Sofia Metro

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sofia Metro
Sofia Metro Logo.svg
Sofia metro at Musagenitsa.jpg
Map8 eng trans.png
Map of the Sofia Metro (2016)
Native name Софийско метро
Sofiysko metro
Owner City of Sofia
Locale Sofia, Bulgaria
Transit type Rapid transit
Number of lines 2[1]
Number of stations 35[1][2]
Daily ridership 350,000 (2016)[3]
Chief executive Stoyan Bratoev
Headquarters 121, Knyaz Boris I str.
Began operation 28 January 1998[1]
Operator(s) Metropolitan-Sofia JSC
Number of vehicles 52
System length 40.0 km (24.9 mi)[1][2]
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification Third rail, 825V DC
Average speed 40 km/h (25 mph)[4]
Top speed 80 km/h (50 mph)
City Overlay of the Sofia Metro

Sofia Metro-Map.png

The Sofia Metropolitan (Bulgarian: Софийско метро, translit. Sofiysko metro) is the rapid transit network servicing the Bulgarian capital city Sofia. It began operation on January 28, 1998.[1] As of July 2016, the Sofia Metro consists of two interconnected lines, serving 35 stations, with a total route length of 40.0 kilometres (24.9 mi)[1][5][6][2] being among the top 30 of the most extensive European metro systems. The Metro links the densely populated districts of LyulinMladost (Line 1 – Red) and NadezhdaLozenets (Line 2 – Blue). Also, since 2 April 2015, Line 1 has been servicing the Sofia Airport.[7][8]


Planned since the 1960s, construction of the Metro was not officially launched until the late 1990s mainly because the city did not experience an urgent need for an underground system in addition to the stalled construction due to lack of sufficient funding. Another factor was the depth at which the construction works had to be carried out: being one of the oldest cities in Europe, Sofia contains many historical layers underneath its central areas. Evidence of antiquity can be clearly seen at the Serdika Station which exhibits a wealth of unearthed Thracian and Roman ruins and modern architecture. During the construction of the enormous complex of the National Palace of Culture two stations forming part of the then future Line 2 and their connecting tunnels were built.

The construction of the system began from the route that sees the highest volumes of passenger traffic, that can easily reach up to 38,000 at rush hour.[9]


Due to an increased population, there are a large number of passengers heading toward the city center during weekday mornings, and away from the city centre in the weekday evenings. The necessity of efficient public transport in the direction of the largest passenger flows, transport, and Sofia's environmental problems precipitated the start of the construction of the Sofia Metro. Following the ratification of a technical and economic report on the metro by the Council of Ministers of Bulgaria, and the subsequently approved General City Plan, the general scheme for the development of the lines should consist of three diameters with extensions in the periphery, with a total length of 62 kilometres (39 mi), 63 metro stations, and a 1.1 million daily passenger capacity at the final stage of implementation.[10]

Line Opened Current length Current stations U/C length U/C stations Planned length Planned stations
M1 1998 28 km 23 30.9 km 25[citation needed]
M2 2012 12.0 km 12 17 km 17[citation needed]
M3 U/C 8.0 km 8 16 km 16[citation needed]
Total: 40.0 km 35 8.0 km 8 63.9 km 58[citation needed]

First Line M1 – Red line[edit]

Sofia Metro Line М1
Line М2
Obelya Depot
Zapaden Park
Konstantin Velichkov
SU St. Kliment Ohridski
Vasil Levski Stadium
Mladost 1
Line M2
Mladost 3
Inter Expo Center –
Tsarigradsko shose
Iskarsko shose
Sofiyska Sveta gora
Sofia Airport
Aleksandar Malinov
Akademik Aleksandar
Teodorov - Balan
Business Park Sofia

The first 6.5 kilometres (4.0 mi) long section of line 1 consisting of five stations linking Slivnitsa Boulevard through Lyulin and K. Velichkov Boulevard was inaugurated on 28 January 1998. Opalchenska station entered into service on 17 September 1999 and Serdika station situated on St Nedelya Square followed on 31 October 2000, extending the total system length to 8.1 kilometres (5.0 mi). The operational section of the line was further extended with a 1.8 kilometres (1.1 mi) long section, reaching Obelya housing estate in April 2003.

