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.

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Sunday, September 30, 2007


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

Veni, vidi, vici. In English, this means I own your arse! Your's Truly

From Your Master and That of All Rome:


(. . . remember, you saw it first on our blog! . . .)

Continuing our coverage of Moscow’s Secret Subway:

If this is first detailed description online of “Metro 2” in English – and that appears possible – then let it be a tribute to the efforts of the people who have tracked all this down, wrote it up and posted it. All we did was translate (. . . and add the opinionated commentary that you expect from this blog!).

METRO-2, LINE 1 – “Leonid.”

Opened 1967, although a portion was “supposedly” opened earlier.

Length: 27 km [17 mi].

Station locations:

-----“Kreml” [the Kremlin] .

-----“Biblioteka im. Lenina” [Lenin Library; official name is now Russian State Library ; ]. For the evacuation to the “underground city” [aka “Deep-Underground Command Post” in USDOD-speak) at Ramenki of all readers in the building at the moment of the alert signal “ATOM.” The “Kremlin” and “Library” stations may be one and the same.

[Um, yeah: the library is about 300m (0.2 mi) from the Kremlin’s western wall, but the major government buildings are twice as distant.]

-----The “yellow house with turret” on Smolenskaya Ploshchad [Smolensk Square]; the project of “Academician Zholtovskiy.” A reference to the metro station entrance at Smolenskaya Ploshshad ( , ). The article comments as follows: This special structure contains entrances to the two metro systems: the (public) Filyovskaya Line (Line 4 ) and Metro-2 (Smolenskaya is also served by the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line (3): ). The elevators in this building to the Metro-2 station stirred legends of such stations beneath almost every Metro station entrance in Moscow.

[We note that a large office building on Smolenskaya Ploshchad housed the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs, now that of the Russian Federation .]

-----Former residence of the first and last President of the USSR, on the Lenin Hills.

[Reference is to “Gorbachev’s Moscow Residence” on the USDOD map; “Leninskiye Gori,” the Lenin Hills, are known once again by the historic name “Vorob’yovy Gory,” Sparrow Hills .]

----Underground city [aka “Deep-Underground Command Post”] at Ramenky, able to accommodate 12,000 – 15,000 inhabitants. Pedestrian tunnel to the main building of the “MGU” [aka Moscow State University]. MSU entrance at KPP, Zone B.

[“KPP” is an acronym for “Kontrolno-propusknoi punkt,” Identity Check Point or Passport Control Point .]

[The pedestrian tunnel is one of those Metro Dva details that tends to stir raucous debate among Your Favorite Transit Pundits. If it exists . . . then it would have to be no shorter than about 2 km, almost 1 1/4 miles. That’s quite a hike to board an evacuation train – that passed the university at roughly half that distance.

[“But Comrades! Do you not agree that pedestrian tunnel between University and Command Post might be useful during peacetime?”

[. . . That sounded like a winner to the rest of us . . .]

-----Institute of Cryptography, Analysis and Information Science, FSB Academy, FSB, Russian Federation .

[FSB, “Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti,” is the Federal Security Service . Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes, that really is a link to their official website! FSB has inherited the internal-security functions of the former KGB – which, as astute websurfers know, is the Russian acronym for “Komitet Gosudarstvennoi Bezopastnosti,” Committee on (or: “for”) State Security ; note that the law establishing and governing the KGB is described as an “unpublished statute.”]

The article describes this as an “Enormous brick building with an entrance into the Olympic village.”

[The latter was built for the 1980 Summer Olympic Games – boycotted by the U.S., about 50 other countries, and many individual athletes from countries that did participate . The boycott, a response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1989, was announced by U.S. President Jimmy Carter. The USSR and its satellites – minus Romania – boycotted the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics in retaliation. Moscow is currently campaigning to host the 2012 Summer Olympics .]

In this building, behind a rarely-opened door, it is possible to see far down an outgoing corridor, with small lamps along the sides to provide illumination . . . according to the article.

-----The General Staff Academy [that is, a military college].

-----An emergency exit, somewhere in Solntsevo [a town just outside the Moscow Peripheral Highway ; a reputed stronghold of “mafia” (criminal gang) activity].

