A Conversation for The Moscow Metro

Memories of Moscow Metro

Post 1


Great entry, really brought back a few memories I can tell you. Just a few things which aren't mentioned in the article... Bear in mind that I was there twice, I think in '85 and '87.

The smell: In Moscow, even the dogs smoked. And they smoked that funky Russian tobacco. Smoking was forbidden in the subway when I was there, but it was quite obvious that generations of chain-smoking smoking Muscovites had preceded this ban. Everywhere in the system smelled of that particularly Russian tobacco smoke.

The cost: 5 kopeks at the time! They didn't have the knee-catching gates mentioned in the article at the time, and frequently they merely had buckets set up in the station into which you threw the fare before getting on those astonishingly long escalators.

The ride: Not a single staight track in the system! It was back and forwards like a ... well, I'm sure you get the picture!

How deep: Really deep! It must be the deepest Metro system in the world.

Babushkas: Watch out for them! We joked at the time that they were all former members of the East German Women's hammer throwing team. I recall one of our party being completely floored by one, they are awesome people with no fear and immense strength. In groups they are formidable beyond belief.

The Workers: We visited a school which had one task only: To train workers for the Metro system. We saw these poor kids (about 15-17 years old) who already had their lives completely mapped out for them by the Soviet system. They would be Metro workers and that was that. I remember feeling so sorry for them as I stood in the classroom looking around. We were on an educational tour, and our group consisted of apprentices from various trades. I suppose the Soviets thought that a visit to what they considered to be the Soviet counterpart of our college would be appropriate. However, it was really scary. Poor sods, all in their military-like uniforms, forever destined to be track welder number 43.

Memories of Moscow Metro

Post 2


I'm betting St Pete is deeper. Those rides down those escalators are really freaky. What's even more frightening is that though they are still quite fast, you feel like you are never gonna get to the end.

I think I know the college you mean. It's great. Got these funky manequins in various states of gasmaskhood (now there's a way to deal with the smell) and all sorts of oldeworlde technical drawings on the walls as well as an atmoshphere you could use to cure insomnia.

You gottta admit that one didn't turn out as planned. For example, one of my colleagues is a refugee from the wonderful world of Metro civil engineering. It's a statement of my obsession that the various snippits of information she lets drop occassionally are a source of endless fascination.

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Memories of Moscow Metro

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