16 Secrets of the Kyiv Metro – Kiev Private Tours
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secrets of the Kyiv metro
26 Nov

16 Secrets of the Kyiv Metro

Every day, the subway of Ukrainian capital carries about one and a half million people. Traveling along the route “home-work-home”, few people know what secrets are hidden by the Kiev Metro.

Today we will reveal the most interesting of them.

16 Secrets of the Kyiv Metro You didn’t Know

Yellow branch


Everyone knows that in Kiev there are three metro lines – red, blue and green. However, few people realize there is also supposed to be the yellow one, which should have connected the right and left banks of the Dnieper and run from Voskresenka to Podil.



The construction of the branch was planned back in the 70s of the last century, but it remained only on paper because of the constant changes in the project, and then – due to lack of funding.

Lvivska Brama – a mysterious unfinished station

When you pass between Zoloti Vorota metro station and Lukyanivka metro station, the distance seems longer than usual. This is because, in fact, you are also passing through the Lvivska Brahma station.

Interestingly, construction of Lvivska Brama began back in 1991, but five years later it was frozen due to lack of money and a plan for the reconstruction of Lvivska Square, where the metro exits were supposed to lead.

Although the station was never opened, it already mentioned in the book of the modern Ukrainian writer Alexander Irvants. According to the plot, the main character takes the metro in Kiev and leaves at the Lvivska Brama station, but for some reason he is in Lviv and not in Kyiv.

Telychka: Conservation Station

The unfinished Telychka station is located between Vydubychi and Slavutich metro stations.

Its construction began in 1991 and was frozen a year later, as it turned out that there was no necessity for the station – there is the industrial zone and there is no necessary passenger flow.

However, in just a year of construction, the station was almost ready. There are platforms on it and now it can be used as an emergency exit.

If necessary, the Telychka station can be opened quickly, because the only that has to be build are exits from the subway.

It is interesting that the station received its name in honor of the locality – Nizhnya Telychka or Telyachev, as there used to be a pasture for cattle here.

Unfinished Herzen Station

Most Kiev residents do not even realize that under the street Melnikova, one can find hidden and unfinished Herzen metro station. Luckily, its sketches have been preserved.

However, we have to admit that there is nothing here apart from small hauls in the tunnel and the ventilation shaft, which goes directly to the institute. They began the construction of the station, but later decided that it was not necessary.

According to the project, the Herzen station was to be located between Lukyanivska and Dorogozhychi metro stations. The station was named after famous Russian writer-oppositionist of the nineteenth century.

The Voice of  Kyiv metro

Since the launch of the Kiev Metro, all announcements have been made in a male voice. When the metro conducted an experiment with a female voice, it failed. Kievans did not like the female voice.

It is interesting that since 1990, stations have been announced in Ukrainian, and since May 2012, when the capital was actively preparing for Euro 2012, some stations announcements began to duplicate in English.

For twenty years, Nikolai Petrenko, director of the Kiev Academic Puppet Theater, worked as the “voice” of the metro. In June 2016, Nicholas died, but his voice continues to announce stations in the subway.

Dinosaur snails at the University metro station platform

Marble was used to clad the University metro station, but few people know that the remains of prehistoric organisms have been preserved in it.

Large sections of ammonite shells under the bust of Maxim Gorky are best seen. Therefore, when you go to the University metro station, you can see firsthand the fossilized remains of ancient snails from the time of the dinosaurs.

The “wake-up lady” of the drivers

Kiev metro has one of the rarest professions in the world. Officially, it is called – the duty of the rest house of locomotive brigades. However, unofficially subway drivers call her “wake-up lady”.

Its main task is to wake up drivers who intervene early in the morning and spend the night in the Obolon depot, and send them for a physical examination. Only women work as “wake-up ladies”, and only men work as metro cars machinists.

Paper tokens

The Kiev metro is almost 60 years old and during this time, tokens have changed their format, color and design many times. When the subway opened, the entrance was on paper tickets.