-----The “government” [that is, “non-civilian”] airport, Vnukovo-2. [This was opened to civilian use following the fall of the USSR; and yes, just like the FSB: website, website, they’ve got a website! ]

The article comments on discrepancies related to the alignment of the Moscow Metro Line 1 (Sokol’nicheskaya) extension from Park Kultury to Universitet . The plan for this 6.5-km (4.0-mi) segment, described in a 1954 book differed significantly from what was built in 1957-1959. One very significant detail was the bridge over the Moscow River , incorporating Leninskiye Gory (today’s Vorob’yovy Gory) station, rather than a tunnel. (This station, on the lower level of a concrete arch bridge that carries a road on the upper level , was closed from 1983 to 2002 owing to corrosion, caused by “high salt content” in the concrete. New bridges were built for road traffic and the metro station reopened thereafter .)

The article refers to an “improbable” story about the Park Kultury – Universitet extension. This was planned for completion in 1957, in time for a youth festival. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev decreed that the cost of metro construction should be reduced. (Khrushchev, then the chairman of the Moscow City Soviet (“Soviet,” in Russian, means “Council”), , was one of the leaders of the initial Moscow Metro project .) Planners decided to use part of the Metro-2 tunnel already in existence (“Iosif”). A major incentive was use of the existing Metro-2 tunnel under the Moscow River, eliminating the need for a second river crossing. At the last moment came the decisive word from “competent authorities:” HET! (“nyet!”)

How much of this is true, and how much is the product of Russian storytelling, is anyone’s guess.

According to the article, “several things make it necessary to think, possibly, that there is some truth in all this.” The Moscow Metro’s Universitet station, planned originally for construction beneath the main building of Moscow State University (MGU), was instead built some distance to the south. The initial line of Metro-2 (“Iosif”) does pass beneath the main building, three levels underground, through the basement complex built using soil-freezing techniques. The third underground level (“sub-sub-basement”) is described as under KGB control. The article states that, according to U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency ( ) data, the location of the Metro-2 station beneath the “former residence of the first President of the USSR (Mikhail Gorbachev) is exactly that originally planned for the Moscow Metro Leninskiye Gory (Vorob’yovy Gory) station.

It is most likely, states the article, that the Moscow Metro extension from Park Kultury was started as a deep-level tunnel, but abandoned following Khrushchev’s order for sharp reductions in Moscow Metro construction costs. In response, a shallow alignment including the bridge over the Moscow River was built. Then, during the 1960s, the Kuntsevo underground command post and the first line of Metro-2 (“Leonid”) were started. The deep-level alignment once planned for the Moscow Metro (and partially built, “to some unknown extent”) was incorporated into Metro-2

The article describes a connection near Sportivnaya station as the only one between the “real” Moscow Metro and the elusive Metro Dva. The article also describes the location of Metro Dva ventilation shafts southwest of central Moscow.

The article also describes a large-scale construction project to extend Prospekt Vernadskogo, the road extending southwest from central Moscow that is paralleled in part by Moscow Metro Line 1. In 1978-1970, ravines, ponds and creeks in an area named “Salyuta” was filled in by “large quantities of soil, probably excavated during construction of the first line of Metro-2 and the underground city at Ramenki.”

Other details include location of a construction site, active until 1979, near the Yugo-Zapadnaya terminal of Moscow Metro Line 1, and reports that the first line of Metro-2 (“Leonid”) was extended beyond Vnukovo-2 airport around 1986-1987 (the years during which “Yuri” was built).


METRO-2, LINE 2 – “Yuri,” southward segment.

Opened at the beginning of 1987. Length: 60 km (40 mi), said to be the world’s longest subway tunnel.

[We have here in CCCP longest metro tunnel in world! But you may not see it!!]

The line is described as extending southward from the Kremlin, parallel to the “Varshavskoye Shosse,” the Warsaw Chausee (highway) to the state guest house complex named “Bor;” (which means “Woods”) here is also located an “alternate command post” of the General Staff. It is probable, the article continues, that “Yuri” was extended to the new underground complex at Voronovo , about 74 km (46 mi) south of the Kremlin, [presumably near Chekhov ]. The location of the construction base is described as “somewhere in Tsaritsino;” Tsaritsino is a district of southern Moscow, not far north of the peripheral highway, noted for an uncompleted 18th-century Imperial summer retreat .

