Sankt Peterburg was the capital of the Russian empire until the Russian Revolution of 1917 when the power of the new Soviet state moved to Moscow. In 1914, the town changed its name from the German Sankt Petersburg into Russian Petrograd, but after Lenin died in 1924 it was renamed into Leningrad. Just before the end of the Soviet period, in 1991, the city's inhabitants decided to go back to its original name Sankt Peter(s)burg. Today the city has 4.85 million inhabitants.
St. Petersburg's Metro has a total length of 113.5 km and 67 stations. Like in Moscow, older stations are elegantly decorated whereas newer stations show a more functional design.
Some stations on the St. Petersburg Metro boast an interesting feature: to reduce construction costs, the passenger platform is separated from the tracks by steel doors which open simultaneously with the doors of the arriving train, but these doors did not prove so successful, so that later stations were built without them.
After the first metro line was built in Moscow, plans for St. Petersburg were made, following the capital's model. But the first line was not opened until 1955.
Line 1 Kirovsko-Vyborgskaya Prospekt Veteranov - Devyatkino
This 11 km line between Avtovo and Pl. Vosstaniya linked four of five existing railway stations (the fifth was also linked in 1958). It was further extended on both sides. Today this line is 29.6 km long and has 19 stations.
In 1995 a section of the tunnel between Pl. Muzhestva and Lesnaya collapsed and had to be totally rebuilt. Through service could only be established in June 2004.
15/11/1955: Avtovo - Pl. Vosstaniya
01/06/1958: - Pl. Lenina (under Neva river)
01/06/1966: - Dachnoye (this on-ground station opened after Avtovo. Closed forever in 1977 with the extending of the line.
22/04/1975: - Lesnaya
31/12/1975: - Akademicheskaya
29/09/1977: - Prospekt Veteranov
29/12/1978: - Devyatkino (ex. Komsomol'skaya)(transfer to suburban lines)
26/06/2004: Pl. Muzhestva - Lesnaya section reopened
Line 2 Moskovsko-Petrogradskaya Parnas - Kupchino
The second line runs north-south and is 30.1 km long (18 stations). At the station Tekhnologicheskiy Institut Line 1 and Line 2 provide convenient cross-platform transfer. In Dec 2006 a surface extension on the tracks that lead to depot was added.
29/04/1961: Tekhnologicheskiy Institut - Park Pobedy
01/07/1963: Tekhnologicheskiy Institut - Petrogradskaya
25/12/1969: Park Pobedy - Moskovskaya
25/12/1972: Moskovskaya - Kupchino (transfer station with suburban trains)
06/11/1982: Petrogradskaya - Udelnaya
19/08/1988: Udelnaya - Prospekt Prosveshcheniya
22/12/2006: Prospekt Prosveshcheniya - Parnas
Line 3 Nevsko-Vasileostrovskaya Primorskaya - Rybatskoe
10 stations and 22.5 km long.
03/11/1967: Vasileostrovskaya - Pl. A.Nevskogo
25/12/1970: - Lomonosovskaya
28/09/1979: - Primorskaya
10/07/1981: - Obukhovo
28/12/1984: - Rybatskoye
Line 4 Pravobereznaya Spasskaya - Ulitsa Dybenko
Line 4 (8 stations - 11.2 km) comes from the eastern side of the river Neva into the city centre. In various stages it was extended towards the northwestern districts to form a cross-city line, but in March 2009, the northwestern leg was transferred to the new Line 5, so that line 4 now terminates in the city centre in a new station called Spasskaya, located next to Sadovaya/Sennaya Pl.
30/12/1985: Pl. A. Nevskogo - Prospekt Bolshevikov
01/10/1987: Prospekt Bolshevikov - Ulitsa Dybenko
30/12/1991: Pl. A. Nevskogo - Sadovaya
15/09/1997: Sadovaya - Chkalovskaya
14/01/1999: Chkalovskaya - Staraya Derevnya
03/09/1999: Krestovskiy Ostrov added
02/04/2005: Staraya Derevnya - Komendantskiy Prospekt
07/03/2009: Sadovaya - Komendantskiy Prospekt transferred 07/03/2009: Dostoyevskaya - Spasskaya