The Moscow Metro is one of the largest and most important metro systems in the world. Well over 10,000 products from the German company TSL-ESCHA are installed on the 14 different lines.

Modern, impressive and comfortable – this is how Russia’s capital Moscow sees itself. In keeping with this, new subways are running in the metropolis of millions. Over 200 stations, almost 340 kilometers of underground rail lines, up to nine million passengers a day. The Moscow metro is undoubtedly one of the superlatives.

Vehicle manufacturer Transmashholding (TMH) and subsidiary Metrovagonmash developed new vehicles for the “Mockba-2019” (Cyrillic version of Moscow) project. More space and comfort, modern aids such as USB charging sockets for charging mobile devices and interactive touchscreens for passenger information, heated grab rails, wider door entrances – these are the features with which the new cars score points with passengers. According to the manufacturer, the asynchronous traction drive system reduces the vehicles’ power consumption by up to 30 percent.

The Russian vehicle manufacturer focused on safe boarding and alighting when designing the new metros. And this is where the German company TSL-ESCHA comes in. “In 2015, we received an inquiry as to whether TSL could manufacture an LED light that would conspicuously mark the opening and closing of the doors,” recalls TSL Managing Director Lutz Hoefer. So the designers developed a light strip that is inserted in the door element. This lights up towards the platform and signals the door status to waiting passengers. Red means that boarding is not possible. Green indicates that the door is released.

TSL-ESCHA pioneered the LED light strips in the movable door element. In the meantime, there are different variants of the LS series, which are oriented to the different installation situations of the various vehicle door manufacturers. All over the world, for example in Seattle (USA), Helsinki (Finland) or Brussels (Belgium), the light strips now ensure greater safety in the door area of trains.

Special market due to special climatic conditions

The Moscow Metro’s rail network, which is more than 425 kilometers long, also runs partially above ground. On the corresponding lines, additional double-sided PK28 push buttons are used in the vehicles. In cold winter months, the doors are opened by pressing a button only at the required stops. In the underground Metro stations, the doors open automatically.

Incidentally, it all began at TSL-ESCHA with the first PK push button in the mid-1980s. In the meantime, the Presskey push button is available in many different versions (colors, designs, functions). The special highlight: a one-piece switch housing. This has the great advantage that the switch chamber of the push button is hermetically sealed. Since there are self-cleaning contacts and no moving parts, the PK is wear- and maintenance-free. No freezing in cold, damp air, no crunching due to dust turbulence. These features are the basis for high durability and support customers in trouble-free operation, keeping their costs low.

“Russia is a very special market as far as climatic conditions are concerned,” Lutz Hoefer knows and adds: “Temperatures there are much lower than here in Central Europe. But that is precisely our core business. We can develop robust and durable products for desert areas as well as for cold regions.”

TSL products are also in new metro cars

Vehicle manufacturer TMH already has the next metro generation in the pipeline. The first trains under the project name “Moskva-2020” are already on track. Over the next three years, Moscow Metro will buy more than 1,300 “Mockba-2020” cars. These will then form a fleet of 162 multiple units with eight cars each, making up a large part of the modern vehicle fleet.

The number of USB charging sockets will be increased fivefold from 72 to 368 per car. Each seat will then have its own charging socket. There will also be larger touch screens and additional information displays under the ceiling. The noise level will drop by 15 percent compared with the older trains.

Another highlight is the further increase in door width from 140 to 160 centimeters. That’s 15 percent more space for passenger changes, which is much easier and safer as a result. The door leaves also once again have bright LED light strips. TSL-ESCHA is once again supplying the light strips for this project.

Russian television immediately reported on the first operational trip with passengers. Everything even more modern, impressive and comfortable.

(Photos: TMH)