30 years of construction of the Chelyabinsk metro. Will they finish the project they started?
Chelyabinsk metro… It sounds unusual and strange, especially for those who do not live in the main city of the region.
At the time of 2022, the metro operates in Russia only in 7 cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
What do we know about Chelyabinsk? Will the subway work there too?
The history of the construction of the Chelyabinsk metro
The construction of the metro in Chelyabinsk began in 1992. Interestingly, the idea of its construction was included in the master plan decades earlier – in 1967. At that time, the city was actively growing and the pace of development showed that soon the population of Chelyabinsk would reach 1 million people.
On a note:
At the time of 2022, about 1,179,288 people live in the city. Chelyabinsk is in 7th place in Russia in terms of population.
During the development of the Chelyabinsk metro, 4 options for the scheme of the future transport system were designed. The first included only 2 lines:
- ChTZ – “Revolution Square” – CPI – North-West – ChMK
- ChTPZ – Station – “Revolution Square” – Thermal Engineering Institute – North-West.
The second version of the transport scheme was developed by the Giprokommundortrans Institute in Moscow, which already included 3 lines:
- ChMK – “Revolution Square” – Station – ChTPZ
- ChTZ – “Revolution Square” – CPI – North-West
- AMZ – Station – “Komsomolskaya Square” – North-East
After passing the examination of the State Planning Committee of the USSR, the construction of the first line of the Chelyabinsk metro was included in the XI five-year plan, which was carried out from 1981 to 1986. The cost of the work was estimated at about 320 million rubles, which at that time was equal to the annual budget of Chelyabinsk.
Little money was allocated. At the initial stage, the authorities allocated only 100 thousand rubles instead of the required 550.
In addition to financial nuances, it was necessary to resolve many other issues: the allocation of housing for employees, training, construction of building yards and bases, which also required a lot of time and finances.
In 1984, Metrogiprotrans was appointed as the designer, but due to the heavy workload of the organization, it was decided to stop the design of the Chelyabinsk metro. Work did not continue further: the Government of the USSR set a goal to save money. For this, work on major projects was postponed, and the subway in Chelyabinsk fell into this category.
The first line of the Chelyabinsk metro
Only in 1992, preparations for the construction of the first line were completed, and in 1993 the first long-awaited work began.
The activity was concentrated around 4 stations: “Komsomolskaya Square”, “Revolution Square”, “Shopping Center” and “Prospect Pobedy”. At different intervals, the work either stopped due to lack of money, then continued again.
The first line was planned to be built by 2015. By January 2014, only 18% of the total volume of the first stage of the launch site had been sold, and in the same year the construction was stopped again.
In 2017, the authorities estimated that another 75 billion rubles were needed to complete the construction work. The local authorities did not have such funds.
Currently, only 2 stations have been completed to “semi-readiness”: “Komsomolskaya Square” and “Shopping Center”.
Will the Chelyabinsk metro be completed?
Governor Alexei Teksler sets the goal of completing the Chelyabinsk metro project by the end of 2024, despite the fact that the project is unprofitable and the flow of passengers will be small. Some sources include data for 2025.
The planned type of transport was called “metrotram”, implying to connect the underground metro and surface tram tracks in the project. The scheme includes 3 branches that will connect different districts of Chelyabinsk and allow passengers to move around the city faster. The Tsargrad TV channel has published detailed metro construction schemes, which you can see below.
The Chelyabinsk metro is also considered not only as a vehicle, but as an object of civil defense (bomb shelter).
The theme of the construction of the Chelyabinsk metro has been and remains very controversial and controversial.