The extension of Line 1 continued in 2005 with the start of the construction of 4.8 kilometres (3.0 mi) of tunnels and three stations linking St Nedelya Square and the Interped World Trade Center in Izgrev (station Frédéric Joliot-Curie). 2006 saw the start of the construction of another section of the same line (consisting of 3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi) of tunnels and three stations) linking Izgrev and Mladost I housing estate. The completion of the first three stations was projected for the autumn of 2007, however as a result of various delays it was the second section from the first line (Vasil Levski stadium – Mladost 1) that first entered into service on 8 May 2009, operating for a brief period of time separately from the north-west portion of the line. The remaining section between Serdika and Vasil Levski stadium station finally entered into service on 7 September 2009[11] establishing an uninterrupted link between Obelya and Mladost 1 stations.

Line 1 branches in two: Northern branch from Mladost I to Sofia Airport (7.2 kilometres (4.5 mi), six stations), and Southern branch from Mladost I to Business Park Sofia (2.62 kilometres (1.63 mi), three underground stations). The construction of the first two stations of the Northern branch began on 15 February 2009 and was completed on 25 April 2012. The construction of Northern branch extension to Sofia Airport for two underground and two overground stations, 4.968 kilometres (3.087 mi) at the cost of BGN 136,757,630 (EUR 69,923,066), VAT exclusive began in 2013,[12][13][14][15] and was completed on 2 April 2015.[7][8] The construction of the Southern branch to Mladost IV and the Sofia Ring Road began on 25 April 2013. The stretch was completed on 8 May 2015.[6][12] It cost BGN 85,767,683 (EUR 43,852,320), VAT exclusive, and serves the majority of the second most densely populated area in Sofia.[16][17]

Main Line[edit]

Station Image In service since Notes
Obelya (Обеля) EstacionObeliaMetroSofia.jpg 20 April 2003 Set to be used as a link between the depot and line M2. Servicing Obelya, Vrabnitsa and Moderno Predgradie housing estates
Slivnitsa (Сливница) Метростанция "Сливница".png 28 January 1998 servicing Lyulin housing estate
Lyulin (Люлин) Метростанция "Люлин".png 28 January 1998 servicing Lyulin housing estate
Zapaden Park (Западен парк) Zapaden park.jpg 28 January 1998 situated nearby Mega Mall Sofia and servicing Lyulin housing estate
Vardar (Вардар) Метростанция "Вардар".png 28 January 1998 servicing Zapaden Park housing estate
Konstantin Velichkov (Константин Величков) Метростанция "Константин Величков".jpg 28 January 1998 situated on Konstantin Velichkov boulevard
Opalchenska (Опълченска) Метростанция "Опълченска".png 17 September 1999 situated nearby Mall of Sofia
Serdika (Сердика) Serdika stantion.jpg 31 October 2000 transfer station between the Red (M1) and Blue (M2) lines
St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University (СУ „Св. Климент Охридски“) Metrostation-Sofia-University-4.JPG 7 September 2009 situated nearby Sofia University
Vasil Levski Stadium (Стадион „Васил Левски“) Метростанция "Стадион Васил Левски".png 8 May 2009 situated nearby Vasil Levski National Stadium
Joliot-Curie (Жолио Кюри) Метростанция "Жолио Кюри".png 8 May 2009 servicing Iztok and Izgrev housing estates
G.M.Dimitrov (Г. М. Димитров) G.M.Dimitrov.jpg 8 May 2009 servicing Musagenitsa, Dianabad, Studentski grad and Darvenitsa housing estates
Musagenitsa (Мусагеница) Musagenitsa.JPG 8 May 2009 servicing Musagenitsa housing estate
Mladost 1 (Младост 1) Metrostation Mladost 1.JPG 8 May 2009 transfer station between the northern (Sofia Airport) and the southern (Business Park) branch. Servicing Mladost 1 housing estate

Northern branch[edit]

