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Moscow metro's 75th anniversary

2010-05-18 10:30:27 GMT2010-05-18 18:30:27 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Russia is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Moscow metro by going retro.

Muscovites can ride a restored a vintage subway train from the 1930s with old fashioned lamps, seats and colours with an authentic feel of the early metro.

The head constructor of subway train production says that the old-time trains had to comply with modern safety standards.

(SOUNDBYTE) (Russian) ALEXEI KOLESIN, HEAD CONSTRUCTOR OF SUBWAY TRAIN PRODUCTION METROVAGONMASH PLANT:

"To keep what is special in this train dating from the thirties and at the same time to create the technical equipment which is safe for passengers today - this is really hard to do and it was probably the most difficult task for us."

Millions of passengers ride the modern metro system daily, which is made up of 180 stations on 12 lines with an overall length exceeding 298 kilometres

For several decades many stations were decorated with sculptures, bas reliefs and marble walls as a matter of pride for the then Soviet government.

Three years ago the 'Watercolour' train was launched with work displayed by modern Russian painters.

This year it carries an art exhibition of copies of old watercolour masterpieces.

(SOUNDBYTE) (Russian) DENIS, YOUNG MUSCOVITE:

"What should I say? It looks like it's getting better, it's really improving. They are obviously trying to do something good for people. Well done!"

Moscow authorities are planning construction of new stations to expand the network, but rely on a city budget that sometimes delays putting new stations into service.

(Reuters)

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