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Would the metro be in St. Petersburg?

Opinion
6 monthMay 2019

UndergroundExpert discusses the current situation with metro construction in St. Petersburg with OAO NIPII Lenmetrogiprotrans’ deputy director for metro design Vladimir Markov.

V. Мarkov, Deputy General Director for design of metro, LMGT OJSC

– Vladimir Andreevich, what is the current status of the Petersburg’s metro sites under construction?

– Due to the lack of funding the extension of the line 5 with its three new stations remains with the uncertain schedule data.

The main metro construction contractor Metrostroy has to sort out its debt, and the city as a customer should provide the funding in order anything changes there for the better.

– There was news that TBM Nadezhda, which constructed double-track tunnels in St Petersburg, is about to travel to Moscow. Have you got any information?

– In St. Petersburg, there are little construction opportunities for metro construction workers at the moment, while Moscow’s metro system expands dramatically. If Moscow invites, why not? The question is whether Nadezhda would be back to the city. The TBM is not quite a new one it constructed the extension of the line 5 and line 3. The operating conditions in Moscow might be not very favorable while all the equipment has its depreciation term. As a result St. Petersburg will lose specialists and equipment.

This TBM has a remarkable diameter. Should the city decide to buy another one, its development and production will take at least a year and a lot of funding. However, considering the latter city’s policy regarding the metro construction, there are no big plans.

 How large is the number of orders Lenmetrogiprotrans is currently operating with?

– The situation is quite similar to the construction’s one. Petersburg does not have new projects. The old ones are being brought up to date. Lenmetrogiprotrans works in Moscow quite successfully, and it makes its position steady. In particular, we developed the design and detailed documentation for the Kozhukhovskaya line. Several more projects are in progress.

– If it continues this way, St. Petersburg’s permanent duo Metrostroy and Lenmetrogiprotrans might become Moscow’s?

– Even with the TBM gone to Moscow, we will continue some work at different sites. In the capital, Nadezhda will work at the middle depth, as it was on Krestovsky Island in St. Petersburg. It is a well-proven technique, repeating our designs.

– How do you see the future of St. Petersburg’s metro?

– There are some projects that could be implemented should Metrostroy and the city resolve their disagreement. Now, we develop designs for the Northern segments of the green and purple lines, and we are to finish this work until the end of the year. The Krasnoselskaya-Kaliniskaya line’s (Line 6) project will be completed soon and evaluated by General Board of State Expert Review. Of course, the general plan for urban transport development exists, it is developed until 2030. In practice, reality rarely goes according to this plan.

– There are talks in the media about construction of the metro line to the airport. Could you provide any details?

– I would rather say a private company enquired about the construction of a satellite town near Gatchina town and about the construction of the metro line through the airport to the area. It exists at the phase of the inquiry. The Kirovsko-Vyborgskaya line (line 1), which previously was planned to be extended to the airport, will extend in a different direction. It will go to the South towards the Marshall Zhukova prospect.

Future investors would like to evaluate the economic efficiency of the project first.
Also, it is clear that the direct metro line to Gatchina is an inexpedient solution. The light rail is a more valid option.

– Does a circle metro line have any perspective?

– In my opinion, the circle line is not a priority for St. Petersburg. It is a valuable asset in the future, but right now the idea does not seem rational.

– What is the reason? Are there not enough stations?

– There are very few lines, and their locations suggest a very small diameter of the ring line. The profit for the passengers will be two or three stations, with one more interchange added. We need to develop more far-reaching lines first.

– Why metro construction is trending in the world but not in Russia?

– In foreign countries, the metro construction evolves rapidly including various regions. For example, Indonesia and Venezuela recently started to develop their metro systems quite impressively. Usually, the State supports these projects, including funding. They do understand the necessity of metro development for urban transportation. Russia is still to comprehend it.

Larisa Dubrovskaya, Editorial staff of portal “Underground expert”

 “Underground expert”