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Moscow: 200 new trams and a parade for the 125th anniversary of tramway system

The parade | © Metro Moscow

The Moscow tramway system, an integral part of the Russian capital’s public transport service offering, celebrated its 125th anniversary in style last weekend. The capital’s tram system, which has been in operation since 6 April 1899, celebrated this milestone with a series of events that paid tribute to its varied past and highlighted its current positive future prospects.

The festivities kicked off with a tramway parade along Lesnaya Street on Saturday 6 April 2024, featuring a diverse collection of trams from different eras. Beyond the parade, Tverskaya Zastava Square became the center of attraction, hosting an exhibition that showcased an impressive array of historical cars and vehicles, drawing enthusiasts and curious spectators alike.

RVZ-6 built in Riga, no. 222 | © Metro Moscow
MTV-82, built in 1948, no. 1278 | © Metro Moscow

From its inception, the Moscow tram has served as the cornerstone of the city’s urban rail transport system. Reflecting on a decade ago, the landscape was dominated by last-generation trams characterized by high floors and access through turnstiles at the first door, often mingling with car traffic and susceptible to delays from frequent road mishaps.

In a bold step forward, Moscow has since positioned itself at the forefront of tram network development and infrastructure across Russia. Since 2017, more than 500 state-of-the-art, Russian-manufactured trams have been introduced to the streets of Moscow, revolutionizing the urban transit experience with a remarkable 95% renewal rate of the fleet. By 2030, the ambition is to further bolster the tram fleet with an additional 200 latest-generation, fully low-floor trams. Efforts to enhance the commuter experience continue unabated, with ongoing track upgrades to segregate tram lines from vehicular traffic and the installation of elevated platforms at stops.

Today’s modern low-floor tramcars | © Metro Moscow

The modern tram services account for over 600,000 commuter trips on an average weekday, with passenger numbers steadily increasing. In March, the tram system experienced its busiest day in three years, nearly hitting the 700,000 daily trips mark.

The anniversary celebrations also featured the highly anticipated Tram Parade at Belorussky Station, attracting over 200,000 attendees. The growing fascination with tram parades and the increasing yearly turnout underscore the deep connective tissue between the Moscow tram system and its community.

Tatra T3SU no. 481 | © Metro Moscow
Modernized Tatra KT3R | © Metro Moscow
MTV-82, built in 1948, no. 1278 | © Metro Moscow
KTP-1 | © Metro Moscow

We last reported on Moscow’s tramway system here: