Baku Metro

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Rapid transit in Azerbaijan)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Baku Metro
Baku Subway logo.png
Native name Bakı Metropoliteni
Owner Baku Metro CJSC
Locale Baku, Azerbaijan
Transit type Rapid transit
Number of lines 3[1]
Number of stations 25[1]
Daily ridership 608,200 (daily average, 2015)
Annual ridership 222.0 million (2015)[2][3]
Chief executive Zaur Huseynov
Website Baku Metro
Began operation November 6, 1967; 50 years ago (1967-11-06) [1]
Operator(s) Bakı Metropoliteni
Number of vehicles 228
System length 36.63 km (22.8 mi)[1]
Track gauge 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) Russian gauge
Electrification Third rail, 825V DC
Bakı Metropolitenin sxemi

Baku Metro map

Baku Metro (Azerbaijani: Bakı Metropoliteni) is a rapid transit system serving Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. First opened on 6 November 1967[1] during the time of the Soviet Union, it has features typical of ex-Soviet systems, including very deep central stations and exquisite decorations that blend traditional Azerbaijani national motifs with Soviet ideology. At present the system has 36.63 kilometres (22.76 mi)[1] of bi-directional tracks, made up of three lines[1] served by 25 stations.[1] The metro is the only one constructed in Azerbaijan, and was the fifth built in the Soviet Union. In 2015, it carried 222.0 million[3] passengers,[2] which yielded an average daily ridership of approximately 608,200.

Baku Metro Closed Joint-Stock Company (Baku Metro CJSC), the company which runs the Baku Metro, was founded according Decree No. 289 Of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on February 27, 2014 as a legal successor of Baku Metro and Azertunelmetrotikinti Joint Stock Company. Property along with rights and obligations of Baku Metro and Azertunelmetrotikinti Joint Stock Company were transferred to the newly established Baku Metro CJSC.[4]

Baku Metro
Həzi Aslanov
Xalqlar Dostluğu
Qara Qarayev
Nəriman Nərimanov
Şah İsmail Xətai
28 May
Cəfər Cabbarlı
Nizami Gəncəvi
Elmlər Akademiyası
20 Yanvar
Memar Əcəmi
Memar Əcəmi-2
Azadlıq prospekti


During the final decades of the Russian Empire the port city of Baku became a large metropolis due to the discovery of oil in the Caspian Sea. By the 1930s, it was the capital of the Azerbaijani SSR and the largest city in Soviet Transcaucasia. The first plans for a rapid-transit system date to the 1930s, with the adoption of a new general plan for city development. After World War II, the population passed the one million mark. a requirement of Soviet law for construction of a metro system. In 1947, the Soviet Cabinet of Ministers issued a decree authorizing its construction, which began in 1951. On November 6, 1967, Baku Metro became the Soviet Union's fifth rapid-transit system when the first 6.5 kilometers of track and a depot were inaugurated, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the October Revolution.

Baku Subway System 1970

Due to the city's unique landscape, Baku Metro did not have the typical Soviet "triangle" layout of development, and instead had two elliptical lines which crossed each other in the center of the city at the Baku Railway Terminal. Thus one line would begin at the southwestern end of the city, and cross on a northeastern axis to follow the residential districts on the northern edge of the city and then snake along to the southeastern and ultimately southern end. This was inaugurated in three stages: Ulduz (1970) and Neftçilər (1972), followed by Ahmedli (1989) and finally Hazi Aslanov (2002), completing the first line. Additionally, in 1970 a branch was opened to a station built in a depot, Bakmil.

The second line was to parallel the Caspian coast from Hazi Aslanov through Baku's industrial districts, meeting the first line again at the Baku Railway Terminal, and then continuing westwards before turning north to join Baku's northwestern districts. To accelerate construction, a branch was opened from May 28 station to Khatai in 1968, and in 1976 in the opposite direction towards Nizami. The second and first line used the same station (May 28). This posed no serious problems initially, as the line was two stations long, but when the second stage opened in 1985, lengthening the line to 8 stations (Memar Ajemi), construction of a transfer was desperately needed.

In 1993, the first stage of the transfer station Jafar Jabbarli came in operation, but the end of the Soviet Union, political unrest, military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and the financial collapse which followed effectively paralyzed any construction attempts in Baku. Furthermore, during the 1990s two catastrophes took place: on March 19 and July 3, 1994, two terrorist attacks killed 27 and injured 91 people, and on October 28 of the following year a fire in a crowded train killed 289 and injured 265 others, the world's deadliest subway disaster.

In the late 1990s construction restarted. The first project was the completion of Hazi Aslanov station, partly sponsored by the European Union. In the mid-2000s, construction of the northern end of the second line, abandoned since 1994, was restarted with Nasimi station opening in October 9, 2008.



