A cableway is a high-speed, noiseless, safe, and ecological type of public transport which has proved its effectiveness throughout the world. Suspended cableways are successfully in operation in London, Grenoble, Koblenz, New York, Singapore, Ankara, Medellin, and Rio de Janeiro. Cableways are useful additions to the transport infrastructure of a megalopolis which make it possible to ease the burden on highways and provide links with areas that are difficult to get to or are separated by water.
There are now plans to build a new cableway in the Russian capital too – from Skhodnenskaya to Rechnoy vokzal metro stations, linking Moscow’s Levoberezhny District with the districts of Yuzhnoe and Severnoe Tushino. Currently, these districts are separated from one another by a natural aquatic obstacle (Khimkinskoe Reservoir) and the reservoir’s two shores currently have no direct connection by bridge or tunnel. To get across to the opposite shore, residents of the city have to go round the reservoir, a journey with an average time of approximately 50 minutes.
The suspended cableway will run directly above the reservoir. When the cableway opens, the journey between Skhodnenskaya and Rechnoy vokzal metro stations will take only 10 minutes.
Work on drawing up the site plan for the passenger cableway began in 2018. When construction is complete, the route will have a total length of 2.3 km. The section between the two stations will have seven main pylons; there will be two pylons at the stations. The cableway will be more than 25 metres above ground. The technology used in building the GreenLine will make it possible to preserve the trees currently standing on the construction site. The route taken by the passenger cableway does not require the construction of substantial flyovers, tunnels, bridges, or viaducts; this is especially important for an urban environment. Cableways can be built anywhere since terrain, aquatic obstacles, and buildings are no impediment. Additionally, cableways can take the shortest route.
Passengers will travel over the water in comfortable cabins, each containing up to ten people. Inside, the cabins will be equipped with everything needed to ensure that passengers travel in safety and comfort: heating, USB sockets for charging devices, and Wi-Fi (free of charge).
Cableways are extremely safe compared to other forms of passenger transport. The leading manufacturers of suspended cableways stick rigidly to international standards of quality, are gradually perfecting technologies for design and construction, and use the latest safety devices. For instance, the Moscow cableway will be fitted with a special independent emergency drive system to ensure that the cabins can quickly be returned to the stations in the event of an emergency.
It is planned that the cabins will reach a speed of 6 m/s on the cableway at rush hour and the total journey time will be not more than seven minutes at rush hour and ten minutes at other times. Intervals between cabins will not exceed one minute during peak use.
The Rechnoy vokzal and Skhodnenskaya cableway stations will be linked to their metro stations by concealed above-ground passageways. Movement between the cableway and metro stations will follow the ‘dry feet’ principle – which means that passengers will be able to switch from one type of public transport to the other without going outside or leaving the cover provided by a canopy. When there are large flows of passengers, the ‘dry feet’ principle makes it possible to ensure maximally comfortable and safe conditions for large numbers of people changing stations.
This project is part of Moscow’s campaign to develop a barrier-free environment. Routes will be provided to cater for the needs of people with limited mobility (with entrances at ground level, lifts and escalators in the buildings, and well-thought-out pedestrian links).
Skhodnenskaya metro station will be part of a mixed-use building with underground parking for 112 vehicles. This building will contain a ‘My Documents’ Centre for Government Services and will have a useable roof – with a green lawn, trees, bushes, benches where people can relax, a basketball court, and a workout space.
Adjacent areas will be landscaped. An amphitheatre will be built alongside the café with, around it, a lawn and large trees. The park zone will have bicycle parking and new recreational spots.
Cableways have numerous advantages over other types of urban transport. These are: safety, high through capacity, no harmful atmospheric emissions, and, of, course, the ability to quickly cross an aquatic obstacle of great length. A passenger cableway can be integrated into any urban space. Additionally, it makes no more noise than an electric car.
Unlike a crowded city bus or tram, a journey on a cableway gives passengers abundant positive emotions. Every journey on this route will be a chance to gaze at panoramic views of the city and Khimkinskoe Reservoir.
The new cableway will be part of Moscow’s integrated public-transport system. It will be possible to pay for journeys using Moscow’s Troyka card, among other means of payment.
The cableway will operate around the clock. Its technical specifications allow passengers to be carried at air temperatures as low as -30 °С and in winds up to 15 m/s.
Preliminary calculations of passenger flows on the cableway are approximately 3000 people in rush hour and up to 63,000 people per 24 hours. The cableway stations will be accessible to more than 420,000 inhabitants of nearby districts.
In Moscow use of advanced technologies and innovative and modern types of urban passenger transport such as cableways is helping improve both the effectiveness of the city’s transport system and Muscovites’ quality of life.
State Research and Design Institute for Urban Development of the City of Moscow is a state organization specialized in Architecture, Engineering Infrastructure, Transportation, Economics, and Social Sciences. Established in 2012 under the Moscow City Government Order it subordinates directly to the Moscow City Architecture Committee. The Institute develops and implements strategies for sustainable urban planning including analysis of environmental and socio-economic aspects of urban development.
Modern city demands a new approach towards the development of urban space. The city of Moscow strives to encompass new principles of urban design and planning in the elaboration of large-scale design and renewal projects. The Institute commits to a multi-disciplinary strategical approach in master planning and works towards the development of livable, sustainable communities and improvement of citizens’ wellbeing by working with all stakeholders of the urban planning process.