InTramCities with Gordon Stewart


Moscow, Russia : 9th-10th October 1985
Notes updated in 2020 :

Although trams had been removed from the centre of Moscow in favour of an extensive underground railway system, Russia's capital city boasted an extremely extensive tramway in 1985. The city is now rapidly changing, and the tramway has suffered at the hands of the road builders as the city authorities have both welcomed the massive expansion of car ownership and actively provided for it. As a result, tramway passenger numbers collapsed. A number of locations seen here in 1985 are now without trams, such as at 1905 Goda and on Prospekt Mira at VDNKh, and the street scenes are now unfamiliar in their quietness and lack of motor traffic, shops and advertisements. Prominent in the 1985 scenes are, however, placards proclaiming the 27th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Significant closures had taken place in the late 1970s and early 1980s although a new extension to the newly-developing Strogino district in the west of the city was built. A further round of closures followed in the 1995-2004 period. The most prominent of these, coming into effect in 1995, was the link to the city from VDHKh along Prospekt Mira which was quickly transformed into a multi-lane highway. In the north-eastern network, trams were curtailed at the loop at Sokol with the rest of line 23 to Shmitovsky Prospekt via Ulitsa 1905 Goda being cut back in stages and much of the inner part of line 27 was closed when it was cut back to Dmitrovskaya Station. 

The election of Sergey Sobyanin to the position of Mayor of Moscow in 2010 gave a major impetus to sorting the increasing congestion and chaos found in the city as the number of private vehicles mushroomed. Significant investment was poured into the city's roads, which are now regularly maintained, parking control and general upgrading of the street environment.  Although most investment in public transport has been directed towards extending the metro, already one of the world's largest, and upgrading local railway lines including an outer ring line, there has been significant investment in modern rolling stock for the tramway. Within the next few years the fleet will have been completely renewed. The tramway tracks, many of which  are on reserved track or at least marked lanes in the centre of city streets, are being renewed and in 2020 Mosgortrans, the city public transport operator, indicated that all would be renewed by 2024. A number of new high-speed tram lines have been proposed
for the suburbs of Moscow.

The revival of the tramway contrasts sharply with the fate of Moscow's trolleybus system which closed in the early morning of August 25th, 2020. The network had been the world's largest and in the mid 1990s covered well over 600 miles of route. The decision to abandon trolleybuses came only in 2016 and was hastened by the emergence of the rechargeable battery for buses. Whilst most routes will be taken over by modern diesel and hybrid buses, the intention is to convert to all-electric as quickly as possible. A 2.2 mile loop line has been retained in the area around Komsomolskaya metro station for heritage purposes. 

 
Date Film No No Location View Dir Tram Notes
09/10/1985 850192 1 1905 Goda

5510 See Main photos below for more details
09/10/1985 850192 2 1905 Goda

5510
09/10/1985 850192 3 Zvenigorodskoye Shosse

1026
09/10/1985 850192 4 Zvenigorodskoye Shosse

1831
09/10/1985 850192 5 Volokolamskoye Shosse

1026
09/10/1985 850192 6 Volokolamskoye Shosse

5505
09/10/1985 850192 7 Volokolamskoye Shosse

1838
09/10/1985 850192 8 Volokolamskoye Shosse

5505
09/10/1985 850192 9 Volokolamskoye Shosse

1961
09/10/1985 850192 10 Sokol

1808
09/10/1985 850192 11 Ulitsa Aviatsionnaya

1928
09/10/1985 850192 12 Ulitsa Aviatsionnaya

1834
09/10/1985 850192 13 Konstantina Tsareva

1835
09/10/1985 850192 14 Konstantina Tsareva

5445
09/10/1985 850192 15 Most Pobedy


929
10/10/1985 850201 1 Most Pobedy

1831
10/10/1985 850201 2 1. Novopodmoskovniy Per.

