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Trams

Trams in Moscow The first horse-drawn trams appeared in Moscow in the 1870s, the first electric in 1899, and, by the late 1920s, trams were the leading form of public transport in the city, carrying over 300 million passengers a year on routes that ran from the very centre of the city to the most distant suburbs. With the advent of the Metro, however, trams began to seem increasingly obsolete, and the network was gradually reduced.

Nowadays, the majority of Moscow's tramlines - which still cover a total distance of 415km - are found in the outskirts of the city, so it's unlikely that many visitors will be called upon to use them. If you do need to take a tram, then stops are designated by a sign marked "T" hanging above the rails (and, usually, a crowd of pensioners clustered on the pavement opposite). Tickets can either be bought from the driver or (slightly cheaper) from kiosks and metro stations. When you board the tram, you should punch your own ticket in one of the little machines to validate it, although inspectors are rare and fines negligible. Trams run, theoretically at least, from 05.30 to o1.30.

Since 1997, the famous 'A' route, known affectionately as 'Annushka' by Muscovites, has been partially revived, and is something of a tourist attraction in its own right. Opened in 1911, it originally ran around the Boulevard Ring, following roughly the same route as Metro's Circle Line. Although considerably shorter now, the route still takes in the eastern section of the Boulevard ring, from Chistye Prudy Metro Station to the river, then continues through the old Zamoskvarechye district, passes the Danilov Monastery and the Shukhov radio tower, and eventually ends up at Oktyabrskaya Metro Station, a short walk from Gorkiy Park. The trams that run on the route have a distinctively retro design, and one of them is even a moving bar/cafe.

For more information than you could possibly need to know about the history of Moscow's tram network, check http://tram.ruz.net, a site quite literally devoted to all things tram-related in Moscow.

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