Kharkiv Metro

Kharkiv Metro


Kharkiv Metro was the first underground transport system in a regional centre, the second in Ukraine and the sixth in the former USSR. It came into passenger service on August 22, 1975 and the first line section between Ulitsa Sverdlova (now Kholodna Hora) and Moskovskyi Prospekt stations was 9,8 km long forming the first Kholodnohirsko–Zavodska Line. The first line section consisted of only 8 stations and was served by 15 5-car trains. The terminal station Moskovskyi Prospekt had connection with Moskovske depot.

На строительстве метро

На строительстве метро

Пуск метро

Пуск метро

The second line section was introduced on August 11, 1978 to mark the 35-th anniversary of liberation of Kharkiv from the Nazi. The 7,48 km line section with 5 stations ran from Moskovskyi Prospekt to Proletarska station. Stretching from east to west the line connected 3 residential areas, 4 railway terminals, 1 intercity and 3 suburban bus terminals, the city centre and the Metallist stadium.

The metro line is located close to the biggest plants of the city and is used by the workers. In 1980, Kharkiv Metro carried over 475 thousand passengers per day and this indicator reached 500 thousand on special days accounting for 20,6% of Kharkiv’s public transport load (2,4% more than in Kiev).

The introduction of the first 6,7 km section of Saltivska line and the second depot in 1984 resulted in dramatic increase of the ridership. In 1985, the metro carried 641,3 thousand passengers per day accounting for 26,5% of Kharkiv’s public transport load (only 23,5% in Kiev).

Ввод 1 участка Салтовской линии. Митинг на станции «Дзержинская» (ныне «Университет»)

Ввод 2 участка Салтовской линии.  Митинг на станции «Героев труда»

The second section of Saltivska line came into passenger service on October 23, 1986. The new 3,76 km section with 3 stations connected the central part of the city with the biggest housing estates. The ridership figures reached 260 million passengers in 1987 with the daily ridership of 720 thousand passengers.

The first section of Oleksiivska line (5,32 km, 5 stations) was inaugurated on May 6, 1995. Its 2,55 km extension with 2 stations came into service on August 21, 2004, joining other residential areas with the city centre. In 2004, Kharkiv Metro carried over 277 million passengers with 760 thousand passengers per day.

On December 21, 2010, a 2,01 km tunnel came into operation together with Oleksiivska station.

        Станция «Алексеевская»

Kharkiv Metro is now a modern transport operator with 3 lines, 29 stations and 37,6 km of lines in operation:

- Kholodnohirsko-Zavodska Line                       - 17,26 km (13 stations);

- Saltivska Line                                                            - 10,46 km (8 stations);

- Oleksiivska Line                                                        - 9,88 km (8 stations)

At present, the construction of the third line extension with Pobeda terminal station and a depot is under way.

The daily ridership of Kharkiv Metro exceeds 650 thousand passengers (240 million passengers per year) which amounts to around 50% of the public transport share in Kharkiv.

The existing metro system is designed to carry between 1,2 and 1,4 million passengers a day in 5-car trains. The overall fleet of the metro system amounts to 321 cars forming 5-car trains.

Вагоны в электродепо «Салтовское»

Парковые пути электродепо «Московское»

The three interchange stations of Kharkiv Metro give the network a traditional triangular shape. They are easy to use and help to relieve passenger load in the central area.

The absence of station facilities on the ground is a special feature of Kharkiv Metro. The stations vestibules are combined with underground passageways. This saves the city space and improves interchanges between the metro and the other transport modes.

Станция «Архитектора Бекетова»

Станция «ботанический сад»

All Kharkiv metro stations are monumental and simple. They are all unique, reflecting the architecture of the nearby squares and buildings as well as the history and the real life of the city.

The distance between the metro terminal stations can be covered in 28 minutes at Kholodnohirsko-Zavodska line, in 18 minutes at Saltivska line and in 16 minutes at Oleksiivska line. The minimum headway at peak hours is 2 minutes 20 seconds at Kholodnohirsko-Zavodska and Saltivska lines and 4 minutes at Oleksiivska line.

The Kharkiv Metro system of today consists of 29 stations, 99,96 km of tunnels, over 104,5 km of rails, 90,7 km of third rail, 321 passenger cars, 2 special train cars (a lab car and a track recording car), a washing train, 27 rail trolleys, over 50 cars used for different purposes, over 1000 pumps and ventilation items including 110 main ventilators in tunnels and stations, over 120 km of pipes, 47 power substations, thousands of km of power cables, hundreds of thousands of light points, over 400 turnstiles etc.

Tunnel. Line end at Metrobudivnykiv imeni H.I. Vashchenka station

Escalator at Metrobudivnykiv imeni H.I. Vashchenka station

Тоннель. Тупики станции «Метростроителей им. Г.И. Ващенко»

Эскалатор станции «Метростроителей им. Г.И. Ващенко»

 Development prospects

- The expansion of the network by 5 stations and 8 km of lines (totaling 34 stations and 45,4 km of lines),

- the introduction of Oleksiivske depot for serving the third line.