5523
10/10/1985 850201 3 Voiikovskaya metro

919
10/10/1985 850201 4 Voiikovskaya metro

1912
10/10/1985 850201 5 Voiikovskaya metro

1850
10/10/1985 850201 6 Kosmodemianskikh Ulitsa

5495
10/10/1985 850201 7 Ulitsa Klery Tsetkin

1037
10/10/1985 850201 8 Ulitsa Klery Tsetkin

1848
10/10/1985 850201 9 Sobolevskiy Proyezd

924
10/10/1985 850201 10 Sobolevskiy Proyezd


10/10/1985 850201 11 Sobolevskiy Proyezd

5567
10/10/1985 850201 12 Sobolevskiy Proyezd

1002
10/10/1985 850201 13 Mikhalkovskaya Ulitsa

5271
10/10/1985 850201 14 Mikhalkovskaya Ulitsa

924
10/10/1985 850201 15 Tikhvinskaya Ulitsa


10/10/1985 850201 16 Perunovskiy Pereluok



10/10/1985 850201 17 Dostoyevskogo Pereulok

5166
10/10/1985 850201 18 3rd Samotechniy Pereulok

5304
10/10/1985 850201 19 3rd Samotechniy Pereulok

1066
10/10/1985 850201 20 Ulitsa Durova

5624
10/10/1985 850201 21 Protopopovskiy P / U Gilyarovskogo 

5458
10/10/1985 850201 22 VDNKh / Prospekt Mira


10/10/1985 850201 23 VDNKh / Prospekt Mira

5299
10/10/1985 850201 24 Prospekt Mira

5544
10/10/1985 850201 25 Prospekt Mira

763
10/10/1985 850201 26 Prospekt Mira

976
10/10/1985 850201 27 Protopopovskiy Pereulok

5629



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Film No No Location View Dir Tram
850192 1 1905 Goda

5510
Above : This photo is taken on Krasnaya Presnya Ulitsa at Ulitsa 1905 Goda Metro Station. The tram has come from the junction with Ulitsa 1905 Goda. Trams were removed in 2000 but trolleybuses remain. From here the tram ran south via Ulitsa Trekhgornyy Val to a terminus loop at Shmitovskiy Proyezd and northwards to meet Leningradskiy Prospekt via Zvenigorodskoye Shosse, Ulitsa Sergeya Makeeva, Ulitsa 1905 Goda (northern section), Begovaya Ulitsa and 1-y Botkinskiy Proyezd. 
850192 2 1905 Goda

5510
Above : This photo is taken on Krasnaya Presnya Ulitsa at Ulitsa 1905 Goda Metro Station. The tram has come from the junction with Ulitsa 1905 Goda. The monument is to the heroes of the 1905 revolution and is in front of the entrance to the metro station
850192 3 Zvenigorodskoye Shosse

1026
Above : The oubound continuation of Krasnaya Presnya Ulitsa after the junction with Ulitsa 1905 Goda is Zvenigorodskoye Shosse. This view just to the north-west of the junction has been totally transformed. The block of flats remains although with commercial units at ground floor level. Almost all of the greenery has been removed and the northern side of the road built on. The road itself, with trams removed, has been transformed into an eight-lane highway 
850192 4 Zvenigorodskoye Shosse

1831
Above : The construction of a housing block is the first sign of transformation of what is almost a rural scene with the Tatra tram 1831 having turned out of Ulitsa Sergeya Makeeva into Zvenigorodskoye Shosse en route to Ulitsa 1905 Goda
850192 5 Volokolamskoye Shosse

1026
Above : View towards the city centre on Volokolamskoye Shosse just outwards of the junction with Baltijskaya Ulitsa, another scene where road building has transformed the view with a multi-lane highway, road tunnel and elevated access roads. The tramway, heading onwards towards the city on Leningradskiy Prospekt was removed in 2000 and now terminates at a loop at this point, with close access to Sokol metro station. 
850192 6 Volokolamskoye Shosse

5505
Above : Looking outwards, the scene is more recognisable. The tram tracks and tram services remain, although at this point they are now approaching a terminus loop close to Sokol metro station
850192 7 Volokolamskoye Shosse

1838
Above : The loop for terminating services was in use in 1985 as illustrated above with the tram behind the trees. The network in the north-west of the city now served from Sokol remains largely intact and also remains isolated from the remainder of the city's system. 
850192 8 Volokolamskoye Shosse

5505
Above : Another view towards the city centre with a billboard relating to the upcoming 27th congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
850192 9 Volokolamskoye Shosse

1961
Above : Information boards celebrate the 26th party congress amongst other events designed to encourage the population.
850192 10 Volokolamskoye Shosse

1808
Above : View inwards along Volokolamskoye Shosse towards Sokol metro station
850192 11 Aviatsionnaya Ulitsa

1928
Above : Despite all around now being built-up high rise, the tramway still runs on a private right of way through a wooded area crossing Aviatsonnaya Ulitsa
850192 12 Aviatsionnaya Ulitsa