Station Image In service since Notes
Mladost 3 (Младост 3) Младост 3-вестибюл.jpg 25 April 2012 servicing Mladost 3 housing estate
Inter Expo Center - Tsarigradsko Shose (Интер Експо Център - Цариградско шосе) Цариградско-вестибюл.jpg 25 April 2012 situated on Tsarigradsko shose
Druzhba (Дружба) Метростанция "Дружба".jpg 2 April 2015 servicing Druzhba 1, Druzhba 2, and Iskar housing estates
Iskarsko Shose (Искърско шосе) Метростанция "Искърско Шосе".jpg 2 April 2015 situated near Iskar railway station within Iskar housing estate
Sofiyska Sveta Gora (Софийска Света гора) Перон.jpg 2 April 2015 situated in industrial area "Iskar" within Iskar housing estate
Sofia Airport (Летище София) Sofia Airport Metro Station.JPG 2 April 2015 situated nearby Sofia Airport with direct connection to Terminal 2

Southern branch[edit]

Station Image In service since Notes
Aleksandar Malinov (Александър Малинов) Метростанция "Алекснадър Малинов".jpg 8 May 2015 servicing Mladost 2 and Mladost 3 housing estate
Akad. Aleksandar Teodorov-Balan (Акад. Александър Теодоров-Балан) Метростанция "Александър Теодоров-Балан".png 8 May 2015 servicing Mladost 2 and Mladost 3 housing estate
Business Park Sofia (Бизнес Парк София) Метростанция "Бизнес Парк".jpg 8 May 2015 situated nearby Business Park Sofia and servicing Mladost 4 housing estate
Sofia Park (София парк) planned will be situated nearby residential district Sofia Park (жк. София парк) and Sofia Ring Road[18]
Malinova Dolina (Малинова долина) planned will be situated nearby gondola lift bg:Кабинков лифт Симеоново - Алеко and Sofia Ring Road[19]

Second Line M2 – Blue Line[edit]

Sofia Metro Line M2
Lomsko shose
Beli Dunav
Han Kubrat
Zapaden Park
Knyaginya Maria Luiza
Central Railway
Konstantin Velichkov
Lavov most
Serdika II
SU St. Kliment Ohridski
European Union
Vasil Levski Stadium
James Bourchier
Mladost 1
Line 1
Aleksandar Malinov
Mladost 3
Akademik Aleksandar
Teodorov - Balan
Inter Expo Center –
Tsarigradsko shose
Business Park Sofia
Iskarsko shose
Sofiyska Sveta gora
Sofia Airport

The second line of the Sofia Metro links the districts of Obelya, Nadezhda, the city centre and Lozenets to the south of the city.[20] Half of the construction cost was covered by the European Union, with the remaining part funded by the state and city budgets.[20] Construction of the 6.4 km section between Nadezhda interchange and Lozenets district via Central railway station and the National Palace of Culture started on 14 December 2008. Work on the section between Obelya residential District and Nadezhda started in February 2010. Both sections of the line entered into service on 31 August 2012.[20]

NDK and European Union stations and their connecting tunnels were partly completed during the construction of the National Palace of Culture and the redevelopment of the surrounding area in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

On 20 July 2016, the line was extended southward with 1.3 km and one station, Vitosha, located at Hladilnika neighbourhood.[2] The construction took 2 years.

Provisions have been made for the construction of future branch to Iliyantsi, starting from the existing junction located between Knyaginya Maria Luiza and Han Kubrat stations.

Main Line[edit]

Station Image In service since Notes
Obelya (Обеля) EstacionObeliaMetroSofia.jpg 20 April 2003 Set to be used as a link between the depot and line M2.
Lomsko shose (Ломско шосе) Ломско Шосе.jpg 31 August 2012 servicing Vrabnitsa housing estate
Beli Dunav (Бели Дунав) Бели дунав.jpg 31 August 2012 situated on the border between Nadezhda 3 and Nadezhda 4 housing estates
Nadezhda (Надежда) Nadejda - 001.jpg 31 August 2012 servicing Nadezhda housing estate and situated on Lomsko shose boulevard
Han Kubrat (Хан Кубрат) Кан Кубрат.jpg 31 August 2012 situated on the border between Nadezhda 1 and Nadezhda 2 housing estates
Knyaginya Maria Luiza (Княгиня Мария Луиза) Княгиня Мария Луиза.jpg 31 August 2012 situated nearby Klementinska hospital
Central Railway Station (Централна ж.п. гара) Централна гара.jpg 31 August 2012 situated nearby Sofia Central Station and Central Bus Station Sofia
Lavov Most (Лъвов мост) Лъвов мост.jpg 31 August 2012 situated nearby Lavov Most
Serdika II (Сердика II) Сердика 2.jpg 31 August 2012 transfer station between the Red (M1) and Blue (M2) lines
National Palace of Culture (Национален дворец на културата ) Национален дворец на културата.jpg 31 August 2012 situated to the north of the National Palace of Culture
European Union (Европейски съюз)[21] Европейски съюз.jpg 31 August 2012 situated nearby the Earth and Man National Museum and City Center Sofia
James Bourchier (Джеймс Баучер) Джеймс Баучър.jpg 31 August 2012 servicing Lozenets housing estate
Vitosha (Витоша) Vitosha Metro station.jpg 20 July 2016 situated nearby Paradise Center
Cherni vrah (Черни връх) planned
Dragalevtsi (Драгалевци) planned