In 1992, paper tickets were replaced with tokens. At different times, they were metal and plastic, large and small.

Interestingly, tokens were manufactured in Brovary at a powder metallurgy plant.

Now the metro ride in 2019 costs 8 UAH ($0.3)

Nightlife of Kiev subway

As soon as the last evening train leaves for the depot, “nightlife” begins in the subway: fifteen hundred metro employees — welders, technicians, and other maintenance personnel repair, check, and “tidy up” the stations before the new day.

However, the “night life” ends clearly at four in the morning, because at that time the first morning trains are already beginning to prepare for launch.

Take a tour to real Kiev Nightlife, visit secret Kiev Bars and Pubs.

Metro like a submarine

Few people know that the metro system is like a submarine, which is divided into separate compartments. Such a structure is used for a reason – many stations and tunnels pass close to rivers and lakes, and therefore from time to time we can see water seeping in at the stations.

To prevent the subway from flooding, the stations have a pressure gate – huge metal valves 30–40 centimeters thick, which hermetically block the station. Just like in a submarine.

Car Lift

When the Kiev metro was opened in 1960, at first there were only five stations on the red line. Those days, metro trains went from the Vokzalna station to the Dnipro station.

However, the subway bridge was built only five years later, and the trains somehow had to get into the underground tunnels. It was expensive to build an inclined tunnel for trains, so the metro workers found a unique solution – to make an elevator for cars.

Same as now, the cars arrived in Kiev at the Darnitsa railway station as part of special trains. Later they got on the tramline across the Dnieper along Paton’s bridge and along the embankment to the Dnepr station.

Then the fun began: the car drove up under a special bridge, turned around 90 degrees on a circle, and when it turned out to be exactly under the station, it went directly with a part on the elevator. Thus, each car in turn was lifted before entering the route.

Interestingly, it was machinist Sergey Khomenko who made a working model of the “elevator for cars”, which can still be seen in the Kiev Metro Museum on 35 Peremohy Avenue.

Teatralna metro station that could have never existed

When they began to build a green metro line, they for a long time thought where to make a change station to the red line. At the University station, which was geographically suitable, it was difficult to build a change station. Therefore, the decision was made: “if there is no suitable station, let’s build it.”

This is where design and construction of Teatralna metro station, which was originally called Leninska began. Interestingly, the trains movement was not stopped, they only connected the new transport hub to the existing line.

Tunnels with a length of more than 300 meters each had to be mothballed. When you are at the Golden Gate station, note that the closed tunnels are supported by the station arch.

Handrails that will not let you fall asleep

You definitely noticed that the escalator travels slower than the handrails. The most interesting thing is that this is a special safety requirement and is made only so that the passenger does not fall asleep, as he periodically has to rearrange his hand.

Dnipro metro station is not like the others

The uniqueness of the Dnipro station is that it is the only metro station on the overpass with platforms. In addition, it is the highest above ground level and has the longest 125-meter platform.

Metro – the safest transport and reliable bomb shelter

The metro has long been considered the safest mode of transport, since the entire train operation system is computerized. This makes it possible to avoid train collisions even in critical situations, because 200 meters before the previous train automatic braking is activated.

It is also interesting that the subway can be an excellent bomb shelter.

There are special areas to locate people in tunnels, ventilation and emergency life support systems. According to experts, in a critical case metro stations can withstand even a nuclear explosion.

Emergency games in the subway

It turns out that in metro they not only work, but also play emergency games once a quarter. According to the drivers, this sight is not for the faint of heart: empty cars are buzzing, lights are blinking, doors are constantly opening and closing, voltage is lost or a fire starts.

The task of the subway staff is to fix the problem in the shortest possible time. Preferably, in two to three minutes.

Learn more about Kiev taking our Private Tour of Kyiv – Kyiv Tours.


Kate Dobromishev

Tour Guide in Guide me UA / English language / Private Tours in Kyiv

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