Name Line Segment Date opened Length Stations
Red Red İçərişəhərHəzi Aslanov 1967 20 km 13
Green Green DərnəgülHəzi Aslanov 1976 31 km 19
Separated part of Green Green Şah İsmail XətaiCəfər Cabbarlı 1976 2 km 2
Purple Purple AvtovağzalMemar Əcəmi 2016 2 km 2


Segment Date opened Length
İçərişəhər-Nəriman Nərimanov November 6, 1967 6.5 km
May 28-Şah İsmail Xətai February 22, 1968 2.3 km
Nəriman Nərimanov-Ulduz May 5, 1970 2.1 km
Nəriman Nərimanov-Bakmil September 25, 1970 (reconstructed in 1978-79) 0.5 km
Ulduz-Neftçilər November 7, 1972 5.3 km
May 28-Nizami Gəncəvi December 31, 1976 2.2 km
Nizami Gəncəvi-Memar Əcəmi December 31, 1985 6.5 km
Neftçilər-Əhmədli April 28, 1989 3.3 km
Cəfər Cabbarlı December 27, 1993 0.15 km
Əhmədli-Həzi Aslanov December 10, 2002 1.4 km
Memar Əcəmi-Nəsimi October 9, 2008 2.1 km
Nəsimi-Azadlıq prospekti December 30, 2009 1.3 km
Azadlıq prospekti-Dərnəgül June 29, 2011 1.5 km
Avtovağzal-Memar Əcəmi April 19, 2016 2.07 km
Total: 25 stations 36.7 km

Renaming of stations[edit]

Old New Date of renaming
Şaumyan Xətai May 11, 1990
XI Qızıl Ordu Meydanı 20 Yanvar April 27, 1992
28 Aprel 28 May April 9, 1992
Avrora Qara Qarayev April 27, 1992
Elektrozavod Bakmil January 1, 1993
26 Bakı Komissarı Sahil April 9, 1992
Bakı Soveti İçәrişәhәr April 25, 2007
Məşədi Əzizbəyov Koroğlu December 30, 2011

Expansion plans[edit]

At present, there are several expansion projects planned, two of which are under construction. In 2011, the Chief Executive of the Baku Metro, Taghi Ahmadov, announced plans to construct 76 new stations by 2030. Currently, eight stations and two train depots are under construction.[5][6][7] These will serve the new bus complex as well as Heydar Aliyev International Airport.[8]

The signalling, supervision and telecommunication systems for Phase 1 of the Purple Line will be upgraded by Thales.

Three new stations were planned to open by 2015, according to Ahmadov; Bus Terminal and Memar Əcəmi-2 were scheduled to open in late 2012 (since delayed to 2016), while Köhnə Günəşlı and Yeni Günəşlı were planned to begin operating before 2015 (not yet open).[9]

Construction of the intermediate section of line 2 (Green Line), between Xətai and Həzi Aslanov along Nobel Avenue began in August 2013 by a French-Ukrainian consortium.[10][11]

A third metro line is also planned. Baku's Metro will be refitted with modern technologies. The new stations will be able to handle trains with up to seven cars. The stations will feature modern platforms, lobbies, escalators as well as new signaling and control systems.[5]

Structural units[edit]

Baku Metro Closed Joint-Stock Company embracing such important areas like subway operation and construction, has the following structural units:[12]

  • Traffic service
  • Depot Department
  • Tunnel Facilities Services
  • Traffic Services
  • Electricity Supply Services
  • Electromechanical Service
  • Overhaul Services
  • Alarm and Communication Services
  • Automototransportation Services
  • United workshops
  • Construction Department
  • Human Resources and Services Department
  • Department of Perspective Development and Capital Construction Supervision
  • Department of Finance[12]


Officially Baku Metro has two lines, however due to problems with opening the second part of Cəfər Cabbarlı, Baku instead operates as a large four branch system, with trains travelling from Həzi Aslanov to either İçərişəhər or Dərnəgul, branching at May 28 (beneath the main train station). Rare services from both Dərnəgul and İçərişəhər also terminate at Bakmil but only twice per hour. There is a one-stop second line that operates separately between Cəfər Cabbarlı (essentially different platforms within the same station as May 28) and Şah İsmail Xətai, a shuttle service using only one of the two tracks due to low demand.

The second interchange station is “Memar Əcəmi" where Green and Violet Lines cross.[4]

Due to the city's uneven landscape some stations are very deep, that could double as bomb shelters in case of a nuclear war attack, given that the system was built at the height of the Cold War in the 1950s/early 1960s. All seven of these deep level stations have a standard pylon design. The majority of the system's stations, 13, are shallow pillar-trispans. In addition one station, Bakmil, is a single platform surface level.

Like many other former Soviet most of the stations of the system are exquisitely decorated as the adjacent images show, many feature advanced Soviet motives in artwork (including mosaics, sculpture and bas-reliefs) and architecture such as those of progress and internationalist culture, whilst others focus on traditional Azeri culture and history. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, several stations were renamed, and some of their decoration was altered to comply with the new ideology.


