Interesting Facts About Kyiv Subway

Interesting Facts About Kyiv Subway

The oldest subway line was opened in 1863 in London. Almost a hundred years later, in 1960, Kyiv had a grand opening of the first subway line in the city. Many things have changed ever since, including such modernities as introduction of free Wi-Fi and PayPass. Curiously, some things about Kyiv subway stay hidden. Let's have a look!

Subway has 122 escalators in total

It is probably one of the most well-known facts about Ukraine: Arsenalna metro station is the deepest in the world. Although, it doesn't have the largest amount of steps! In fact, Khreshchatyk station, with its 743 steps, is the leader. It also has the longest handrails of 293 meters. And if you ever wondered about the exact length of the handrails in Kyiv subway the facts say that the accumulated length is 40 kilometres.
Read: International Train Destinations From Ukraine
Lvivska Brama isn't the only closed station

Those who often use the green subway line might notice how train sometimes slows down between the Golden Gate and Lukianivska stations, and maybe even see a mysterious platform. It is a "ghost" station of Kyiv subway – Lvivska Brama, which had to be opened almost ten years ago, but due to complications during construction its opening was postponed. Telychka station, located on the green line, is another subway ghost. Its construction lasted only one year, and was frozen in 1991.
The train always has 5 cars

Firstly, not long after the opening, Kyiv's metro only had 3 cars in each train. In some years the trains wore down and were changed for modern ones, that consisted of 4 cars. Nowadays, even the trains of the latest models can't contain more than 5 cars – that's because platforms can't host more people. So, subway has settled on 5 after all. Train's maximum speed is 80 kilometers per hour, but usually it doesn't go more than 60 – even if sometimes you feel like a surfer catching a wave.
Kyiv subway wasn't always all-Ukrainian

During the times of Soviet Union, government implemented different politics concerning language. It could be seen and felt not only in cultural sphere, or education, but even in seemingly neutral zones, such as subway. For instance, in 1980s all the station names and announcements were in Russian. Ukrainian was implemented only 7 years later, in 1987, although partly – arriving trains were announced in Ukrainian, and departing – in Russian. Finally, in 1990 subway became completely Ukrainian. Since Euro UEFA Euro in 2012, station names are also announced in English.
Tickets were once printed on paper
Most dwellers of Kyiv are used to little round tokens of green or blue color. Nowadays, Kyiv subway tries to implement metro cards. But in 1960, subway tickets were printed on paper and had Lenin's portrait on them. First tokens appeared years later, in 1992. Subway officials instantly faced a problem of token shortage: people bought "in bulk" for future use in great quantities. Well, today such a thing is unimaginable, because one person can only buy one token.
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Read: Free of Charge Railway Services in Ukraine
Photo sources:, Kyiv Metro Facebook page. All images belong to their rightful authors.

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