81-540/541 is a model of electric metro cars, created in 1997 at the Vagonmash plant in St. Petersburg on the basis of cars 81-717/714 (“Nomernoy”). Structurally, they are analogous to the 81-717.5M/714.5M cars. Based on the basic model, the plant created many different modifications.

The head cars were designated 81-540, and the intermediate cars are 81-541.


Externally, the cars are practically no different from 81-717.5M/714.5M. The main difference lies in the auto guidance and ARS equipment, specific to the St. Petersburg metro. In the driver’s cabins, duplex radio communication is used with the control post, as well as with any of the cars.


In the interior of the first production cars, laminated paper is used to provide heat and sound insulation of the body, and aluminum sheets and artificial leather are used in the driver’s cabin. For the interior windows, tempered glass is used, the thickness of which is 6 mm. Fluorescent lamps are used as lighting in the carriages.

In cars produced in 2001, the interior design has changed slightly, in particular, roundness has appeared on the over-door casings, and the interior is trimmed with maple-like plastic. Instead of standard leatherette seats, anti-vandal seats were installed on carriages produced since 2001.

Ventilation in cars is carried out both forced (mechanically) and by supply and exhaust method. To open and close automatic sliding doors, pneumatic drives are used, controlled by centralized electrical control from the driver’s cabin.


  • 81-540.1/541.1

Created in 1997 at the Vagonmash plant in St. Petersburg on the basis of the bodies of dismantled experimental cars of type 81-550/551/552.

On cars of this type, equipment from cars of type 81-540/541 was installed, therefore, due to a decrease in engine power compared to the asynchronous electric train 81-550, all intermediate cars became motor cars.

The carriages are equipped with a forced ventilation system, but this did not affect the installation of single windows with windows.

Due to the abundance of non-standard equipment in the cabin of the car (before conversion), due to which it resembled the cockpit of an airplane, the electric train received the nickname “Boeing”.

It was created in 2006. Externally, it is distinguished by a new, more streamlined shape of the head cars with inclined buffer lights, for which it received the nickname “Alien”.

  • 81-540.5/541.5

81-540.5/541.5 is a type of metro car produced by Vagonmash. It is a modification of cars 81-540/541 with minor changes. Cars of model 81-540.5 are motor head cars, 81-541.5 are intermediate cars.

  • 81-540.7/541.7

One of the main distinguishing features is the updated mask of the head car. The new look of the car was given by streamlined linings made of composite materials on the headlight blocks, roof and apron areas. The author of the design is Denis Viselsky. Stylized plastic rear-view mirrors were installed, which were later replaced with standard ones. For these mirrors the carriage received the nickname “Ant”.

The interior decoration of the cars is identical to cars 81-540/541 produced in 2001.

In 2004, a 81-540.7/541.7 opened with Vladimir Putin the Lesnaya metro station, for which the train received the nickname “Putinsky”.

  • 81-540.8/541.8

Created in 2004. In the wagons of the new modification, a more spacious cabin of the driver with a ventilation installation was used, and plastic parts were used to facing the cabin of the driver and the cabin cabin. In addition, a wide door is installed from the front of the cabin designed for emergency evacuation of passengers from train wagons in case of emergency.

There are two types of wagons of this modification: on wagons of the first type, an angular cabin lined with plastic panels of white and/or blue colors is used; On the second-type wagons, a completely fiberglass cabin with rounded corners is mounted (similar cabs are used on wagons of the Kazan metro (81-553.3/554.3/555.3)). In general, both forms of the cab are the development of the cab 81-540.1. For the unusual mask of the head car, these compounds received nicknames “Sabelozub” and “Dracula”.

Assembly: Vagonmash (St. Petersburg)

Years of production: 1997–2013

Production (all modifications): 41 units (total: 185 wagons)

Car length: 19,210 mm

Width: 2712 mm

Height: 3650 mm

Track gauge: 1520 mm

Type of current and voltage: 750 V DC

Output power: 4× 110 kW

Max speed: 90 km/h

Weight (one railcar): 34 t

Read more: History of railways with Alex Meltos ...