Iliyantsi branch (planned)[edit]

  • Lev Tolstoy (Лев Толстой)
  • Svoboda (Свобода)
  • Rozhen (Рожен)
  • Iliyantsi (Илиянци)

Third Line M3 – Green Line[edit]

The 16 km long third line is planned to connect Ovcha Kupel neighbourhood (in southwest Sofia) and Vasil Levski neighbourhood (in northeast Sofia), with 16 stations in total, including two transfer stations in the city centre, with both of the already operational lines. The line should be put into service by 2019.[22][23]

There will be 8 overground and 11 underground stations. The project design contract was awarded to the Czech company Metroprojekt Praha a.s.[24][25][26]

In March 2014, a tender for construction of the central section of the line was announced. The section is 7 km long and includes 7 stations, two of them transfer to lines 1 and 2. With the announcement of the tender it became clear, that the initial plans for 19 stations had been partly amended and 2 of the stations will be not be built, one at Doyran boulevard and another at Shipka street. The tunnel of the central section shall be excavated by a TBM, while the construction of stations shall be awarded to other companies. The construction of the section shall be completed within 45 months.[27] In January 2015, a tender for 20 trains, that shall serve the central section of the line, was announced. Driverless train operation, with Grade of Automation 3 (GoA 3), and platform screen doors will ensure the safety of the passengers. Unlike lines 1 and 2, where the trains collect power through a third rail, line 3 trains will be equipped with pantographs.[28][29] CAF and Siemens applied bids in the tender for the trains,[30] with Siemens winning it.[31]

Fares and ticketing[edit]

The price of a single ticket is 1.60 lev, equivalent to ~0.82 euro. It can be issued either by a cashier, or by a vending machine. When obtained, the single ticket must be validated within 30 minutes at a validator. Pre-paid magnetic card also could be bought (at a price of 1 lev) with minimum 10 pre-paid rides (at a price of 12 levs for 10 pre-paid rides). Daily and monthly cards are also available.[32]

Rolling stock[edit]

"Rusich" train at Serdika Metro Station.

The system uses two types of rolling stock, both made in Russia.

The older train sets, type 81-717/714, have been manufactured by Metrovagonmash in Mytishchi near Moscow and consisted of 48 carriages in total. They were delivered in 1990 – some 8 years prior to the opening of the first section of the system.

The second generation of rolling stock, type 81-740/741 "Rusich", have also been manufactured by Metrovagonmash. The delivery of this type commenced in 2005. With line M2 now in service, 40 more trains of this type were delivered by the end of 2013.[20]

The third generation of rolling stock, Siemens Inspiro will be delivered in 2018 with the entering in service of Line 3.


Sofia Metro ridership
Year Passengers per day Change Metro Stations
1998 10,000[33] Initial 5
1999 40,000[citation needed] 6
2000 70,000[33] Increase700.0 7
2001 80,000[citation needed] 7
2002 90,000[34] Increase28.6 7
2003 80,000[9] Decrease11.1 8
2004 75,000[citation needed] 8
2005 70,000[35] Decrease12.5 8
2006 80,000[citation needed] 8
2007 90,000[36] Increase28.6 8
2008 76,000[37] Decrease15.6 8
2009 201,000[38] Increase264.5 14
2010 187,000[39] Decrease7.0 14
2011 190,000[40] Increase1.6 14
2012 350,000[41] Increase84.2 27
2013 280,000[42] Decrease20.0 27
2014 320,000[42] Increase14.3 27
2015 335,000[43] Increase4.7 34
2016 350,000[44] Increase4.5 35

