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Modern “Knights”, isolated routes and developed routes. The metropolitan tram system won the Global Light Rail Awards for the first time.

Fast and silent Vityaz cars glide along the streets of Moscow. Modern metropolitan trams are not inferior in comfort and safety to competitors from Europe. Over the past 10 years, 70 percent of the park has been renovated in the city: this fact was also noted by international experts. The Moscow tram system won the Global Light Rail Awards in the Most Developing System nomination. it first victory this level in the entire 112-year history of the capital’s tram.

How did the Moscow tram manage to bypass the Spanish, Swiss and even British counterparts? Why every day more and more Muscovites choose eco-friendly transport of the new generation for city trips? How will the capital’s tram system develop in the future? We will answer these and other questions in the mos.ru article.

Quiet and comfortable

The city authorities have relied on the renewal of the tram fleet. If ten years ago both the rare “Tatras” and high-floor trams of the KTM model plied across Moscow, now on the streets you can often find their modern counterparts. 450 modern trams run in the capital, more than 380 of them are Vityaz-Moscow trains. So far, they serve 25 out of 40 routes. But by 2024 only new generation vehicles will be visible on the lines.

Vityaz’s comfortable lounges can accommodate up to 260 passengers (at least 60 seats are provided). Low floor and climate control, USB charging and information displays make the cars comfortable. In addition, the vehicle runs smoothly and quietly. Passengers with limited mobility can press a button on the tram door to call the driver. There is also a drop-down ramp and space for a wheelchair. New trams have become more convenient for drivers as well: they are equipped with a modern control system, satellite navigation and video surveillance.

“Knights” are made at the Tver Carriage Works. For the first time, the production of low-floor trams is fully concentrated in Russia. The service life of the formulations is 30 years.

In 2021, another 109 new generation trains will be launched on city routes. Moreover, 90 of them will be compact, consisting of only one section. They will be launched on routes where there is no large passenger traffic even during rush hours. Nevertheless, up to 150 people will be able to travel in the cabin. The remaining 19 cars will remain three-section…

No plugs and exhaust

The international jury also noted the work of separating the tram lines from the roads. This is a global trend: the isolation of the tram allows it to go quickly (the speed increased by an average of 20 percent), without traffic jams and delays in the schedule, which is especially important for the townspeople. Another plus is a 60 percent reduction in the number of accidents involving trams. Cars simply cannot cross the tracks and collide with the train.

Smart traffic lights also help to drive faster. At intersections, public transport is given priority right of way. Sensors and information system, fixing trams, buses and electric buses in the stream, include green traffic light.

The experts also appreciated the development of the Moscow tram network. Since 2010, over 250 kilometers of tracks have been overhauled, which is more than half of the total length of tram rails in the city. After work, the carriages move quieter: trips become even more comfortable, and the movement of trams is less noticeable for residents of nearby houses.

During the renovation, eco-friendly recycled plastic sleepers were installed in some areas. For the first time, the technology was tested on a section of the tram line on Prospekt Mira. This method allows not only to reuse plastic, but also to save trees. According to calculations, if wooden sleepers are laid, then about 140 trees are required for one kilometer of tram tracks. That is, almost 10 kilometers of tracks – about 1400 trees. And sleepers made of recycled plastic are much stronger and less prone to damage… This technology is used in Europe and Asia, as well as in the USA and Canada.

Moscow also has its own tram traditions. For example, route number 27 in the north of Moscow is already more than a hundred years old: at the beginning of the century a horse-drawn carriage went along it. By the way, you can see her at the annual tram parade, which takes place on the Day of Moscow Transport. In 2020, his organization had to be abandoned due to the epidemiological situation. And in 2019, the parade gathered more than 100 thousand spectators. Muscovites and guests of the capital were able to see the evolution of carriages, many exhibits still on the go.

Today the tram is an environmentally friendly and safe, convenient and fast type of city transport. The capital’s system was assessed not only by international experts. Almost 207 thousand Muscovites voted in the Active Citizen project noted the convenience “Knights”. And before the pandemic, more than 700 thousand passengers used trams every day.

Moscow Vityaz, or How the capital’s tram network is changing From winter road to monorail: five centuries of Moscow public transport

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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