Home / Press Center / News / The idea of increasing the competitiveness of the Kharkiv metro

The idea of increasing the competitiveness of the Kharkiv metro   

For many decades, the Ukrainian State University of Railway Transport has been a leading university that trains technical specialists and further improves their qualifications for public and non-public railway transport and subways. Graduates of this university are high-quality specialists who are subsequently involved in organizing train traffic and maintaining technical equipment. The current stage of development of railway transport control systems requires scientific approaches to the development and implementation of systems that are directly aimed at meeting the needs of passenger transportation while unconditionally ensuring train safety.

The transport system of a large city consists of ground passenger transport (buses, trams, trolleybuses and commercial routes), the metro and suburban electric trains, and the metro is the basis of this transport system.

Today’s trends in the market of transport services for the transportation of passengers lead to a decrease in the role of the metro and an increase in the importance of road transport due to its significant mobility and flexibility in organizing transportation. There is a need to implement measures to increase the attractiveness of subway passenger transportation. Such measures allow the local administration to maintain and effectively use existing technical potential to implement structural technological changes and maintain competitive advantages over other modes of transport.

Currently, an important problem of the metro is to determine the optimal operating modes of its devices, allowing to reduce the deficit of their capacity during peak hours and rationally spend available resources during off-peak hours.

The distribution of passenger flows in large transport hubs and the determination of the technical potential for its implementation is of great importance. This problem is relevant in the presence of several competitive modes of transport. The city’s transport system must be flexible in meeting the transportation needs of the population while ensuring efficient use of resources.

The metro is mainly considered urban transport, although it retains the principles of organizing traffic as in mainline railway transport. There is adequate infrastructure and staff to implement appropriate measures to meet the transportation needs of the population. Therefore, the basic principles of organizing traffic on the metro and mainline railway transport are nearby and the metro can in some cases be considered railway transport in the conditions of our country. The following scientists made a significant contribution to the development of the theory of effective organization of passenger transportation in urban and railway transport: N.I. Bescheva, T.V. Butko, P.S. Gruntov, M.I. Danko, V.Kh. Far away, V.P. Kalinichev, F.P. Kochnev, I.G. Mirensky, V.Ya. Negrey, O.M. Ogar, S.V. Panchenko, M.V. Pravdin, A.V. Prokhorchenko, M.Ya. Stefanov, M.P. Ikhnenko, Yu.A. Pazoisky et al. [1-6].

The existing methods of organizing traffic on the metro by the above-mentioned authors were aimed at the traffic conditions of urban and mainline railway transport. Little attention has been paid to the requirements for the reliability of the transportation process and the flexibility of its implementation for modern market conditions.

The purpose of these studies is to improve the quality of functioning of megacities by improving the organization of passenger transportation by metro. One of the relevant measures is to identify areas for increasing the efficiency of the Kharkov metro with existing resources.

Kharkov is one of the largest industrial, business and cultural centers of Ukraine. The city of one and a half million occupies an area of more than 300 km2. It successfully combines historically established areas with new residential areas.

Public transport plays an important role in the life of Kharkov. Numerous highways connected large residential areas: bus, tram and trolleybus routes cross the city in all directions. The basis of the entire transport network is the metro. It organically complements the unique face of the city, enriching and decorating its architectural image.

The Kharkov metro is a modern transport enterprise in terms of purpose and technical equipment; it is a complex complex of numerous engineering structures that ensure high-speed safe movement of trains and mass transportation of passengers [7]. Improving the organization of transportation, rational use of technical means, ensuring complete safety of train traffic and the level of passenger service culture is the main thing in its activities.

The Kharkov metro (the second one built in Ukraine) has been in operation since August 22, 1975. On this day, the city’s underground transport artery, 10.4 km long with 8 stations, received its first passengers, connecting three railway stations, three bus stations, dozens of industrial enterprises, as well as shopping, sports and cultural and entertainment centers. For more than 40 years of impeccable operation, almost 9 billion people have been transported. Today, the metro carries out about 40% of city-wide passenger traffic.

