St. Petersburg’s Metro system conveniently serves downtown and central tourist areas
As is the case with most Soviet-era underground rail systems, you have to first enter the subway station platform which is a whole 2.5 minute ride from the top on musical escalators. After a while, one gets used to the constant hum, clit-clat sounds, and the meekly audible human voice. There is no scope for fainting, rushing or panicking, since once you set foot on it, there is nothing you can do till it stops. Babushkas watch you closely and will give you a look if you take a picture.
Quite minimalistic – two belts for operation and one standby. No elevators, no stairs, atleast in theory.
St. Petersburg’s metro was built in 1955 and is one of the deepest metros in the world and also among the most elaborately decorated. I got off at the Admiralteyskaya subway station, 105 meters below the surface, and the escalator seemed to take forever to get to the surface.
The subway stations in downtown have an interesting construction. In order to prevent flooding, the stations are completely enclosed by doors and walls – one can’t see the train or the tracks. Once the train stops, the doors open and one enters the train directly.
So far I had only heard of such systems. They were planning to do this in Toronto – not for flooding, but to prevent people from committing suicide by jumping on the tracks.
I kept a token from the transit system as a souvenir. Its a simple round coin with a big “M” written on it. 🙂