In 1785, Catherine the Great approved a new layout for Saransk and the disorderly construction was replaced by a rectangular grid of streets with city blocks and squares. In the late 18th and the early 19th centuries, Saransk became famous for its street markets. Horse breeders would bring their horses for sale from neighboring regions; merchants would bring woolen textiles, silk, ceramics and glassware.
In the late 19th century, the Moscow-Kazan railway was laid through Saransk, which, nevertheless, did not become a major industrial city. Saransk remained an idyllic and peaceful provincial town.
However, soon, in June 2018, this idyllic countryside town will become part of the big football celebrations and host the games of the World Cup's group stage.