Today it is impossible to imagine Kharkov without the metro system and its comprehensive influence. Kharkov residents and city guests are served by 30 metro stations, the operational length of its lines is 38.7 km. The metro consists of three independent lines that intersect each other: Kholodnogorsko-zavodskaya – 17.3 km long, Saltovskaya – 10.4 km, Alekseevskaya – 11.0 km. There are 3 transfer hubs. A diagram of the metro with modern station names is shown in Fig. 1, a detailed diagram of the track development of stations is shown in Fig. 2 with the names of stations before their renaming in 2017. Station diagrams are taken from resources [8, 9]. This scheme most fully satisfies the need to transport passengers for work, public centers, and contributes to the decentralization of transfer hubs. In this case, it becomes possible to travel between any two stations of different lines with only one transfer. The travel time for passengers between the terminal stations of the Kholodnogorsko-zavodskaya, Saltovskaya and Alekseevskaya lines is 29, 18 and 18 minutes, respectively.

All 30 operating metro stations are different in architectural design. There are pylon-type, column-type and single-riveted stations. They are entered from under-street passages. The length of the station platforms is designed to accommodate five-car trains.

In 1990, the metro began implementing an automatic dispatch control system for the transportation process. Automated workplaces based on personal computer equipment have been created. Thanks to the graphical display of the state of controlled objects on video terminals, it became possible to comprehensively manage the process of passenger transportation. Today, the complex underground railroad network is controlled from a single control center (EDC) located within the Metro Authority.

The passenger flow of the Kharkov metro depends on the time of year: maximum traffic occurs in November-March, minimum traffic in July-August. In this regard, the enterprise’s traffic service has developed train schedules for each line for the winter, autumn-spring and summer periods, differing in the number of trains on the line and the minimum headway. In addition, separate schedules have been developed for the transportation of passengers after mass events, on days of round-the-clock operation. Thus, to organize the transportation process and the optimal operating mode of rolling stock on the metro, more than 30 traffic schedules are used. The daily traffic volume is more than 550 thousand passengers. Today, the metro carries out about 40% of the total volume of urban passenger traffic. Every year the metro transports about 210 million passengers. During the entire operational activity of the enterprise, about 9 billion passengers were transported.

Passenger transportation is carried out by two electric depots: on the Kholodnogorsko-zavodskaya and Alekseevskaya lines – the Moskovskoye depot, on the Saltovskaya line – the Saltovskoye depot with a total inventory of 326 cars. To ensure maintenance and repair of rolling stock, as well as the parking of trains during the day and night, electric depots are equipped with repair and settling ditches. Each electric depot has one car-washing complex for washing and blowing rolling stock.

The maintenance and repair of the track, tunnel structures, contact rail, and turnouts is carried out by the track and tunnel structures service. The service includes: track distance, tunnel distance, repair and construction site, flaw detection station, geo-mine surveying site, repair shops, motor depot. Since 1984, a double-track metro bridge has been in operation, located between the Kievskaya and Akademika Barabashova stations.

One of the most important and responsible areas of the metro’s work – automatic regulation of train movement – is entrusted to the service of automation, remote control and communications. Industrial television surveillance, computer networks, passenger automation, communications, alarm systems are the area of responsibility of the APO service.

The electricity supply service is responsible for ensuring that all consumers – electric trains, stations, tunnels, ground sections, industrial and administrative buildings, electric depots, escalator facilities, signaling devices and others receive electricity in full and without interruptions.

The average annual electricity consumption is about 90 million kWh. The average daily electricity consumption is about 250 thousand kWh. Creating a normal microclimate to ensure life in the underground structures of the metro, ensuring the safe transportation of passengers on escalators is the main task of the electromechanical service of the metro. In total, the metro operates 45 escalators of six different types.

In the metro there are 2 types of ventilation – main (or main ventilation) and general local ventilation. Main ventilation fans – 122 units, electric motor power from 30 to 55 kW. The majority of stations are supplied with heat from city-wide heating networks. 7 stations are equipped with independent heating.

In recent years, the enterprise has introduced new resource-saving technologies, modern security equipment, computer video surveillance systems, modernized the fare payment system, mastered the overhaul of 81st series cars, purchased and operates a five-car train produced by the Kryukov Carriage Plant.

Today, the metro continues to implement measures to provide quality service to passengers, while ensuring a high level of safety for trains and passenger transportation. The nearest prospect for the development of the metro is the construction of 2 stations “Derzhavinskaya” and “Odesskaya” and the electric depot “Alekseevskoye”.

Thus, the Kharkov metro is a complex and constantly developing technical system with an important place in the functioning of a large metropolis.

Constantly growing passenger flows in Kharkov require the development of the metro as the most widespread, convenient and comfortable urban mode of transport. To achieve this goal, the thirtieth metro station was put into operation in Kharkov on one of three independent lines along which rolling stock runs between the terminal stations.

