The first proposal to build an underground railway in Prague was made as early as 1898 by Ladislav Rott. This came to nothing and although further proposals and plans were made from the 1920s onwards, it was not until 1967 that the construction of the system finally started. What is now Line C was the first constructed and it opened (in part) in May 1974. With Soviet influence, building continued apace with Line A opening in 1978 and Line B in 1985. The lines have been extended outwards since these dates.
The three lines of the network are colour coded on maps and have a total of 57 stations, three of them interchange stations. The network totals 57 kilometres and carries around 600 million passengers per year. Interchange with park and ride, commuter trains and trams is excellent and the whole operates as part of an integrated transport system. Part of the network is in true tunnel, the deepest station being at Namesti Miru (52 metres deep). The escalator here is claimed to be the longest in Europe. Other parts have been built using cut-and-cover and some of the lines run on the surface.
After the end of the Cold War, eleven station names that had a communist element were renamed. For example Leninova station was renamed Dejvicka and the bust of Lenin was removed. Andel station was opened as Moskevska (‘Moscow station’); it opened on the same day as Prazhskaya station on the Moscow metro. It still retains some communist-era decoration. Other stations also retain their feel of the Moscow Metro but others are decorated using coloured aluminium panels. Work is underway to add a Line D which will run to the south of the city.