain a Metro Dva skeptic.

Consider, for example, an article from “Literaturnaya Gazeta” (www.lgz.ru) from 1998, available online, in English: 'The Secret Metro: Metro Chief [Dmitry V.] Gayev Would Be Quite Surprised If It Did Not Exist' (www.bellybuttonwindow.com/archives/000029.html; scroll down). The article quotes the head of the (“real”) Moscow Metro as follows:

“Do you remember ‘A Song About Rumors” by [Vladimir] Vysotskiy? That is how I relate to this. I have nothing to do with any secret metro and can only surmise about it. Let me say again that I would be quite surprised if it did not exist – and not only here, but in Paris, New York, and Washington, as well.“

[It pays to bear in mind that . . . if Metro-2 does exist . . . Gayev (www.metropoliten.newmail.ru/heads.html; scroll down) is certainly telling the truth about having “nothing to do” with it. That is, the Secret Subway is administered separately from the “real” Moscow Metro. Skeptics and cynics are reminded that, with all due respect to Gayev, neither he nor any other law-abiding person would reveal “state secrets” known to them. All details related to Metro Dva (. . . if it exists . . .) are, of course, state secrets.]

[More about those “diggers,” whom Gayev describes as “hooligans” (“hoodlums”), below.]

The same page contains a Moscow Tribune (www.tribune.ru) article from 1999, “The Secrets That Lurk Beneath Moscow” (www.bellybuttonwindow.com/archives/000029.html; scroll down). Officials deny the existence of Metro-2, and the “underground city,” aka “Ramenki Area Deep-Underground Command Post.”

“Commuters from the Moscow region district of Mytishchi, which houses a metro wagon construction plant, have long asked for a metro line, confident there was one anyway as no one had ever seen wagons transported by land.”

[We’re advised that this is an example of the sort of “urban legend,” perhaps better described as “urban fable / Russian humor” that many people enjoy.]

In 1997, the “Washington Times” (www.washingtontimes.com; a conservative daily owned by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, leader of the controversial Unification Church) reported that Russia was continuing to build Cold War facilities, including underground bunkers, tunnels – and “Boris.” A news report on the Federation of American Scientists website (“Secrets ‘Metro’ Style” www.fas.org/news/russia/1997/fbuma04301997000507.htm) quotes a source, described as a “Russian tunneling expert,” as “categorically denying” the report that “Boris” was under construction.

“There are no government Metro lines in the western part of Moscow,” stated the source.

Ah, but what about the remainder of Moscow?

The source continued as follows “The first section of the 'Kremlin line' (Metro-2), commissioned in 1967, linked the Central Committee building on Staraya Ploshchad and the Kremlin with an underground town at Ramenki and Vnukovo-2 Airport.” In other words, “Leonid,” with a bit of an extension – one that appears on the “definitive” Metro Dva map www.metro.ru/map/secret_map.html.

The “Central Committee building” refers to the headquarters of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (KPSS). Staraya Ploshchad is about 0.8 km (0.5 mi) northeast of the Kremlin.

The source stated that “Leonid” was connected with the (“real”) Moscow Metro at only one location, near Sportivnaya station. This suggests that “Leonid” incorporates the Metro-2 segment that we’ve dubbed “Iosif.”

The source states that “several spur tracks” were built subsequently from the main Metro Dva line to “installations of state importance.”

Leaves plenty of room for imagination, yes?

The source concluded that “neither the homes nor the dachas of top state leaders” are among the locations reached by Metro-2.

[Readers are reminded that good dezinformatsiya plays upon the “worldview” of the intended audience. In other words, if you want someone to believe that “neither the homes nor the dachas of top state leaders are served by Metro-2,” you might initially confirm details that – fact or fancy – are widely reported and believed.]

One of the more remarkable post-Soviet journalist efforts is the website Agentura (“Agents”), www.agentura.ru, which covers topics related to security, intelligence and “special services.” Most of this coverage is available only in Russian, but Agentura does have an English page and has made some information available in English. According to an Agentura report, www.agentura.ru/english/dosie/gusp, underground bunkers for top leaders throughout the USSR, roads leading to them, Metro-2 and so forth were administered by the 15th “Headquarters” of the KGB (most references in English use the word “Directorate” rather than “Headquarters”). This is now the FSB “Headquarters” (or Directorate) of the President’s Special Programs, or GUSP, the title in Russian is “Glavnoye Upravleniye Spetsial’nykh Programm Presidenta.” “President” refers to the President of the Russian Federation. This page outlines official information about GUSP – and includes links to certain “unofficial” sources . . .

A group of amateur urban spelunkers claims to have found more than one million underground bunkers of various sizes and functions beneath Moscow. The group calls itself “Diggers of the Underground Planet,” www.bullatomsci.org/issues/1997/mj97/mj97ilnitsky.html. Its “fearless leader,” the son of a Moscow Metro driver outside.away.com/magazine/0997/9709under.html, styles himself as the “Digger-Savior” (see above) and tells of many mysterious rooms, passageways and canals underground – complete with mysterious inhabitants.

