Kyiv is known for its culture, people, and architecture. But something that only a few take a moment to recognise is Kyiv’s underground. The construction of some of its stations was a project of the century, particularly Arsenalna, the deepest metro station in the world.
When faced with a civil engineering problem, it can be hard to build because you get only one try. And if that fails, you’re in deep trouble. Arsenalna’s construction was challenging. The large factory there — Arsenal Factory — had to be connected to public transport. Khreschatyk, the closest station, was 30 minutes by foot and would have become overloaded without Arsenalna.
Another challenge faced by engineers was the soil in which they had to dig. Kyiv’s hills can become very wet from rain and during winter so were prone to collapsing. Thus, a new method had to be invented to make sure the Red Army got its weapons from the factory, and the workers building the station didn’t die along the way.
While not purely innovative, still an ingenious technique was used. Instead of having one set of escalators, the station would have two with a connection in-between. Something like this was already in the Universytet station.
Assembling the connection was the hardest part as a large space had to be excavated. In order to combat this, the structure was constructed above ground. Having finished that, it was lowered underneath the surface. The excavations would go in a nearby shaft, get loaded up on trucks, and be dropped above the structure.
This resulted in Arsenalna station, which is 105.5 metres deep.