The Moscow Little Ring Railway is a ring-shaped railway which encircles the center of the city of Moscow, Russia. It was built between 1903 and 1908 and is currently used for cargo traffic. The railroad is operated by the Moscow Railway, a subsidiary of the Russian Railways. Originally, the railroad has seventeen stations and was used for passenger connections. The station buildings are constructed in the same style and are referred to as typical samples of Russian industrial architecture of the beginning of the 20th century (architects - Alexander Pomerantsev and Nikolay Markovnikov). Station designs by Alexander Pomerantsev (1849-1918) mixed motifs of Vienna Secession, Victorian Gothic and traditional eclectisism leaning to neoclassicism yet were clearly styled as a cohesive ensemble. All were built in unfinished red brick with white decorative inserts in line with industrial architecture of the period. As of 2012, twelve railway stations operated at the railroad. The total length of the ring is 54 kilometres.
In 1806, the Kamer Collegium Rampart became the official outer border of Moscow. In 1879, some areas, including Sokolniki, were appended to the city. However, at the time Moscow was encircled by a number of settlements, which formed the agglomeration and had poor transport connections to each other. A number of proposals to build a ring railroad around the center were made in the 1860s and the 1870s. One such project was rejected in 1877 by the Moscow City Council which cited inefficiency. However, the transportation problems became more obvious, and in 1898 after Emperor Nicholas II sent a message declaring that it was desirable to built a railroad, a project competition was opened. The project by Pyotr Rashevsky, who proposed to build a ring of the total length of 54.4 kilometres, won the competition. The construction started in 1903, and the railway was completed in 1907. The first train run in July 1907. On August 1, 1908, the railroad was declared to be completed, and it became part of the Nicholas Railway (now October Railway), of which the main line run between Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Passenger service was organized. There were four trains per day. The trains first stopped in Nicholas Rail Terminal (now Leningrad Rail Terminal), got to the ring at the "Presnya" station, and then separated into two, one train running clockwise, and the other one running counterclockwise. The Direction of the Nicholas Railway was located in Saint Petersburg, and thus it was inconvenient for decision making. In 1916, the ring railway was transferred to the Moscow-Kursk Railway. By the end of 1920s, there was organized reliable tram and bus operation in the areas near this railway. As result, in 1934 passenger service was terminated, and ring railway became a separate railroad. In 1959 it was included to the Moscow Railway. Between 1917 and 1960, the Moscow Little Ring Railway served as the border of the city of Moscow. In 1960, the Moscow Automobile Ring Road (MKAD) was almost completed, and the city was extended up to this new beltway. The Little Ring Railway currently serves industrial enterprises located outside the center of Moscow. Many of these went bankrupt as the result of the economic crisis of the 1990s, or else were or are planned to be relocated outside of Moscow. Instead, there were plans to reopen passenger traffic, which would bypass the congested city center. There are thirteen Moscow Metro stations located close to the Little Ring Railway, as well as eight passenger railway stations. In 2008, the plans were signed by the Moscow authorities and the Russian Railways. According to the plans, passenger service should have been opened in 2010 at the stretch between "Presnya" and "Kanatchikovo" stations. These plans were never realized and are currently shelved. By 2015, the whole ring should have been made available for passenger service.