Metro stations closed indefinitely


Thousands of St Petersburg residents will have to take the long way to and from home after the indefinite closure of four metro stations in the city's northeast.

Transport authorities said last Friday that trains will not travel between metro stations Ploshchad Lenina and Akademichiskaya beginning this week.

The announcement did not state when the four stations affected -- Ploshchad Muzhestva, Lesnaya, Vyborgskaya and Politekhnicheskaya -- would resume normal services.

Urgent repairs to the rail line between Lesnaya and Ploshchad Muzhestva were given as reasons for closing all four stations.

In recent months, the four stations have been closed late at night and on weekends for repair work necessitated by water seeping into the area.

Residents from the area served by the metro will have to utilize the aboveground electric train system which loops through the area.

Commuters can catch electric trains from Kushelevka station (between Ploshchad Muzhestva and Lesnaya metro stations), Piskaryovka, Ruchi and Devyatkino stations to Finland railway station. The latter connects to Ploshchad Lenina metro station.

New express buses have been organized as a stopgap measure to help alleviate transport difficulties, running from Ruchi station via Nauki and Grazhdansky Prospects to Finland station.

The closed metro section is part of the first metro line constructed in St Petersburg, the Kirovsko-Vyborgskaya line.

The closing of the four stations on the Kirovsko-Vyborgskaya line is expected to increase congestion on the already overburdened Moskovsko-Petrogadskaya or blue line, which runs from the city's northern and northwestern regions to the city's south.

Daily newspaper Sankt Peterburgskiye Vedomosti said that the three northernmost stations on the blue, or second, line -- Prospect Prosveshcheniya, Ozerki and Udelnaya -- are already operating at slightly above their official operating capacity of 40,000 persons per hour per station at peak times.

The Kirovsko-Vyborgskaya line was opened on November 15, 1955, at which time it ran between Ploshchad Vosstaniya and Avtovo metro stations.

But the four stations north of Ploshchad Lenina were opened in the 1970s as then-Leningrad's expanding population exploded north.

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