And, this being 2004, you might be amused, but not surprised, to read that the Diggers have a website: digzone2.chat.ru/dpu.

Similar groups exist in the former USSR – as you know if you checked the Agentura page above. Novosibirsk Diggers are here nskdiggers.h1.ru/index1.htm; their website includes pages in English – on which they make clear their lack of interest in urban exploration:

“In contrast to "classical" diggers, Novosibirsk ones do not crawl along stinking city underground communications.”

The “Infiltration” website (“the zine about going places you’re not supposed to go”) has a page of links to various “Russian” sites (although the last time we checked, Minsk and Pripyat were NOT in “Russia”), here www.infiltration.org/resources-russia.html.

Some “general” tourist information sites mention Metro-2 (www.moscowpass.ru/main_eng.asp?menu=Transport&submenu=Metro&submenu_text= ; scroll down). If you happen to be visiting Moscow, you might want to check out one of the tours that include reputed Metro Dva sites gotorussia.vand.ru/new/moscow/index.phtml?act=exclus&c=mos



We here at The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal are, fundamentally – and unanimously (!!) -- VERY skeptical about the “Metro-2” stories, and not only because we’re opinionated. Not even the most evil of “evil empires” can change the laws of physics.

For example, the deeper you descend below sea level, the hotter it gets – and not because you’re getting closer to the Earth’s molten core pubs.usgs.gov/gip/interior/ – or the “theological place of eternal punishment.”

Given a deep enough hole, air pressure from “up above” will raise the ambient temperature quite high. This fact has been known since ancient times. Very roughly, for every 30 meters (100 feet) down, ambient temperature rises by 1 C degree (1.6 F degree).

The Moscow Metro’s Park Pobedy station, 97 meters (315 feet) deep, is claimed as the deepest in the worldnews.metro.ru/mtt0603.html ; it appears that not everyone accepts the figure, and the claim www.urbanrail.net/eu/mos/moskva.htm.

Metro Dva lore holds that the ultimate secret subway network is constructed even deeper.

How much deeper?


OK, now just how deep is that?

By the time much of the “Metro-2” network was (. . . supposedly . . .) built, the U.S. and the USSR were engaged in a little scheme (or “scam”) called “Mutually Assured Destruction” – MAD for short www.fact-index.com/m/mu/mutual_assured_destruction_1.html. The Scheming Commies and the Rotten Capitalists mass-produced “nukes“ and pointed them at each other, with occasional low-level saber rattling to keep the other side on their toes.

(The cost of doing this, by the way, was a fraction of cost of “mutual assured intimidation” through buildup of conventional military forces. You won’t hear this anytime soon from the U.S. – or the Republic of Korea. But . . . the probable “real” reason the “other” Korea wants “nukes” www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994594; www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/04/28/MNGP96C4G91.DTL is to permit an overall REDUCTION in its crushing burden of military spending.)

MAD would probably not work well in a climate of total secrecy. Each side leaked information – not always to the U.S. press – to give some idea of what “assured destruction” was all about. For example, detonation of 60 or more nuclear warheads within the Moscow city limits. A more recent report states that 400 “nukes” were targeted by the U.S. at Moscow www.thebulletin.org/issues/2004/jf04/jf04eden.html.

(The fact that the USSR targeted eastern Long Island, so that “capitalist oligarchs” at their summer homes would not escape a nuclear exchange, has long been known and is part of local folklore in “The Hamptons” www.artomic.org/nuke/press/post/page6.html.)

We hope we’ve made the point. A survivable “Metro-2” network would have to be deep. And then some.

The 97-meter depth claimed for the Park Pobedy station is near the threshold where ambient temperature rise becomes an issue. A rise of 3-5 C degrees (5-8 F degrees) is enough to cause comfort problems during summer months – and Moscow does experience prolonged periods of hot weather.

The world’s deepest mine shaft, in South Africa, extends down about 3.5 km (2.2 miles) hypertextbook.com/facts/2003/YefimCavalier.shtml. At that depth, the temperature rise effect is great enough to require large-scale air conditioning.

OK, it’s true: the stories claim that Metro Dva is “deep,” but not THAT deep. But again, we hope we’ve made our point.

Another, um, “technical difficulty” suggested by the “Metro-2” stories is that of groundwater intrusion. The water table in Moscow, at least in parts of the city, is quite shallow www.yurkevich.ru/pdf_publications/Rs_eng.pdf. Construction below the water table is one thing (the Soviets used ground-freezing techniques at least as far back as the early ‘60s). But keeping water out is another. The deeper the tunnel, the greater the groundwater pressure, and not even the “best” tunnel lining is totally waterproof.

Groundwater intrusion is a serious problem associated with Soviet-built metro lines. A 1995 tunnel collapse in St. Petersburg isolated the northern section of Line 1; www.urbanrail.net/eu/pet/petersbg.htm, and a replacement tunnel was not opened until 26 June 2004. Some architects warn that Moscow’s most “famous” metro station, Mayakovskaya*, is in danger of collapse www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2004/04/21/003.html. The station, opened 1938, is listed by UNESCO and celebrated for architectural details.