1834
Above : Despite all around now being built-up high rise, the tramway still runs on a private right of way through a wooded area
850192 13 Ulitsa Konstantina Tsareva

1835
Above : View north-eastwards on Ulitsa Konstantina Tsareva, approching the bridge with the Leningradskoye Shosse highway
850192 14 UIitsa Konstantina Tsareva

5445
Above : View south-westwards on Ulitsa Konstantina Tsareva with the Moscow Aviation Institute tower block in the background
850192 15 Most Pobedy


929
Above : Tram leaves the bridge taking tram over the Moscow-Riga railway line at Most Pobedy
850201 1 Most Pobedy

1831
Above : Tram leaves the bridge taking tram over the Moscow-Riga railway line at Most Pobedy
850201 2 1. Novopodmoskovniy Peruolok.

5523
Above : Tram heading south on 1-yi Novopodmoskovnyy Pereulok. In the background is a tram on Zoi I Aleksandra Komodem'yanskikh Ulitsa, shortly before arriving at the terminus at Voykovskaya metro station
850201 3 Voykovskaya metro

919
Above : Voykovskaya Metro Staion tram terminus with the tram turning into Zoi I Aleksandra Komodem'yanskikh Ulitsa. The large building faces onto the Leningradskoye Shosse
850201 4 Voykovskaya metro

1912
Zoi I Aleksandra Komodem'yanskikh Ulitsa with a tram turning into 1-yi Novopodmoskovnyy Pereulok rather than straight on to the nearby terminus
850201 5 Voykovskaya metro

1850
Above: Tram turning out of 1-yi Novopodmoskovnyy Pereulok into Zoi I Aleksandra Komodem'yanskikh Ulitsa
850201 6 Kosmodemianskikh Street

5495
Above: Tram north-eastbound on Zoi I Aleksandra Komodem'yanskikh Ulitsa at 2. Podmorskovnyy Pereulok
850201 7 Ulitsa Klery Tsetkin

1037
Above : On Ulitsa Klery Tsetkin and about to turn right into Zoi I Aleksandra Komodem'yanskikh Ulitsa
850201 8 Kosmodemianskikh Street

1848
Above : On Zoi I Aleksandra Komodem'yanskikh Ulitsa about to turn left into Ulitsa Klery Tsetkin
850201 9 Sobolevskiy Proyezd

924
Above : Sobolevskiy Proyezd, although flanked by large housing blocks, remains a quiet tree-lined street, primarily a tram-only alignment but with access for motor vehicles. Modern higher-rise flats have been added to the traditional Soviet-style blocks
850201 10 Sobolevskiy Proyezd


850201 11 Sobolevskiy Proyezd

5567
850201 12 Sobolevskiy Proyezd

1002
850201 13 Mikhalkovskaya Street

5271
Above : View south-eastwards on Mikhalkovskaya Ulitsa approaching the junction with Ulitsa Bol'shaya Akademischeskaya
850201 14 Mikhalkovskaya Street

924
Above : Tatra tram 924 heads south east on Mikhalkovskaya Ulitsa approaching the junction with Ulitsa Bol'shaya Akademischeskaya. Tram route 27, which commenced at Voykovskaya metro station continued along Timiryazevskaya Ulitsa and other major streets almost to the edge of the city centre before turning back in a large arc to terminate at Ulitsa 8. Marta. At the junction of Butyrskaya Ulitsa and Ulitsa Nizhnyaya Maslovka at Savyolovskaya metro station, the line came within 750 metres of the main Moscow tram network on Ulitsa Dvintsev. Whilst this might now have been regarded as a perfect opportunity to connect the two systems, that opportunity no longer exists. Line 27 was curtailed to a new loop at Dmitrovskaya Station. In 2019 new proposals were tabled to make a link from the surviving section of line 27 to the northern part of the main network at Ostankino.  
850201 15 Tikhvinskaya Street


Above : View northwards on Tikhvinskaya Ulitsa at the junction with Minayevskiy Pereulok. The tram has come the short distance from the nearby Ulitsa Dvintsev terminus on tracks which are now closed. Tracks remain in Tikhvinskaya Ulitsa south of here and in Minayevskiy Pereulok. The ground floor of the block of flats has been turned over to shops. A new block towers over the smaller building in the distance
850201 16 Perunovskiy Pereulok



