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BUCUREŞTI
 Romania

Bucharest Metro Map © UrbanRail.Net

 System

Romania's capital Bucharest lies in the southern part of the country, about 70 km from the Bulgarian border and 225 km from the Black Sea. The city has about 2.3 million inhabitants.

Trains
1) 2-car units; maximum length 3 units coupled to form a 6-car train (129 m platforms); 750 V d.c., third rail; built in Romania by ASTRA Vagoane Arad; 251 units delivered although some have been scrapped in the meantime. The Astra trains are now used on lines M3 and M4.

2) In 2000, 108 new metro cars (Movia) were ordered from Bombardier with delivery having started in 2001 for Line M2 (six-car trains; 3.1 m wide; with gangways between cars).

 

 Line M1  Line M3

The first line of the Bucharest Metro opened in 1979 between Timpuri Noi and Semanatoarea (now Petrache Poenaru), in 1981 the eastern extension to Republica opened. Two years later, in 1983, also the western branch to Industriilor (now Preciziei) began operating. As part of a future circular line this line was extended to Crângasi (1984) and finally to Gara de Nord (North Station) in 1987. In 1990, Pantelimon station opened at the nearby depot.

The third line was actually designed to become a circle line, but it was initially operated together with the first line. The section between Gara de Nord and Dristor was opened in 1989. Finally line M3 operated along the Eroilor - Industriilor (now Preciziei) branch whereas M1 serves the Republica branch and the northern circle. After long delays (construction had started in 1989), the eastern branch finally opened in November 2008, although it was initially operated as a shuttle between Nicolae Grigorescu 2 and Linia de Centura with two intermediate stations. Since 4 July 2009*, lines M1 and M3 have been sharing the section between Eroilor and Nicolae Grigorescu.

M1+M3 = 44.7 km, 30 stations

 

 Line M2

In the 1980s, also line M2 (north-south, 18.7 km) began operating, in 1986 along the southern section, Piata Unirii - Depoul I.M.G.B (now Berceni), and one year later also along the northern section, Piata Unirii - Pipera.

M2 = 18.7 km, 14 stations

 

 Line M4

Line M4 from Gara de Nord via Basarab to 1 Mai (Ion Mihalache) opened on 1 March 2000 (3.7 km). Basarab is a 4-track station with M1-tracks between the M4-tracks, allowing confortable transfer between the two lines.

M4 = 5.7 km, 6 stations

 


Total (2011): 69.3 km, 50 stations

* In July 2009, several stations were renamed:
M1: Semanatoarea > Petrache Poenaru; M2: Depoul IMGB > Berceni, IMGB > Dimitrie Leonida; M3: Industriilor > Preciziei, Armata Poporului > Lujerului, Policolor > Nicolae Teclu, Linia de centura > Anghel Saligny; M4: Laromet > Laminorului


Metro network map inside trains © Craig Moore

 Photos

Metro Bucharest Metro Bucharest Metro BucharestMetro Bucharest Metro Bucharest Metro Bucharest Metro Bucharest Metro Bucharest Metro Bucharest

Metro Bucharest Metro Bucharest Metro Bucharest

 History

16-Nov-1979: M1/M3 Timpuri Noi - Semanatoarea (now Petrache Poenaru); 8.63 km, 6 stations
28-Dec-1981: M1/M3 Timpuri Noi - Republica; 10.1 km, 6 stations
19-Aug-1983: M1/M3 Branch line Eroilor - Industriilor (now Preciziei); 8.63 km, 5 stations, Gorjului station added in 1991
22-Dec-1984: M1/M3 Semanatoarea (now Petrache Poenaru) - Crângasi; 0.97 km, 1 station
24-Jan-1986: M2 Piata Unirii 2 - Depoul I.M.G.B (now Berceni); 9.96 km, 8 stations
25-Oct-1987: M2 Piata Unirii 2 - Pipera; 8.72 km, 6 stations
25-Dec-1987: M1/M3 Crângasi - Gara de Nord 1; 2.83 km, 2 stations
17-Aug-1989: M1/M3 Gara de Nord 1 - Dristor 2; 7.8 km, 6 stations
15-Jan-1990: M1/M3 Republica - Pantelimon; 1.43 km, 1 station
01-Mar-2000: M4 Gara de Nord 2 - 1 Mai; 3.6 km, 4 stations
20-Nov-2008: Nicolae Grigorescu - Linia de Centura (now Anghel Saligny); 4.7 km, 3 stations (shuttle service)
04-July-2009: M3 through service from Preciziei to Anghel Saligny
01-July-2011: M4 1 Mai - Parc Bazilescu

 Projects

- Construction starting on a northern extension for line 4 beyond Parc Bazilescu with 2 stations, Laminorului and Straulesti. Eventually this line might run through the city centre (Izvor - M1, Eroii Revoltiei - M2) to Gara Progresul.