(*Is also celebrated as place where Comrade Stalin and hundreds of Comrade Party Members defiantly celebrated October Revolution Day on 6th of November 1941, during darkest days of Great Patriotic War!)

On the other hand, it should be remembered that the USSR trained more engineers per capita than any other country. Available tunneling techniques were tested and evaluated systematically during construction of the initial Moscow Metro lines www.ita-aites.org/cms/349.html – and, as noted previously, Metro tunneling expertise was eventually utilized for construction of underground defense facilities. Shield tunneling techniques were used from 1954 for construction of the St. Petersburg Metro**.

(**It was “Leningrad Metro” back then, Comrades!)

By the mid-1950s, without question by the early 1960s, the Soviets had the technology to build, and line, long tunnels at considerable depth. Shield techniques permit driving of tunnels many miles from the “construction base” without intermediate excavation, so long as ground conditions are reasonably stable enough to permit this. Such construction would in theory be undetectable from above, but the flow of materials to the “construction base” would soon provide evidence of “something special going on.”

The route length of Metro Dva suggests a succession of large construction projects that would have consumed large sums of money – sums that could not have been known in advance. At best, builders would have had only a rough idea of what the final tab would be. But, as noted before, Metro-2 lore does include references to cost-cutting measures under Khrushchev – the best-known metro builder in the USSR.

The fact that these immensely costly projects do get used has also been reported. The ability to move supplies and staff to various “classified” sites without detection must certainly be useful (. . . if, of course, such a transport facility exists).

Construction of Metro Dva must have generated large quantities of spoil. Soviet leaders were not, shall we say, unduly concerned about environmental issues. Even so, disposal of spoil in the implied quantities would have posed major logistical problems (concealment from the prying eyes of capitalist spy satellites being one of them). But again: Metro-2 lore includes a description of how excavated material from various underground” construction projects” was disposed of.

Now, after all that . . .

The “technical issues” above can be turned “upside down,” so to speak, into a substantial argument for existence of Metro Dva!

(Are you getting dizzy yet?)



Um, yeah!

The essence of the argument – another “winner” by unanimous acclaim – goes like this.

If you build a facility such as an underground command post – or a “Secret Subway” – and conceal key details but not the fact of its existence, you’ve increased your supply of “deterrence.” You probably built the best you could with what you had. You may not be certain whether “best” is “good enough,” but you can easily keep the other side guessing. That, in brief, is part of the “art” of “deterrence.”

You may not know whether your Secret Subway is truly “deep enough” to withstand a nuclear attack. But the “other guy” won’t know, either – especially if he doesn’t know how far below ground you’ve tunneled.

Despite lurid tales to the contrary, it has long been clear that you can survive any conceivable nuclear attack – IF you can dig deep enough.


On July 28, 1976, an earthquake, estimated at 7.8 on the Richter scale, destroyed the city of Tangshan, China, killing more than 240,000 people. history1900s.about.com/library/weekly/aa061500a.htm. www.kepu.com.cn/english/quake/ruins/rns20.html. The energy released by the quake was the equivalent of about 8,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs, or very roughly 120 million tons (megatons) of the high explosive trinitrotoluene (TNT). Contemporary reports stated that miners, working in tunnels beneath the city, did not feel the earthquake and ware caught completely by surprise when they ascended at the end of their shifts. This account contains more than a whiff of dezinformatsiya – even if miners did not feel the quake, they must have known something was amiss when the lights went out and the hoists ceased to operate. Recent papers by Chinese scientists do not repeat this claim, but do state that “underground structures” were not damaged. In addition, Tangshan’s coal and iron mines are not known for great depth.

It would make perfect sense for the USSR’s brave proletarian heroes, fearing that those filthy capitalists were preparing a nuclear attack, to build as much as they could, as best they could, permitting the “other side” to know the bare fact of existence while concealing as many key details as possible. In particular: just how “deep” is “deep.”

And how, Comrades, might we disclose that we have underground facilities without providing details?

Metro-2 lore suggests that no serious effort was made to “conceal spoil disposal from the prying eyes of capitalist spy satellites.” This “technology” dates to the late 1950s www.fas.org/spp/military/program/imint/ , www.fas.org/spp/guide/russia/military/index.html , msnbc.msn.com/id/3077885 , www.space.com/news/secret_sat_021113.html, and high-altitude “reconnaissance “ flights date back well before then. The Nefarious Commies may have been nefarious, but they weren’t stupid. They must have known that “landscaping,” on the scale implied by Metro-2 lore, would not go unnoticed.

(Comrades! Let us add dirt from other construction sites to deceive Capitalist Intelligence!

(But, Comrade Foreman! Certainly you know truth about Capitalist Intelligence?

(And what might that be, Comrade?

(There is no such thing!)

We’ll conclude our coverage of Moscow’s legendary, perhaps imaginary, Metro Dva in our next post.