Discussions about building an underground railway in Moscow started back in 1902. Most people were shocked and the issue caused considerable dispute in the media.
Due to rapid population growth in the Russian capital in the early 1930s, two important communist leaders were assigned to manage the construction of the Moscow Metro: Lasar Kaganovitch, the then-Minister of Transport of the USSR, and Nikita Khrushchev, who later became General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
Construction works started on 7 November 1931, the October Revolution Day. The project turned into a matter of prestige for the entire Soviet Union. Thousands of soldiers and volunteers helped construction workers. Best Russian artists created interior decoration of Metro stations. Being in constant competition with the West, Stalin was eager to build not just another subway, but the best subway of the world. Even beneath the ground everyone should sense the power of the Soviet state.
The first section of the Moscow Metro - 11 kilometres with 13 stations - was opened for operation already in May 1935. Trains run between Park Sokolniki (russ.: Сокольники) and Park Kultury (russ.: Парк Культуры). Magnificent stations could compete with Royal palaces: huge halls were decorated with chandeliers, mosaic, statues and columns made of marble or other precious stone. Each station features a different theme.
Construction works were making good progress. In 1939 there were 22 stations. They kept building the Metro even during the Second World War. At that time it was also used as an air raid shelter. The station "Chistiye Prudy" (russ.: Чистые Пруды) was turned into General Staff Headquarters.
As Moscow Metro celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2005, there were 11 lines with 170 stations in service. At the end of 2007 Moscow Metro had 12 lines. The opening of the 175th station "Strogino" was officially celebrated on January 7th, 2008. The Metro network keeps growing. It is planned to connect suburban stations of Moscow Metro by building a big Ring line by the year 2035.