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RZD ED4MK 0112flagStantsiya Manikhino Pervoye Stantsiya Manikhin..

Big Moscow Loop service

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©  Oct 2, 2021


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Big Moscow Loop service



storyThe CW Big Moscow Loop service is idling at Manikhino-1 station while the crew is switching from the front to the rear cab to proceed in the opposite direction.

The Big Moscow Loop circles Moscow at some 60 ... 100 km from mainline terminals. The circle is primarily used for freight traffic with occasional long-distance passenger services using it to avoid Moscow, as well as some suburban trains connecting mainlines.

While the eastern part of the Loop is more developed and sees more passenger traffic, the western side provides for unique experience of old-fashioned travel multiplied by total abandonment. One will find single-track lines where uncontrolled growths scratches passing trains, low-level platforms often made from just a couple of concrete slabs, abandoned and decaying depots, and many more. There are just three to four daily suburban services in this part of the Loop, and average train occupancy is less than half a dozen passengers per car. I often had the entire car to myself during my rides.

Most times the Loop is serviced by the oldest trainsets still running, while modern units serve the mainlines. Surprisingly enough, this time an ED4MK EMU was allocated to the Loop service. The "K" in designation means "comfortable". A while ago, this train served as a somewhat "luxurious" express between Moscow and Yaroslavl'. Even though days of its fame are far gone, it still keeps its fancy old-style cabin interior, providing a comfortable ride through the Loop. It's also totally and legally free since no tickets are sold either on platforms or aboard.
Your look, when you are a super comfortable interregional express, and now you are transporting summer residents, mushroom pickers and drunks to the Great Moscow Circle railway somewhere in Manikhino. It remains to send to Novomoskovsk, to meet old age 🤣
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