Sparrow Hills – Luzhniki Stadium Cable Car



Moscow Inaugurates New Urban Gondola — Sparrow Hills Cable Car

Sparrow Hills Cable Car gracefully glides across the Moskva River. Image by

After construction began in May 2017, Moscow’s first urban gondola — the Sparrow Hills Cable Car (Russian: Канатная дорога на Воробьёвых горах) — has finally opened to the public. The ropeway was slated to commence operations alongside World Cup celebrations but it unfortunately experienced several delays. Citizens have been waiting patiently for the revival of an aerial lift at Sparrow Hills since a former chairlift was dismantled in 2016.

The system is designed to cross the Moskva River and connect to three visitor areas which include Luzhniki Stadium, New League/Kosygina and Sparrow Hills. On its first day, the 737m long cable car was visited by the city’s mayor who announced that the system will be free to ride for its first month. Thirty-five 8-person cabins will offer a capacity of 1,600 pphpd to riders. Trip times will be reduced to just five minutes compared to 15 minutes by road.

As a purely recreational system, the cable car has introduced several important elements to attract tourists. At Sparrow Hills — one of the highest points in Moscow — riders have direct access to an observation deck which provides visitors with panoramic views of the capital.

Luzhniki Stadium station is located next to the national stadium of Russia — one of the biggest arenas in Europe with a capacity of 80,000+. Image by NearEMPTiness.

View of cable car looking towards Sparrow Hill. Image by Near EMPTiness.

Passengers can either choose to ride a “visitor” route (Luzhniki Stadium to Sparrow Hills) or a “sports” route (Luzhniki Stadium to New League). At the New League mid-station, visitors will be able to rent skiing and snowboarding equipment. However, tourists will have wait until February 2019 before the “sports” route is opened.

To enable easier transfers for cyclists, cabins are equipped with bike racks. Inside the carriers, free audio guides in four different languages are available for those interested in learning about their surroundings. For those looking to enhance their travel experience, two 4-person VIP cabins with leather seats can be booked while every station is designed with a souvenir store and cafes.

VIP cabins are a popular way to celebrate special events and occasions. Image by stroimos.

To encourage greater ridership during non-peak travel times, the system operators have opted to implement a dynamic fare structure where weekday passenger tickets are less expensive than weekend tickets. A one-way fare for adults starts at US$6.00 (400 rubles) from Monday to Friday and US$7.50 (500 rubles) on Saturdays and Sundays. Seniors, children and large groups are offered discounted tickets and payment can even be made with the local transit card, Troika.

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Moscow’s Sparrow Hills / Luzhniki Stadium Cable Car to Open Soon

Sparrow Hills Cable Car travelling across Moskva River. Luzhniki Stadium, known as Russia’s national stadium, can be seen on the right. Screenshot from YouTube.

With the start of the 2018 World Cup today, it seems appropriate to take a sneak peek at an upcoming urban cable car which will soon connect passengers between one of the game’s central venues to one of Moscow’s most popular destinations.

The gondola system, known as the Sparrow Hills Cable Car (Russian: Канатная дорога на Воробьёвых горах) was originally scheduled to open before the start of the games but will not enter commercial service until the World Cup is over. This is unfortunate as Luzhniki Stadium will be hosting seven soccer matches, including the finals.

Nevertheless, once the system becomes operational, it will ease transport for visitors travelling between Luzhniki Stadium and Sparrow Hill. With the cable car, travel times between these two destinations will be reduced to five minutes — down from 15 minutes via car.

System undergoing the test phase in late May. Image by tjsuresh.

The 3-station gondola system is 737m in length and has been designed with a capacity of 1,600 pphpd (thirty five 8-passenger cabins). Luzhniki Stadium station is built as a two-storey terminal with ticketing facilities on the first floor and passenger boarding on the second floor. From this station, travellers head southwest to the Kosygina mid-station where they can one day rent sports equipment and visit a museum.

Finally, after another 300m ride, passengers will arrive at Sparrow Hills (Vorobyovy Gory). For those unfamiliar with Moscow, Sparrow Hill is one of the seven hills in the Russian capital and considered one of the city’s most scenic areas. Since the hill is 220m tall at its highest point, visitors will arrive at an observation platform with great views of the city. While the cable car is a seemingly new idea, the area was actually once connected by a chairlift which operated between 1953 to 2016.

The cable car will primarily serve a recreational function since it does not appear that the system will be fare-integrated with the city’s Troika transit card. However, reports suggest that the operator has the intention of one day integrating its payment system with Troika. Ticket prices are estimated at US$6-8 (400-500 rubles).

To enhance its appeal to visitors, the cable car will be designed with bike racks, have audio guides in multiple languages, and have two VIP cabins. Cabins will also be outfitted with LED lights to enhance aesthetics and passenger experience during night time operations.

Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.