On 1 March Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin formally opened the 23km (14.3-mile) eastern section of the so-called ‘Big Circle Line’ (BCL) metro, completing the 70km (43-mile) circular line 11, that also incorporates a 5.1km (3.2-mile) branch (Line 11A). Mr Sobyanin was joined by Russian President Vladimir Putin via digital link for the opening.
Line 11 now has 31 stations, with 24 offering interchange to existing or future metro, Central Circle, RZD-operated Central Diameters, or suburban rail stations.
Plans for the BCL date back to the Soviet era, although constructiondid not begin until November 2011. The first phase was inaugurated in 2018, with the longest section in the metro’s history opening in December 2021: 20km (12 miles) with ten stations.
The line is operated by trains of Moskva-2020 stock operating from three depots, including a new facility at Nizhegorodskoye. Ridership on the full line is expected to reach 2.8m on weekdays within a year, offering journey time savings of up to 45 minutes. The extra capacity is also expected to relieve up to 25% of the congestion seen on the Russian capital’s other metro routes.
Line 11 becomes the world’s longest circular metro line, taking the title from Beijing line 10 (57km/35.5 miles). Paris Métro line 15, currently under construction, is to reach 75km (47 miles) when completed in the early 2030s.