The article makes clear that the author does not accept everything he reports as true. It describes reports that “Yuri” extends southward from Chekhov as “inaccurate.” Summer residents of Akachkovo describe a massive underground complex, perhaps thirty stories deep, described by eyewitnesses as “simply enormous” – no specific size, but “simply enormous.” Summer residents of Kryukovo say that they sometimes feel trains passing beneath them at night, and recall a major construction project during the early 1980s . . . “something” was dug, and it was very deep, with pits one after another, that is, in a line . . .


METRO-2, LINE 3, “Yuri,” eastward segment.

Also opened at the beginning of 1987. Length: 25 km (16 mi).

The line is described as extending from the Kremlin due northeast and east to Zarya, the underground “TsKP” or Central Control Center of Soviet air defense forces – “holy of holies of our defense forces,” as the article puts it. No one, not even “high government officials and important foreign guests” may visit without the personal permission of the Defense Minister. Elevators from the surface are described as reaching a depth of 122 meters (396 feet). Construction of the TsKP was started “as early as 1958,” according to the article; “The ‘Cold War’ could at any moment become nuclear, and the initial bombardments of the capital could leave the military blind, deaf and dumb. In order to prevent this, ‘they’ decided to build a formidable bunker, deep underground, from which to lead our troops. This underground city was constructed Stakhanov style: by 1961, the first “moles” celebrated completion of their new homes. Marshal Pavel F. Batitskiy, commander of the air defense forces, personally thanked ‘Metrostroyevtsam,’ the metro construction enterprise, for its role in building TsKP.”

(If you’re in Moscow and have lots of hard currency to spend, you might want to check out some of the “state, departmental and private” museums . For example, you can take a five-hour guided tour to the Air Defense History Museum at Zarya ; oh, yes, allow 10-12 working days for the necessary permit. The charge for one person is $250 but that for 8-10 people is $440, so it pays to join a tour. Perhaps more of interest is the “The Yuri Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Center” ; this is better known in the West as “Star City” (Zvezdny Gorodok ; here is located the Yuri Gagarin Memorial Museum ). Six-hour guided tour, 5 working days required for permit, $500 for one person but $610 for 8-10 people.)

“Interesting” points en route along “Yuri-East” include “the Lubyanka” , aka KGB headquarters, Dzerzhinskogo Ploshchad (named after Felix Dzerzhinsky , one of Lenin’s henchmen who organized the Soviet intelligence apparatus; the square is once again known by its historic name, Lubyanskaya Ploshchad). Another, speculative, station location is Krasnye Vorota, said to be the site of an “enormous Stalin-era bunker” that has an entry from the platform of the Moscow Metro Krasniye Vorota station (on the initial Line 1 segment opened in 1935).

Farther away from the city center, the line is described as paralleling the Shosse [Chausee] Entusiastov, “Enthusiast’s Highway,” through Izmailovskiy Park.


METRO-2, LINE 4 (“Boris”)

The article states that information about “Boris” is “almost invented” – which implies that only a few “improbable” details were available. The cost of construction was placed in the 1997 Russian budget, causing scandal and a hearing in the Russian Parliament, because some of the funds would be obtained from American credits (!!!!!). “Boris” is described as branching from “Leonid” in the Smolensk district (also known as “Kosygin”), extending under Park Pobedy, “sharing infrastructure with a planned branch of the ‘usual metro.’” It continues parallel to the Rublevskoye Shosse to a new bunker “next to Yeltsin’s house,” then to the sanatorium / bunker complex at Barvikhe (for an interesting commentary on dacha privileges as a driving force in Russian politics, pre- and post-1991, see here ).



