Mykola Kurylenko is a veteran of Kyiv subway. He started working here right after the war and knows firsthand about subway's opening day, first tests and public reaction to the innovation.
"People were eagerly waiting for its opening. Subways had already been operating in Moscow and Leningrad back then. However, not everybody had chance to visit Moscow, thus some people were afraid to go down, especially older people who continued to take trams. Young people, however, were eager to go underground, they even made appoints at metro stations. The subway was sort back then: station Dnepr - station Vokzalnaya," Mykola Kurylenko tells.
Now, subway is not only a meeting point, but also one of the most popular kinds of public transport, and its maintenance requires considerable efforts. Subway is not only stations and trains, but also the engine house, technical equipment and personnel. The engine house "Darnitsa" of Svyatoshyno-Brovarska line puts in operation 50 trains daily.
And this is the car #2135 and it is considered a rarity. Back in 1960 this car was a part of the first train set of Kyiv subway, and when it became old it was sent to Leningrad. In 2010 enthusiasts found it and asked to give back. Now it is the car-museum, and not all parts are original: handrails were remade from original drawings and seats were remodeled.
As any equipment, cars and trains require repair. They 'undergo treatment' in the car-repair plant, located on the territory of Darnitsa engine house.
The production is mass and requires considerable efforts - about 400 operators work at the plant in the best interests of passengers' security. "The authorities are planning optimization, though," leading engineer Anatoly Pospelov informs.
According to him, cars are subjected for repair depending on the number of kilometers they have run. "Here we must fix the car and control every detail. We are underground here and there is no space for escape if something happens. Before putting it back in operation, we test the car on the line first," Pospelov says.
Engine drivers also have special schedule. Sometimes they even have to sleep at work in order to be fresh and ready for the shift. There are special sleeping rooms for drivers, equipped right on the territory of the engine house.
ForUm congratulates Kyiv subway on its 52nd anniversary of operation and wishes safe trip to both drivers and passengers!
Tetyana Matsur, photos by Maxim Trebukhov
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