Teatralnaya – phantom metro station in Saint Petersburg

Teatralnaya is the metro station of the Saint Petersburg metro system, which is currently under construction. Its underground hall will be situated at the Teatralnaya square in the close vicinity of the two stages of the famous Mariinsky theatre.

Театральная площадь, Мариинский театр в Санкт-Петербурге

Teatralnaya square, Mariinsky theatre, Saint Petersburg

There are two possible options for the construction of the Teatralnaya station exits: at the crossing of Glinki street and Dekabristov street close to the bridge Matveevsky and at the crossing of Lermontovsky prospect and Dekabristov street, instead of one of the buildings near the Synagogue.

It is fair to point out, that the current contract for the construction of the metro station Teatralnaya does not contain any information regarding its exits. The construction work will be completed by the end of 2019 and the metro trains will pass the station through without stops. The main obstacle is the absence of the selected site. The City Administration did not define the exact spot for the construction for different reasons. The design project of the station’s halls was developed 7 years ago and now needs actualization. According to Vladimir Markov, Deputy General Director for Metro Systems Design OAO NIPII Lenmetrogiprotrans, the design developed by their design institute could be improved in half of the year.

However, the procedure of obtaining the land and all the paper work may take at least 2-3 years for the getting of the State expertise approval, before the construction work will be started. The construction itself will take about 5 years, so the most optimistic forecast for the opening of the station’s exits is 7 years.

This situation with Teatralnaya resembles, unfortunately, the similar history happened to the Admiralteyskaya station. Admiralteyskaya was constructed in the close vicinity of the very center of the city – near the Palace square, the famous Hermitage museum and St Isaac’s cathedral. And for 14 years the trains passed by without stops because the exit was not negotiated for approval.This situation with Teatralnaya resembles, unfortunately, the similar history happened to the Admiralteyskaya station. Admiralteyskaya was constructed in the close vicinity of the very center of the city – near the Palace square, the famous Hermitage museum and St Isaac’s cathedral. And for 14 years the trains passed by without stops because the exit was not negotiated for approval.

This situation with Teatralnaya resembles, unfortunately, the similar history happened to the Admiralteyskaya station. Admiralteyskaya was constructed in the close vicinity of the very center of the city – near the Palace square, the famous Hermitage museum and St Isaac’s cathedral. And for 14 years the trains passed by without stops because the exit was not negotiated for approval.

The mounting pit is being developed at the construction site of the shaft #574, which is situated directly at the square Teatralnaya near the walls of the historical building of the Mariinsky theatre.  Later the TBM will start its work from this point moving from the Teatralnaya station towards the Bolshoi Prospect station at Basil Island across the Neva River. The tunnel will be 2.3 km long. The tunneling is planned to start in the summer of 2017.

Станция метро Театральная

Teatralnaya design based on the Mariinsky theatre main curtain OAO NIPII Lenmetrogiprotrans 

Construction sites

The main challenge for contractor ZAO SMU-11 Metrostroy is the reduced area for the two main construction sites. It is barely enough to install a mining complex.


For the mining complex being fully functional it requires two sites with the total area of 6,400 square meters. At the moments builders have available 5,000 square meters.


According to the chief of the construction section Roman Orel, with the site #1 being expanded for 1,400 square meters more, the full capacity of the designed activities can be reached. It means moving the barriers from the walls of the Mariinsky theatre on the road nearby. This is possible only by approval of the traffic police, which is the time-consuming official procedure.

Строительство метро Театральная

Progress of work

The specialists from ZAO SMU-11 Metrostroy had finished the construction of the starting shaft and the mining complex with the 70% compliance by May 2017.

The equipment was installed with the 80% compliance. The mining complex was mounted in reduced version and it is comprised of equipment placement, poppethead and temporary soil storage. When the main site is enlarged, the mining complex will be mounted in full capacity and details.

Particularly, the crane trestle will be installed. For now we supply materials with the runway beam, and it’s a temporary measure necessary for the construction of the underground infrastructure. It is not practical to carry out the TBM work with the reduced mining complex”- commented Roman Orel.

Despite the difficulties with the mining complex placement, ZAO SMU-11 Metrostroy workers perform digging. The first phase of the construction began on December 1, 2016, when the horizontal driving of the underground infrastructure was started using bucket hoisting. The digging was performed with manually. By May 2017 the work had been completed in full.

The tunneling was performed manually

The typical mining complex has 3 main zones:

  • equipment storage zone,
  • equipment placement trestle,
  • crane trestle,
  • headframe.

With a fresh start we completed the preparation work for the month and launched the digging with the cage-winding having the reduced mining complex”, – commented Roman Orel.

By May about 15 linear meters had been developed, 20 rings had been concreted. Now 3 guide narrow gauge rails are operating for supplying and carrying out needs. he mounting of the underground infrastructure should be completed in June.

From this part of the tunnel with the cross-section 8.5 meters the builders will continue the tunnel with the cross-section 5.6 meters, the ventilation tunnel will be 360 meters long, the total length with the running tunnel will be 2,160 linear meters. The TBM КТ1-5.6 Мwill be used for the construction of the tunnel section from Teatralnaya to Bolshoi Prospekt. In total the implementation of the project including three stations Spasskaya, Teatralnaya and Bolshoi Prospekt involves three TBMs of this type.

Тоннель метро Большой проспект

Bolshoi Prospekt tunnel

These TBM’s were used previously for the construction of many metro tunnels in Saint Petersburg. Remarkably, TBM  КТ1-5.6  set the world record for fastest tunneling in 1981 – 1,250 linear meters per month, which is still held.

Roman Orel confirmed the team was manned: 4 tunneling teams, 10 persons each. Many of specialists involved into this construction previously worked with Roman Orel at the construction of the Sportivnaya station second exit – the tunnel beneath the Neva River. It means these professionals got used to working near highly appreciated historical places in the less comfortable conditions, than it could be in the other places.

Safety measures and protection of the buildings

The construction of the station Teatralnaya is being carried out at the depth of 50 meters. Metrostroy specialists use the mature technologies, granting the safety of the surrounding the construction site buildings, many of which are considered to be cultural treasures. There is no need in reinforcement of the Mariinsky theatre building basement. But a couple of buildings nearby in the possible zone of settlement trough got their basements fixed.

The engineering staff of the Mariinsky theatre works in agreement with Metrostroy, understanding the importance of their work and helping to solve any occurring issues. For example, the specialists from the both parties quickly resolved the problem of the smell from the diesel generator reaching through the ventilation system upper tiers by finding a more suitable position for its placement.

Театральная стройплощадка

Teatralnaya construction site

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