Metros around the world have many design features and methods of organizing traffic [10]. For example, a feature of the New York subway is the organization of train movement along routes, each of which runs along one or more lines [11]. Most routes are divided into express routes (stopping only at some stations) and local routes (with all stops); for such a separation of routes, the line has 3 or 4 paths; In addition, there are several short shuttle routes and one pair of skip-stop routes.

Analyzing options for the development of the Kharkov metro and comparing it with other metros, we can outline two directions for its further development:

  1. construction of new stations on existing lines;
  2. organization of additional lines (Kholodnogorsko-Alekseevskaya) along existing stations with a schedule of movement through one or more existing trains (Fig. 1). The movement is carried out between the stations Kholodnaya Gora (Fig. 3) and Pobeda (Fig. 4). Trains are not routed through Sportivnaya station (Fig. 5), and passengers do not cross the pedestrian crossing. Station diagrams are taken from the resource[7].

The first option is known, understood and requires significant investment. It has been planned and implemented over many years.

The second option is unconventional due to the traffic organization pattern that developed in the territory of the former USSR and is not being considered. Within the city limits, only the coverage of city districts by stations was considered, without taking into account the convenience of passengers in using the metro infrastructure. This option can be implemented within one year with significantly lower capital investments compared to option 1, but under certain conditions:

  • the presence of connecting tracks between existing lines allowing non-stop movements of trains – available;
  • the establishment of a modern station automated system for informing passengers about train movements (TFT monitors with information about the name of the line, the final stop of the train, the time of train arrival) – can be implemented;
  • modernization of existing systems for supervising the movement of trains and connections (stationary and mobile) to enable the operation of trains on different lines
    metro – can be implemented;
  • the installation of a minimum and maximum passenger information system with information about the name of the line and the final station of the train on existing rolling stock can be implemented;
  • changing the existing train schedule to make train movement more complicated, due to the large number of train movements between existing lines, can be implemented;
  • revision of existing regulatory documents to make it possible to implement additional metro lines – can be implemented;
  • additional rolling stock is not required, and in some cases it will be reduced;
  • change of path development – not required;
  • construction of tunnels is not required;
  • the expected effect is an increase in passenger traffic.

Increase in passenger traffic will be possible:

  • metro passengers can freely plan their trip;
  • reducing passenger traffic at pedestrian crossings between stations, which will reduce operating costs for maintaining the crossings;
  • the possibility of a convenient trip for passengers with disabilities increases due to the availability of trips without transfers at pedestrian crossings between stations;
  • the advantage of the metro increases compared to road transport (route taxis) due to the possibility of traveling from Kholodnaya Gora station to Pobeda station and back by one train without transfers;
  • the possibility of further development of informatization of metro passengers.

But there is a certain disadvantage in changing the organization of train traffic – a change in the existing principle of operation and use of the metro due to the presence of trains on the line going in different directions. On mainline public transport, this fact is not taken into account as a disadvantage. This deficiency can be eliminated by better training of personnel, preventive work by the management of subordinates, the selection of highly qualified personnel, the desire to improve the convenience of passenger transportation, increase the competitiveness of the metro, the desire to move away from established stereotypes and the introduction of more modern management methods.

With the introduction of a new traffic management system on the Kholodnogorskaya and Alekseevskaya lines, there will be a tendency to reduce the operating costs of the metro and increase the social and political effect. The volume of passenger hours will decrease due to the elimination of the transfer at Sportivnaya station when moving from the Kholodnogorskaya line to Alekseevskaya. The transition of one passenger from the moment of leaving the train of the Kholodnogorskaya line to the moment of boarding the train of the Alekseevskaya line, taking into account the wait, averages 12 minutes. About 142 thousand passengers make transfers per day. Taking into account the duration of the transfer per day, this will amount to 28.4 thousand passenger hours. For the passenger personally, these will be impressive amenities. The transfer time in both directions per day is 24 minutes. Per month, this figure, taking into account 24 working days, will be 576 minutes. or 9.6 years. For a year (11 working months) this figure will be 105.6 hours. or 4.4 days. These are significant numbers. A person spends only 4.4 days a year transferring from one train line to another. This has a negative social impact. Considering the rather negative state of political change in our society, this factor may contribute to an increase in people’s dissatisfaction.

Thus, the organization of direct traffic on the Kharkov metro between the Kholodnaya Gora and Pobeda stations will bring significant positive changes for the city of Kharkov and its residents and will increase the competitiveness of the metro compared to other modes of transport.