Kharkiv Metro specialists have developed a number of technical solutions that were subsequently used in many other metro systems of the CIS.

In 1977, the specialists from the Moscow Institute for Railway Engineers, Railway Automatics Research Institute, Train Automatics Laboratory and Kharkiv Metro developed and introduced the first in the USSR automatic system of train speed control. Some years later, it became the main signaling system and was widely used in other metro systems of USSR.

Kharkiv Metro specialists worked with the Moscow Electrical-Technical Plant to develop a teleautomation system for the power supply, ventilation, water, heating systems and escalators. This system called Lisna was installed in other metro systems of USSR in 1988.

Another achievement of Kharkiv Metro workers was a new system of metro station control enabling safe travel. The system was developed together with the Gosradioproekt Research Institute.

In 1985, to improve the reliability of the system Kharkiv Metro began introducing contactless rail circuits. The signaling equipment was moved from the tunnels to the metro stations facilitating its operation and maintenance.

The specialists of the Electrical-Mechanical Department of Kharkiv Metro and Radio Measurement Research Institute invented the equipment for getting the escalators data which is now used almost at all metro stations of the CIS.

Working with the specialists from the Physical-Technical Institute, Kharkiv Metro workers managed to devise a low-temperature method of separating the metal foundation from rubber in some parts of the rolling stock enabling both materials to be used again.

The other developments and inventions of Kharkiv Metro include: changing the wooden casing of the third rail with fiberglass casing, fiberglass rail circuit insulation (1981), automatic car mileage counting system (1983), the introduction of joint shifts for dispatchers (1985). 

Единый диспетчерский центрЕдиный диспетчерский центр

Единый диспетчерский центрЕдиный диспетчерский центр

In 1997, Kharkiv Metro introduced the first in the CIS unified control room where with the help of automated systems the dispatchers controlled trains operation, the work of the escalators, the power supply and other auxiliary systems. In 1992, the first polymeric token was used as a ticket. One year later, a new generation of cars with thyristor pulse converters was tested. In 1988-1995, Kharkiv Metro was involved in the development the automatic train operation system. It introduced a train identification system in 1996, an electronic contact card for 10, 20, 30, 60, 100 and 250 trips in 1998, a VideoNet system controlling the access into the tunnels in 1999, computerised CCTV with servers at stations, an automated power consumption control system, a Metrokont telemechanics system, a depot power supply control system, an automated control of relay interlockings and Akademik Barabashov station (2001-2005).


After the building structures of the single-vaulted Tsentralnyi Rynok station had been destroyed in a natural disaster in 1995 it was rebuilt with a row of columns at the side of the platform.

To solve the problem of wet grounds the specialists from Kharkiv Metro developed and introduced the technology of soil densification by means of composite materials.

Many changes have taken place in Kharkiv Metro recently. They include:

Станция «Завод им. Малышева»

-  the replacement of the old metro clock system with a new digital one that is synchronised with the unified Ukrainian system of time and is compliant with the European safety norms. A total of 60 clocks has been replaced at station platforms and in the unified control centre,

-  28 schedules of train operation have been drawn up. They are used depending on the passenger flow, the time of the day, the season, the work of the overground public transport and other factors. All the depots feature additional trains that are brought into operation when needed,

-  Saltivska line fleet overhaul and life extension by 20 years. The interior and the exterior of the cars, the cabling systems, the pneumatic and the mechanic equipment and the drivers’ cabs are being refurbished,

-  the introduction of special applications that draw up the work schedules for all metro drivers. It has helped to improve their working regime and to cut down the time spent ineffectively,

-  the overhaul of Istorychnyi Muzei station columns has been carried out for several years. The works include the replacement of the bearing structures, the drainage and the marble.

Вагон 81-717 в ремонте

Салон вагона


Kharkiv Metro was the first metro system in the CIS that introduced the electronic system controlling the speed of escalators. The escalators run with the minimum speed of 0,2 metres per second when there are no passengers using it and they gradually increase the speed up to 0,075 metres per second when they are used. The escalators at Pivdennyi Vokzal station are now being maintained. For safety reasons their speed will be decreased.

The fare collection system has recently been changed. All ticket offices have been closed and the tokens have been replaced with contactless cards that can be purchased only via ticket vending machines at stations.

Эскалатор на станции «Завод им. Малышева»

Kharkiv Metro was the first metro system in the CIS that introduced the electronic system controlling the speed of escalators. The escalators run with the minimum speed of 0,2 metres per second when there are no passengers using it and they gradually increase the speed up to 0,075 metres per second when they are used. The escalators at Pivdennyi Vokzal station are now being maintained. For safety reasons their speed will be decreased.