- Construction on the first section of line 5 from the southwest (Drumul Taberei district) from Parc Drumul Taberei to Eroilor (6.1 km) starting in 2011. This includes 4.85 km of bored twin tunnels, each with a diameter of 5.7 m. Distances between stations will be significantly shorter than on older lines. The line will later be extended to Pantelimon via Universitate and Piata Iancului.

- According to the new project approved by the General Council of Bucharest on 9 June 2006, the Airport line would be a branch of the current M4. It would diverge from M4 at station 1 Mai, head east with stations Pajura, Expozitiei, Gara Baneasa (Baneasa railway station), then north on the previously proposed alignment with stations cartier Baneasa, Aeroport "Aurel Vlaicu" (Aurel Vlaicu Airport - former Baneasa airport), Baneasa Institut, Baneasa Meteo, Privighetorilor, Padina, Centura Otopeni, Otopeni Sud, Otopeni centru, Otopeni Nord, Aeroportul "Henry Coanda" and depoul Otopeni (Otopeni depot).

Map with planned extensions

 

 Links

Metrorex (Official Site)

Metroul (Official Site) Metro constructor


Bucharest Metro at Wikipedia

Metro Bucharest by George Alexandru Onofrievici

Scanned metro ticket (10 rides)

Map including light rail line

Map as displayed in stations (thanks to Rosstek)

Scanned official map 2009

Bucharest Tram at UrbanRail.Net

 

 Maps

Official 2009 Metro Map

Official 2009 Metro Map
(thanks to Andrei Ivanes)

Bucharest Metro & Tram Map

Geographical Network Map incl. Metro & Tram Lines
(1 MB; thanks to Andrei Ivanes)

 Impressions

Craig Moore reports on 22 Sept 2013:

Bucharest - I was prepared to be underwhelmed by Bucharest. Although I knew it was a large city (the largest between Athens and Berlin I believe) I was ashamedly of the opinion that this was not going to be a city of great architectural/historical merit – no grand plaza’s, medieval lanes or gothic structures here. Well, to my discredit and pleasure I was very wrong. Bucharest is a truly fantastic city, making up for lack of Central European style with Balkan character, impressive ‘socialist realist’ architecture, sheer scale and bustle, and genuinely friendly people - a real gem. As for the public transport, this was the largest Metro in Europe that I hadn’t been on and so I was looking forward to exploring it and the city. I spent two days with Dagkaart in hand, covering the entire Metro and most of the Tram network. My views are generally positive.

METRO

Stations/Infrastructure: The white cubes with blue M symbolise the Metro and unfortunately are not very prominent. There is no street signage in station vicinities to say where stations are and at the central station (Gara du Nord) there is no signage anywhere to point out where to go to get the metro (it is in a little alcove to the side). The main stations in the centre (M3) have entrances that are lost in the scale of the large plaza’s (especially Plata Uniri) where stations are located on the periphery of the vast traffic chocked expanses. And so the visibility/presence of the network is, at first, a disappointment. After scrabbling around to find the actual entrances, you find that the stairs and ticket hall are unkempt and dirty with grubby tiles (which would be slippy and dirty in the harsh Balkan winters I would imagine). In the suburbs the headhouses are functional, but more visible on main junctions.

The ticket hall sometimes has food kiosks and all have the ‘Casa’ office next to the ticketing barriers (simple turnstiles on exit). The entrance barriers have vertical slot machines in which the ticket is placed (it takes about 3 seconds for the card to emerge again for you to take and proceed through - this could cause delays at peak times. As Metrorex are working jointly with RATB on an RFID scheme some of the barriers have an additional RFID reader but they don’t seem to be used frequently.