Above : View south west of a tram on Perunovskiy Pereulok seen from the junction with Tikhvinskaya Ulitsa. Tracks on Sushchevskaya Ulitsa (left) and Ulitsa Palika (ahead behind the tram) all remain in service as well as the line in Tikhvinskaya Ulitsa.
850201 17 Dostoyevskogo Pereulok

5166
Above : View northwards to the junction with Ulitsa Dostoyevsko, where the tram turns left. The old building has been replaced.
850201 18 3rd Samotechniy Pereulok

5304
Above : View south-eastwards
850201 19 3rd Samotechniy Pereulok

1066
Above : View northwestwards. The old building has been removed but not replaced
850201 20 Ulitsa Durova

5624
Above : Ulitsa Durova, looking westwards from outside the Moscow Mosque,which was demolished in 2011 and rebuilt new, opening in 2015. The large grey building to the left has been removed but not replaced. A large tower building has been constructed behind the second, smaller, red building. The former Olympic Stadium is to the right of the view
850201 21 Protopopovskiy Pereulok

5458
Above : Tram turns out of  Ulitsa Gilyarovskogo into Protopopovskiy Pereulok. Whilst tracks in the latter survive and trams still turn south into Gilyarovskogo Ulitsa, those going north (from where the tram has come) have now been closed. Gilyarovskogo runs parallel to Prospekt Mira and, further north, the tracks joined Prospekt Mira and continued on to VDNKh and Medvekovo. The surroundings have now been transformed and the Khram Sviyatitelya Filippa Metropolita Moskovskogo Church restored to resplendent glory. The photo is taken from the location of the current Sportkompleks "Olimpiyskiy" tram stop 
850201











































27











































Protopopovskiy Pereulok











































Above : Tram on Protopopovskiy Pereoluk, crossing Prospekt Mira from east to west. The view is little changed except for the amount of motor traffic 
850201 22 VDNKh / Prospekt Mira


Above : A standard Tatra tram outside the VDNKh metro station on Prospekt Mira. VDNKh is a permanent exhibition park in the north of Moscow dedicated to the Achievements of the Russian (Soviet in 1985) Economy and doubles up as an amusement park. Although this alignment close to the metro station entrance survived the closure of services southbound on Prospekt Mira in 1995, it was later removed and replaced by a new line slightly to the west and closer to the park entrance which allowed for services between Medvekovo and Ostakino to continue without taking up space on this part of the upgraded Prospekt Mira highway.  
850201 23 VDNKh / Prospekt Mira

5299
Above : Tram 5299 heads south along Prospekt Mira at VDNKh. This scene has been totally transformed as Prospekt Mira has been transformed into a multi-lane high-speed highway with overpasses, slip roads and in the background of the view above, a road underpass. The wooded area to the left had been cut down by 1999 for the new road. Trams still serve VDNKh from Medvekovo in the north but on a new alignment parallel to Prospekt Mira at this location alongside the parking lots from where they run to the Ostankino terminus. Trams also link into the network on the eastern side of the city, the largest remaining concentration of tram routes by crossing Prospekt Mira on Ulitsa Borisa Galushkina, where the main highway dives into the cutting
850201 24 VDNKh/Prospekt Mira

5544
Above : View towards the city centre on the wide avenue of Prospekt Mira just to the south of VDNKh at the junction with Zvozdnyy Bul'var and Ostankinskiy Proyezd. The generous proportion of roads in the Soviet city allowed space for the modern highway developments, but only at the expense of space for the tramway and pedestrians. Closure of this tram line removed the direct route to the northern edge of the city centre, but its demise was unsurprising as it duplicated a metro line which gave access to the heart of the city. This wass the most prominent of tramway closures in Moscow in modern times. Between 1995 and 1999 trams turned right into Ostankinskiy Proyezd to access the existing line to Ostankino or to terminate at the VDNKh park.  
850201 25 Prospekt Mira

763
Above : View southwards towards the city centre on Prospekt Mira
850201 26 Prospekt Mira

976
Above : View southwards towards the city centre on Prospekt Mira


Alexander Elagin has photographed the Moscow tramway extensively in recent years, capturing lines that are now closed and lines that have been relocated as well as the changing scenes around the trams. Click here to go to Alexander's website

My own thanks to Alexander for precisely identifying the location of the photos presented here

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