At the terminal stations, trains loop around to head back to the other end of the line. The loop takes up a bit more space, but avoids the need for direction reversal of trains or the need for turnback switches. There is a switch and short spur line at Timiryazevskaya Station to park trains. According to the Intamin website, a second phase of the line may extend the monorail by another three kilometers, linking a second Metro station and adding a total of three stations on the northeast end of the line.
A beautiful evening shot by Konstantin shows how the columns and train are lit up at night. Look closely and you can see a train approaching.
As we have seen with other new rail systems, no matter what technology they employ, problems do occur. That's what testing phases are for, to weed out the problems. In February of 2004, one of the trains had a mishap and tore up a stretch of contact railing.
Ouch! A few other problems have surfaced during the test phase, which has delayed full transit operations as we post this special (January 2006). The system currently operates as an excursion ride and only uses two of the six stations. There are two trains operating at twenty-minute intervals, as opposed to the planned eight-train, two-minute intervals that the system is designed for. The system currently has drivers, but fully automated operations are expected by 2007.
We've mentioned the harsh Winter weather of Moscow a couple of times, let's see how the monorail looks in snow! NEXT>>>
Moscow Monorail Special one / two / three / four