Metro-2, according to the article, was administered by the 15th Directorate of the Committee for State Security (KGB) prior to 1991, and has been administered by the Federal Security Bureau (FSB) since then. The article states that Metro Dva “has no relation” with the FSB “Headquarters of the President’s Special Programs” (GUSP), in conflict with other information online . Projects are managed within the Metro-2 administration itself, but staff are recruited from the ”usual metro” construction organization as needed. Metro-2 staff members live in Odintsovo, east of the Moscow peripheral highway (housing of staff employed by “secret” enterprises in a single location was used during the Brezhnev era as a means to control “leakage” of state secrets).



Metro-2 is not a “government metro” system, according to the article. It does not transport high-ranking officials during peacetime. Its “basic function” is “readiness for evacuation.” In addition, it transports freight and “service personnel.”

[Ah, but what sort of freight? Provisions and supplies for all those “underground facilities,” perhaps munitions as well.]

The entire system is single track; “it would be foolish to build for two-way traffic, because in the case of the “ATOM” signal or some other warning of disaster, all traffic will move in one direction.”

[The above passage is a bit unclear; it suggests that Metro Dva has no intermediate passing sidings, as at stations, that would permit two-way traffic. In any case, the single-track configuration rules out conversion to public passenger operation without great expense. Moscow will not be building a Paris-style RER network based on Metro Dva anytime soon.]

The article continues that in contrast to “the usual metro,” ventilation shafts are absent from Metro-2 tunnels. The air “down there” must be dank, stagnant, and uncomfortably warm during summer.

Metro Dva, according to the article, was constructed using the “closed” method, without intermediate shafts, as was the tunnel under “La Manche” (the English Channel). Outlying “stages” are not electrified – only the central segments have third rail.

Details of the “original” Metro Dva rolling stock are not known. Rolling-stock formations used on the second and third lines of Metro Dva (“Yuri”) included four cars: two accumulator (battery) – electric locomotives of type “L,” flanking two carriages of type EZh-B, EZh-E or the new series 81-174. Goods wagons (freight cars) are of series UP-2 and MK-2/15. From the beginning of the 1990s, scheduled maintenance was performed at the Moscow Metro Izmailovo depot.

(We’ve included the following links for the benefit of Intrepid Websurfers who would like to imagine what Metro-2 trains MIGHT look like – if 1.) trains resemble those used on the “real” Moscow Metro, and of course 2.) if Metro Dva exists.

(The initial Moscow Metro stock, Type A/B, built from 1934, worked until 1975:

(Moscow Metro Type G stock, built from 1939, worked until 1983:

(Moscow Metro Type V stock, built from 1947, worked until 1965:

(Moscow Metro Type D stock, built from 1955, worked until 1995:

(Moscow Metro experimental Type E (Ye) stock, built 1959, worked until 1970:

(Moscow Metro Type E (Ye) stock, built from 1963, in service:

(Moscow Metro Type Em (Ye-m) stock, built from 1966, in service:

(Moscow Metro Type Ezh (Ye-zh) stock, built from 1970, in service:

(Moscow Metro Type 81-717 stock, built from 1976, in service:

(Moscow Metro Type 81-714 stock, built from 1976, in service:

(Moscow Metro experimental Type I stock, built 1973, not used in commercial service:

(Moscow Metro Type VEKA battery-electric locomotive, built 1992:

(Moscow Metro experimental Type 81-720.1 stock, built 1991, not used in commercial service:

(Moscow Metro Type 81-720 stock, built from 1991, in service:

(Moscow Metro Type 81-718 stock, built from 1991, not used in commercial service:

(Moscow Metro Type 81-740 stock (“Scythian”), built from 2002, trial operation:

(Moscow Metro Type 81-740/741 (“Scythian”):

Metro-2 stations are described as resembling the usual “three-arch” (view of Arbatskaya station ) design of deep-level stations on “the usual” Moscow Metro, with an overall size 1.5 times that of the usual metro tunnels.



We found a page where “Iosif” is described as “Line 0.” However, this page also states that Metro Dva tunnels are 1.5 times as large as the “usual metro” tunnels. We are extremely skeptical of that particular detail, which appears to arise from a misunderstanding of details related to overall tunnel size at stations (above).

We’ll conclude our coverage of the Ultimate Secret Subway in a subseqent next post.

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