Subway Phantoms in Moscow

Many Metro (subway) lines in Moscow have so called "phantom stations" – the stations which were closed down or were never used. Some of such stations finally started operating, others do not exist or are not used as stations any more.

Sovetskaya Station
It was supposed to be located under Sovetskaya Square (today – Tverskaya). However, Stalin ordered to use the station as an underground center of Moscow Staff for Civil Defense. The tunnels of the station were masked. Sovetskaya Station was supposed to look like another station named Rizhskaya which is also painted in yellow.

Not existing Sovetskaya Station is located under the apartment building number 4 at Tverskaya Street 8/2. The first and second floors of the building are occupied by Moscow Chief Administration for Civil Defense and Emergency Situations. Sovetskaya Station is its underground shelter.

Krasnye Vorota Station
It was a phantom station during the Great Patriotic War in 1941-45. The Central Staff and Air Defense Command departments were accommodated there. Trains did not stop at the station and the platform was covered by a high plywood wall. After the war finished, it took some time to cover up the traces of the activity which took place at the station.
The rumors that the Central Staff was located in another station – neighboring Kirovskaya – did not prove to be true.

Arbat Radial Line
On April 5, 1953 new Arbat radial line from Revolution Square to Kievskaya Station constructed deeply under the ground started operation. The parallel line from Kalininskaya to Kievskaya Station having shallow bedding was closed down. Many German train cars of type B were put in the closed line tunnels, and the station lobbies were used as depots. German cars had no parts for replacement and therefore more and more of them stopped working. Finally such cars were put in another separate area. 

Arbatskaya and Smolenskaya stations were used for unusual purposes: they accommodated exhibitions. For unknown reasons, such usage did not last long. Smolenskaya Station was closed down after having two or three exhibitions. They were conducted in Arbatskaya Station until 1958, and then were placed in the station lobby, on the corner of Vozdvizhenka Street and Gogol Boulevard. In the end of the summer of 1958 the station had an exhibition of flowers.

On November 7, 1958 old Arbat radial line with shallow bedding was opened for passengers again. It became a part of a new route from Kievskaya to Kutuzovskaya Station which started new Filevskaya Line constructed later.

Volokolamskaya Station
Built on December 28, 1975, Volokolamskaya is the only phantom station that can be seen very well by Metro passengers. On the way between Shukinskaya and Tushinskaya stations passengers can see Volokolamskaya Station’s hall with violet walls.

This station has interesting history. It is located under Tushinskii aerodrome which was supposed to be closed down. Buildings were supposed to be erected in the aerodrome area. However, the authorities received many requests to cancel the project and preserve the aerodrome. There are rumors that even the first Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin asked for this. The project was finally cancelled. Nevertheless the station construction was completed, just in case – state money spending was hardly counted under Socialism. Contrary to the rumors, Volokolamskaya Station has no exit to the surface. 

Dubrovka Station
It was supposed to be opened on December 25, 1995 alongside with the other stations of  New Lyublinskaya Line. The initial plan failed because of many problems with the construction of the escalator (the longest escalator in Russia). At one point there were rumors the station would never open. Nobody wanted to invest money in the station which, according to estimates, would not have many passengers (later this proved to be true).

There were no construction works in Dubrovka until 1998. Trains passed the station whose platforms were covered up with metal plates. Its decorating marble was covered with whitewashing and all this was lighted with several dim lamps…

Then the station construction was renewed, and at 12:45 on December 11,
1999 the station was opened for passengers. One more phantom stopped existing.

Vorobievy (or Leninskie) Gory Station
It was open in the lower level of Luzhnetski metrobridge on January 12, 1959. However, the bridge was made of low quality concrete, which resulted in the start of the bridge collapse in 1983. It was destroyed by strong vibration caused by passing vehicles and trains having weight of about 400 tons, which accelerated speed and applied the brakes 600-700 times a day.

Because of such a critical bridge condition the line was supposed to be closed down for two-three years for repair works. However, the city authorities could not afford this because without the bridge a big part of Moscow might be separated from the rest of the city. Taking this fact into account, two small replacement bridges were  constructed and the station was closed for temporary repair works. But the bridge continued collapsing, which resulted in putting him under complete reconstruction. After the traffic movement was closed down on the Metrobridge, its upper level was completely renovated. Then they started repairing the lower level where the Metro station is located.

First it was planned to be open in 1998, but that year the financial crisis took place. The opening was postponed for the next year… Then it was postponed again… In 2001 they started closing train movement from Sportivnaya to Yugo-Zapadnaya in evening and at weekends for reconstruction works. In summer 2002 train movement on this route was closed for a month. During this month a temporary line was constructed under the bridge so that the trains could continue running.
On December 14, 2002 Vorobievi Gory was opened for passengers again. The station can hardly have any trouble in the future because the construction scheme of the Metrobridge was changed. Railroads in both and the platform are placed separately from each other which reduce the risk of possible destruction.

Author`s name Petr Ernilin