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "General Info about Sofia Metro". 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-20. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Sofia subway launches 1.3 km section with one station". See News. 20 July 2016. 
  3. ^ New Sofia Metro Station Opens, Adding 15 000 Passengers - See more at:
  4. ^ "Открит е нов участък от софийското метро – МС „Цариградско шосе" – МС „Летище София" (in Bulgarian). Метрополитен София. Retrieved 2016-01-19. 
  5. ^ "Председателят на комисията Жозе Мануел Барозу ще пререже лентата на втория лъч на подземната железница" [We want the [European Commission (EC)] 800 million for the third metro line] (in Bulgarian). Строител. July 30, 2012. Retrieved 2013-09-20. 
  6. ^ a b "Subway Extension to Business Park Sofia Opens". Novinite. 8 May 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Subway Trains to Sofia Airport Start Running at 1 pm on April 2". 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-07. 
  8. ^ a b "Sofia airport metro link opens". Railway Gazette International. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-07. 
  9. ^ a b Metropolitan Sofia – General Information
  10. ^ Metropolitan Sofia – General Scheme
  11. ^ "Sofia Metro links east and west Sofia suburbs". Sofia Echo. 7 September 2009. 
  12. ^ a b Stoyanov, Assen (2 March 2015). "Testing begins on Sofia metro extensions". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 2015-04-01. 
  13. ^ Public Procurement Agency Portal - L1 N. Branch Construction Positions 1 & 2
  14. ^ Public Procurement Agency Portal - L1 N. Branch Construction Position 3
  15. ^ Public Procurement Agency Portal - L1 N. Branch Supervision
  16. ^ Public Procurement Agency Portal - L1 S. Branch Construction
  17. ^ Public Procurement Agency Portal - L1 S. Branch Supervision
  18. ^ Спаси метрото
  19. ^ Sofia Municipal Expert Spatial Development Council (MESDC)
  20. ^ a b c d "Free rides celebrate opening of Sofia metro Line 2". Railway Gazette International. 31 August 2012. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ Започва строителството на третия лъч на метрото в София
  24. ^ O.P. Transport: Third Metro Diameter (in Bulgarian) BNT, 29 November 2011. Retrieved 30 Sep 2012.
  25. ^ Metroprojekt – History (2011–Future) – Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  26. ^ METRORAIL 2013 Presentation
  27. ^ "ОБЯВЛЕНИЕ ЗА ПОРЪЧКА" (in Bulgarian). metropoliten via AOP. 
  28. ^ "Кметът на гр. София провери напредъка в изпълнението на участък „Младост 1 – бул. Цариградско шосе"" (in Bulgarian). Metropoliten. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  29. ^ "Третият лъч на метрото зад стъкло срещу инциденти" (in Bulgarian). Trud Newspapers. 14 January 2014. 
  30. ^ "CAF and Siemens compete for Sofia metro deal". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  31. ^ ""Метрополитен" избра "Сименс" за влаковете по трети метродиаметър" (in Bulgarian). 22 August 2015. 
  32. ^ "Information for citizens". Metropolitan. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  33. ^ a b Стоян Братоев Софийски метрополитен. — София: Нота Бене, 2004. — p. 61 — ISBN 954-91420-1-9
  34. ^ Стоян Братоев Софийски метрополитен. — София: Нота Бене, 2004. — p. 14 — ISBN 954-91420-1-9
  35. ^ "Метрото ще вози милион пътници". Standart. 18 July 2005. 
  36. ^ "Паркинги на три етажа в метрото". 30 March 2007. 
  37. ^ "Намаляват пътниците в градския транспорт". 18 February 2009. 
  38. ^ "Столичното метро постави рекорд - 201 хиляди пътници за един ден". BNT. 21 December 2009. 
  39. ^ "Колата измести градския транспорт". 24 April 2010. 
  40. ^ "400 хиляди пътници на ден ще пътуват с метро от 2012 година". TV7. 19 June 2011. 
  41. ^ "Между 15 и 20% от стойността на метрото са за системите за управление". 3 December 2012. 
  42. ^ a b Столичното метро ще се движи на по-чести интервали от април
  43. ^ New Sofia Metro Station Opens, Adding 15 000 Passengers - See more at:
  44. ^ New Sofia Metro Station Opens, Adding 15 000 Passengers - See more at:

External links[edit]