The fare collection system has recently been changed. All ticket offices have been closed and the tokens have been replaced with contactless cards that can be purchased only via ticket vending machines at stations.

The new system has made it possible to centralise the control of:

-   the fare collection process,

-   the access to the station,

-   the automated devices,

-   the actions of the staff at stations,

-   the financial reporting system.

Around 80% of all Kharkiv Metro passengers are using contactless smart cards.

A special Privileged Card is given to any passenger who is entitled to get a free entrance to the metro. The card is used by over 90% of the card holders. Children, people in wheelchairs and with prams access the stations through a special entrance.

The old turnstiles are being replaced with the new ones that can send the data to the back office on-line.

All entrances to the metro stations are being fitted out with heating systems.

After the overhaul 81-717 stock trains are being equipped with the new train control system.

The main mechanical equipment of the metro cars e.g. wheelsets and bogies are being replaced.

The metal water pipes in tunnels are being replaced with PVC pipes that are more reliable.

All the passageways and station exits are fitted out with CCTV. The video is monitored by the staff at stations and by the on-duty officers at the unified Control Centre.

After all the modernisation procedures Kharkiv Metro has been named number one metro system in the CIS in the category ‘Staff number by 1 km of tracks’.

The thorough preparation of Kharkiv Metro for the UEFA-2012 final resulted in high level of passenger service that was praised by foreign visitors and by the city authorities.

Ремонт пути

Уборка станции

To guarantee effective, safe and reliable operations Kharkiv Metro is constantly doing the following works:

- monitoring tracks and tunnels,

- modernising lighting at stations and tunnels (for better lighting and lower power consumption costs),

- maintaining train cars, escalators, safety systems and other equipment,

- cleaning the stations and the territory (over 20 hectares of space in total).


In the future, the metro system will carry out the following works:

- the replacement of bogies and wheel sets, water pipes in tunnels,

- the development and introduction of manless operation systems,

- the installation of two-way turnstiles at stations,

- the repairs of the heating facilities and ventilation systems.


Over 100 workers from Kharkiv Metro have received government awards for their contribution to the development of the metro system.

The metro system has received many government awards:

- International golden prize in the transport sector (The Prize of the New Millennium) - Madrid, 2007,

- Best state enterprise of 2009, the Head of Kharkiv Metro got an award for the achievements in his professional career,

- European Quality Award, 2010 (for aiming to comply with the European standards),

- National certificate for the amount of sales, profit, salary and productivity,

- diploma in the nomination Enterprise of the Year-2011 based on the opinion poll among the readers of a local newspaper,

- diploma from Sokrat International Committee as the best public transport company in 2011,

- SIQS international certificate in the nomination Leader of the 21st century,

- Golden Chariot international award for the quality of services, 2012,

- Best Ukrainian Enterprise-2012 in public transport sector,

- Best Transport Company certificate from the European Business Assembly, Oxford, 2013.

Kharkiv Metro is a permanent member of the International Metro Association and the International Union of Public Transport. It actively participates in the development of transport technologies aimed at increasing safety and reliability of the metros and improving passenger service.

Kharkiv Metro has its own museum which explains the history of the metro construction and exhibits the company’s numerous awards.


Музей метрополитена

Музей метрополитена


Музей метрополитена



Key Performance Indicators, 2013  
Total operational length (two tracks), km 37,6
Number of lines 3
Number of stations 29
            including number of stations with one exit 9
Metro system density ( per city km.) 0,107
Number of pairs of trains per hour 26
Minimum headway, sec 140
Fulfilment of train schedule, % 99,99
Inventory rolling stock, cars 321
Rolling stock in operation, cars 321
Total car/km, mio. 33,04
Number of depots 2
Average operational train speed, km/h. 41,4
Average train speed, km/h. 35,7
Power consumption, mio. kWh 97,3
             including power for train traction, mio. kWh 64,1
Specific energy consumption for traction, Wh per t/km 52,9
Number of substations 47
Length of power cable systems, km 5310
Number of escalators in operation 47
Number of stations with escalators 13
Length of lines equipped with speed control systems, km., including: 37,6
             as a main signaling system, km. 37,6
             with seamless track circuit, km. 20,34
Number of switches 135
Number of ventilation shafts in operation 60
Number of ventilators in operation 118
Number of water drainage installations 195
Operational length of tunnels, km. 99,96
Staff responsible for operations, pers. 2100
Total ridership, mio. pax. 231,1
Average daily ridership, mio. pax. 0,633
Cost of transportation of 1 passenger, rub. 11,8
Modal share, % 44,5


Address; 29, Engelsa st.,Kharkiv, 61052, Ukraine

Tel.: + 38 057 730 34 06

Fax: + 38 057 731 21 41

E-mail: Website:

Alexander Shtompel, Chief of Technical Department

Tel./Fax: + 38 057 730 37 06