As in many other big cities, one of the primary means of transportation in St. Petersburg is subway. 67 stations located along 5 lines each day transport more than 2 million people all over the city. Take a look at some interesting fact and St Petersburg subway history below.
Its history dates back to the XIX century, when the plans for a subway in St Petersburg first emerged. At that time, it was impossible to build a comprehensive subway system in the city due to technical difficulties. Therefore, those plans were stalled till later. More precisely, 1938, when the Soviet government acknowledged the need for a subway. It wasn’t until later, after World War II, that the project started to come to life. Eventually, 1955 marked the beginning of the official St Petersburg subway history. The work over the next 37 years would result in 4 lines, 54 stations and 94 kilometers (=58 miles; see more about metric differences here) by the time of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This was, however, enough to cater to the needs of most citizens and create an extensive net of tunnels and rails.
Due to its location and technical features, St Petersburg subway can boast quite a few «mosts» and «firsts». For instance, the average depth of its stations is the biggest in the world, with Admiralteyskaya station being the deepest in Russia (86 meters below the surface, or 282 feet). It is also the first subway to try platform screen doors completely isolating people on the station from the train. Sometimes this system is called “horizontal elevator”. It was introduced not only to completely avoid any suicide attempts or accidental falls onto the rails, but also to improve the whole St. Petersburg subway experience, minimizing noise, wind and the amount of litter on the rails. St. Petersburg was the first city to introduce single-vault stations in Russia and a two-tier station – for the first time in the world.
Nowadays St Petersburg subway continues to be the most popular choice of transportation. It is open from 5:30 am till 12:15 am every day with a few exceptions of all-nighters during national holidays. There are, however, night buses that operate from 1 am till 3 am with their routes falling along the lines of the subway.
Although St Petersburg subway is renowned for its efficiency and transparency in terms of transportation, it is also extremely beautiful. It was constructed with the St. Petersburg whole architectural feel in mind, therefore, some of the stations are no less than works of art. Avtovo subway station with its glass colonnade, marble decoration and enormous chandeliers was rightfully named one of the most beautiful stations in the world. Narvskaya station is dedicated to all the work done by Soviet people and its alto-relievos represent different occupations that were common during the time, from doctors and constructors to collective farmers and seamen. Another impressive station is Kirovsky Zavod, which boasts 62 columns representing various industries, from oil to electricity. For a contemporary feel visit Obvodny Kanal, which was built in 2010 in a more modern style, retaining panoramic images of the area before the 1917 revolution. For an unparalleled experience, book your private tour of St Petersburg metro right now.