"High School Student's Writing" and Tram Lobby
The initial transport problem of Moscow with the advent of railways was the inconvenient location of the stations spread out on the outskirts of the city. It was possible to get from one to another only by horse-drawn transport. There was no central transit station in the city that could unite all the flows. The design of the ring railway began in the 1890s.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the metro already operated in London, Budapest, Paris, Berlin and New York. Moscow designers (and there were a lot of them) did their best to equal positive foreign examples. The problem of dead-end stations existed in Berlin; there it was solved with the help of the metro.
One of the first projects of the underground line was the joint proposal of engineers Peter Balinsky and Yevgeny Knorre to combine in this way the Tver Gate and Zamoskvorechye. It was compiled in 1902. Shortly before this, Balinsky tried to electrify the Petersburg tram, but the city council refused him, fearing foreign concessions of the Americans. The Moscow project was also presented to the City Duma. In a special speech, Balinsky estimated its value at 155 million rubles. Construction required the expansion of the streets and the alienation of the property of those whose property would be in the way of advancing progress. In the end, the project was rejected. In the newspapers, he was called the “high school student’s writing”. The influential tram lobby spoke against change (the authorities did not want to belittle the importance of this type of public transport, as the profits from it went to the treasury).
Central Station metro. Red Square, 1902. Project Balinsky and Knorre
On the eve of the war, another underground project was prepared by the Moscow City Government. Construction was scheduled for 1914 - 1920. In Kalitniki even began to build a depot. We started negotiations with sponsors abroad (Dent, Palmer & Co, Carmichael, etc.). But these and other attempts to get things moving off the ground have failed. In the press about this published mocking feuilletons, making fun of the helplessness of the city duma.
There were subway and ideological opponents. In 1903, Metropolitan Sergius wrote that the desire to penetrate the underworld is a sinful dream. Moscow Archaeological Society criticized the idea to search through the city, fearing for the safety of many old buildings. Finally, the city has spread the xenophobic fear of foreign funding expensive venture. In the anti-Semitic “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, published in 1905, one can find the assertion that in the largest cities of the world the subway is being dug specifically to destroy megacities with the help of planned explosions.
The party takes over
New conversations about the construction of the Moscow metro began during the civil war, when the city had not yet returned to its usual peaceful life, and in fact, even the tram traffic had stopped. Such projects were proposed along with a city reconstruction plan (for example, architect Boris Sakulin).
Negotiations with foreign companies on financing were resumed in 1923 by a decree of the Presidium of the Moscow City Council, which was chaired by Lev Kamenev. Contacts were established with Siemens. Her Moscow project was prepared according to the Berlin model. Soviet delegates also visited Vienna, Dresden, Paris and London to learn about the European experience. The finished project “Siemens” included 86 stations. However, due to lack of funds, this idea remained on paper.
The first train of the Moscow metro makes a test flight, 1934
For a long time, the party leadership did not interfere in the decision to build the metro. The situation changed in 1930, when, initially, during the process of the Industrial Party, purges were initiated in the apparatus of the Moscow Railway (Moscow City Railways), which was also responsible for the trams. The auditors announced the identification of "improper spending." Many engineers were involved in repressing the design of the metro plan. In MGZHD closed the "Metropolitan" subdivision in early 1931.
Projects 20s. so it was not possible to bring to life also for the reason that until 1935 there was no generally accepted plan for the development of Moscow. In 1930 a new zoning of the city was carried out. At the same time, the first secretary of the Moscow Regional Committee of the CPSU (B.) Was Stalin's appointee, Lazar Kaganovich. Soon, a political decision was made to start the construction of the metro. Under the Moscow Council established Metrostroy. The trial train of the future metropolitan metro was launched on October 14, 1934.