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SOFIA
 Bulgaria

Sofia Metro Map © R. SchwandlSofia Tram

Sofia Tram

 System

Bulgaria's capital has 1.3 million inhabitants and lies in the west of the country.

Due to ever increasing road traffic and a series of dormitory towns on the outskirts of the city traffic problems got worse in the old city centre where roads are narrow. Therefore the Bulgarian government approved a master plan for the construction of a metro system following the three-diameter structure, with a total length of the lines estimated at 52 km. There will be 47 stations and the network will be able to carry more than 1 million people a day. The first line runs from Obelya through Lyulin to the city centre and from there to Mladost. All three lines will eventually form a downtown triangle, marked by the St. Nedelya Square, the Kliment Ohridski University and the National Palace of Culture. The first line opened after some 20 years of construction work on Jan. 28, 1998, with through operation from Obelya to Mladost finally starting in Sept. 2009.

Average distance between stations is 1100 m; platform length - 120 m; operational speed of the trains is 90km/h; minimum interval between trains - 90 sec; track gauge - 1435 mm; power supply - third rail at 825 V DC.

Total length of Line 1 (2012) - 20.2 km, 16 stations

A second line, running north-south via the city main railway station, was built in only four years and opened in summer 2012. It is 11 km long and includes 11 stations. Two stations with the tunnel between them were constructed in the 1980s - "NDK" (National Palace Of Culture) and "Museum of the Earth and People" (HEMUS), the latter having eventually opened as "European Union" to honour the source of funds for this project.

 

 Photos

Metro Sofia Metro Sofia Metro Sofia Metro SofiaMetro Sofia Metro Sofia Metro Sofia Metro Sofia

 

 History

28 Jan 1998: M1 Slivnitsa - Konstantin Velichkov (6.4 km)
17 Sept 1999: M1 Konstantin Velichkov - Opalchenska
31 Oct 2000: M1 Serdika - Opalchenska
20 Apr 2003: M1 Slivnitsa - Obelya (1.8 km)
08 May 2009: M1 Vasil Levski Stadium - Mladost 1 (5.6 km)
08 Sept 2009:M1 Serdika - Vasil Levski Stadium
25 April 2012: M1 Mladost 1 -
Tsarigradsko Shosse (2.2 km)

31 Aug 2012: M2 Obelya - James Bourchier (11 km)

 

 Photos
Metro Sofia Metro Sofia Metro Sofia Metro Sofia Metro Sofia Metro Sofia Metro Sofia Metro Sofia Metro Sofia Metro Sofia Metro Sofia
Sofia University Sofia University Sofia University Sofia University Sofia University
(1)-(5) Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski © Nikolay Stoyanov
Sofia Metro Sofia Metro Sofia Metro Sofia Metro Sofia Metro
(1) Obelya (2) Serdika (3) Vasil Levski Stadium (4) Juliot Curie (5) G.M. Dimitrov © Christoph Groneck

 Projects

Line M1 is being extended towards the southeast. After the first section of a later added airport branch was opened in 2012, the construction of a 5 km extension with 4 stations started in Nov 2012, with the metro scheduled to reach the airport in 2014.

Line M2 will eventually link Lozenets in the south with Ilientsi in the north via the city centre (18 km).

Line M3, instead of an original proposal for a 'light metro', will eventually also become a full-scale metro with 105 m long platforms, though designed with overhead power supply. It will be 16.5 km long and include 17 stations (9 of which will be underground). Construction of the central part should start at the beginning of 2015 and be finished by the end of 2018. It is the underground part between station 6 (park Zaimov) and station 12 (Krasno selo). It has 7 stations and will be around 8 km long.

Two future branches are planned, the eastern one to Asen Yordanov with four stations having already been approved. A southern branch may be added in the future. * The central section of line M3 is now already tendered,

Station names for the main part of line M3 (from east to west): 1) Botevgradsko shose/Avtostantsiya Iztok > 2) Pop Gruyo > 3) Vitinya > 4) Vasil Kanchev > 5) Panayot Hitov > 6) park Zaimov > 7) Orlov most (M1) > 8) Patriarh Evtimiy > 9) NDK II (M2) > 10) Pencho Slaveykov > 11) Bulgaria > 12) Krasno selo > 13) Nikola Mushanov > 14) Ovcha kupel I > 15) Montevideo > 16) Ovcha kupel II > 17) Gorna banya

Detailed geographical map with Line 1 & 2

 

 

 Photos

Musagenitsa Vardar Construction near Interpred © Wolfgang Niebel Construction near Interpred © Wolfgang Niebel Sofia Metro
(1) Musagenitsa; (2) Vardar © St. Mitrev; (3)(4) Construction near Interpred 2005 Wolfgang Niebel; (5) Musagenitsa > Mladost 1 © Ch. Groneck

 Links

Metropolitan of Sofia (Official Site)

Sofia Metro at Wikipedia

Valentin Mladenov's Sofia Metro Site

Transport and Metro Info from City Server

Metro Sofia (Private Site)

 

 Older photos

Mural over access stairs © UrbanRail.Net Train © UrbanRail.Net Inside metro train © UrbanRail.Net Opalchenska (5/2000) © UrbanRail.Net Opalchenska (5/2000) © UrbanRail.Net Entrance at Liulin (5/2000) © UrbanRail.Net Another station entrance (5/2000) © UrbanRail.Net Opalchenska (5/2000) © UrbanRail.Net Serdika station © UrbanRail.Net

Serdika - old city centre map © UrbanRail.Net Serdika station © UrbanRail.Net Obelya © Ognian Nedelchev

Exit sign © UrbanRail.Net

Thanks to Sigrid Berka for the help! All photographs thanks to Ulrike Zomorrodian and Ulrike Hofmann (except Obelya© Ognian Nedelchev)! Thanks to Vasko for the update! Also thanks to Metro Sofia!

Photo © Nicolas Sustr

Metro decorated with curtains. Photo taken by © Nicolas Sustr in April 2003

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