The system works on a flat fare of 30 qapik, following a one-third hike of December 1, 2011, though Baku Metro chief Tagi Ahmadov declined to comment on the reasons behind the increase.[13][14] Ahmadov claims that the Baku Metro remains the worlds cheapest, however, despite the hike.[15] Until 2006, metro users accessed the stations with metal (later plastic) tokens placed into turnstiles. In 2006 the Baku Metro introduced an RFID card system using rechargeable fare cards, which require a 2-manat deposit (plus travel credit).

BakuCard is a single Smart Card for payment on Baku Metro and BakuBus.[16] The intercity buses and metro use this type of card-based fare-payment system.[17][18]

Wi-fi and mobile phone coverage[edit]

Work to install free wi-fi service at Koroğlu station is now underway.[19]

Local mobile service provider Nar Mobile has started to provide 3G coverage at Sahil, Nəsimi, 28 May, Memar Əcəmi, Azadlıq prospekti and Dərnəgül. Service will expand to all stations as well as to tunnels by May.[20]

Rolling stock[edit]

The 81-717/714 model of Baku Metro
The 81-760/761 model of Baku Metro

Baku is served by one single depot, which is located next to the Bakmil surface station, and carries the same name. As of January 2005, the system had 228 cars, of which 43 five-car trains were formed, the rest used for specialist duties. The earliest set of models include the old Ezh3 and Em-508 types, whilst most are the 81-717/714 and their modifications which Baku has been receiving since the early 1980s.

The Baku Metro plans to purchase new trains in late 2012 from the Metrovagonmash rail car plant, near Moscow, to operate on its third line. The exact amount is not yet known, however. The trains will be made from stainless steel and will be equipped with air conditioners.[21]

The new rolling stock is expected to arrive in 2014, according to former Baku Metro Chief Tagi Ahmadov.[22]

The first rolling stock of the type 81-760/761 developed by Metrovagonmash and Alstom arrived in 2014 and is currently replacing the old model 81-717/714.[23]

Retro carriages[edit]

On 6 November 2017, it was held a рresentation of the retro carriages which were restored on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Baku Metro.[24]

These carriages, manufactured at the end of 1934, had 52 seats and 120 standing places. The carriages of this type were sent to five cities including Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Tbilisi, and Baku, which received 47 carriages of this type.[25]


Bombing of 1994[edit]

On March 19 to July 3, 1994, two series bombs was reported to have killed 27 and injured 91.[26] Three Armenians were later arrested, charged and imprisoned in connection with the incident.[27]

Fire of 1995[edit]

On October 28, 1995, a fire broke out between the Ulduz and Nariman Narimanov stations, killing 289 people and injuring 265 others.[28][29] The fire was deemed to have been caused by electrical malfunction but the possibility of deliberate sabotage was not excluded. The fire remains the world's deadliest subway disaster.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Baku Metro - History". Bakı Metropoliteni. Archived from the original on August 18, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  2. ^ a b "Ötən il Bakı metrosu ilə 222 mln. sərnişin daşınıb". Azəri Press Agentliyi (APA). 2016. Archived from the original on August 7, 2016. Retrieved January 21, 2016. (in Azerbaijani)
  3. ^ a b "Conveyance of passengers in transport sectors". The State Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b "About "Baku Metropolitan" CJSC". "Baku Metropolitan" CJSC. Archived from the original on 4 May 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b Nigar, Orujova (11 August 2014). "Good news for Baku Metro's users". Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Over 70 underground stations to be built in Baku". Retrieved February 18, 2011.
  7. ^ Mammadov, Anar. ""Memar Əcəmi" stansiyasında yeni metro xəttinə keçid açılır – FOTO". Archived from the original on February 21, 2011. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
  8. ^ "41 new underground stations to be constructed in Azerbaijani capital in the next 17 years". October 10, 2008. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 16, 2014. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
  10. ^ "Construction of Khatai-Hazi Aslanov-2 line kicks off". Azeri Press Agency. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  11. ^ Orujova, Nigar (22 August 2013). "Construction of new section in Green Line of Baku Metro starts". Azernews. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  12. ^ a b "About "Baku Metropolitan" CJSC".
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 7, 2012. Retrieved 2011-12-03.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 7, 2012. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  16. ^ "Vehicles available with "BakiKart"". Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  17. ^ "How to pay your fare-Bakı Metropoliteni". Archived from the original on 2017-11-01. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  18. ^ "". Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 7, 2012. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2012-03-10.
  21. ^[permanent dead link]
  22. ^[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ Atwell, Elizabeth. "Baku's Metro Accident". Azer International Magazine. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
  27. ^ "Azerbaijani Terrorism Suspect Extradited to Baku". RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 1, No. 170, Part I. Retrieved March 29, 2010.
  28. ^ I.J. Duckworth. "Fires in vehicular tunnels" (PDF). 12th U.S./North American Mine Ventilation Symposium 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 16, 2010. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
  29. ^ Terje Andersen, Børre J. Paaske. "Railroad and Metro Tunnel Accidents". Retrieved April 4, 2010.
  30. ^ Phil Reeves (October 31, 1995). "Sabotage fear over metro fire". The Independent. Retrieved April 4, 2010.

External links[edit]