As ‘Cut and Cover’ was the method of choice, stations don’t seem to be too deep and the escalators are quite short in length. These are few in number and seem to work in a downward direction in most cases leaving passengers to walk up stairs! Flows do not seem to be a problem even when two trains arrive at the same time-which is frequently given the good headways. Stairs are located at both ends of the platforms which I have to say are generally dimly lit and bland. There are no advertising boards and signage is minimal – information on the route to alternative lines at transfer stations is tucked away at one end, exit signs are small and system information is virtually non-existent. At the station entrance a set of information boards are useful (they include a satellite photo of the station area) but on platforms there is no schematic map to see where you are or where you are going, just line maps running parallel with the platform hanging above the tracks which show all stations on the particular line with the station you are at emboldened. One or two geographic maps are located in the centre of the station, about 2 metres above the platform and so you have to look up to see where you are and the reflection from the lights make things unclear-strange approach to information provision. At main stations, television screens give real time information but hang down and block vision of what limited signage there is.

Platforms are broad, some have central pillars, others are cavernous and none have adequate seating, but the short headways makes standing a suitable option. Although Romania was the only Warsaw Pact country not to have Soviet troops stationed there (Ceausescu being considered a safe pair of hands!) the system was initially built during that period but it does not have much of a ‘Soviet’ feel, unlike others in the East. However, it would be folly to assume there was no Soviet DNA on the Bucharest Metro. M1 has some great Soviet/Utilitarian style stations (Titan is wonderful), there are digital clocks at the end of the platforms to show how long since the last train, the station entrance doors (although bolted open in the Summer) will be the lethal swing doors during the Winter (happily decapitating fingers at will) and the ubiquitous ‘Casa’ are inhabited by unhappy women handing out tickets and who don’t seem to have had any customer service training!

The lines are totally underground with the exception of a short run before the southern terminus of M2 at Berceni (portal is on you Bucharest tram map but didn’t see it on the Metro map). The ride is smooth with the exception of the heavily curved section south of Crangasi which is slow and noisy as the flange rubs the rails-alignments were not a strong point in 1970s Romania. Most stations are functional, with M2 having some pretty ugly and neglected stations in need of refurbishment and the westward extension to M4 brings colour and cleanliness. These stations from 1 Mai to Parc Brazilescu are very nice but are ironically served by old stock!

Rolling Stock: The Bombardier stock is dominant with only Line 4 having the old Astra IVA stock in operation. Old stock is stabled on loops or side platforms across the network but I get the impression these are used at peak times only on the rest of the network. The trains are clean and bright (see photo), fast and quiet, with side seating and a good capacity due to their handsome width. I must confess, Robert, that I find the trains quite ugly to look at (I don’t like the two flags stuck on the front). These trains operate on 6 carriage sets. Like the platforms, once on the train itself advertising and network information is limited with a small schematic located at the side of every door-this is useless unless you are stood/sat right next to it. There is an electronic message board which states next station and exit side in Romanian and English, but these are only in every second carriage.

The old Astra IVA stock operates on M4 and to supplement services during peak time on other lines. Although covered in graffiti (inside and outside) noisy, and with no through access to other carriages, there is something nice about these 4 carriage trains. Very 1970s in style, but not the usual Soviet style trains – they are unique and it will be a pity when they leave service completely as new CAF stock arrives. On these trains there is a strip map above the door which is quite ugly and fails adequately to show the circular nature of M1. It does have an interesting approach to informing passengers where side (lateral) or island platforms are located (see photo).

Network and Service: The system is lengthy but, as it was designed originally to bring workers from planned housing areas to the industrial complexes, it does mean that the city centre has inadequate coverage, especially on the east-west trajectory from Gara du Nord to Obor. M1 skirts the centre and there are points to the east and west of M3 that could be served. The new M5 line will help although I saw no signs of construction work. Interchange is ok but the signage on platforms of where to go to get to the different line is poor and physical integration with trams is haphazard to say the least. In addition, unlike Dristor 1 and 2 which are connected by underground passage, Gara De Nord 1 and 2 do not allow open access – you have to leave the system and enter again to transfer between the two stations. With regard to interchange with trams, only at a couple of stations (Crangasi and Obor) does there appear to be clear infrastructure development to ensure easy transfer between modes. Finally, perhaps it was because I was there of a weekend but M1 only went as far as Republica and not all the way to Pantelimon.

Despite these negatives, the Metro gives good coverage of the city and good headways (between 3 and 8 mins)-the service operates between 05.30 and 2310 ish. The service is well utilised by the local population with almost all stations providing good access to high density housing and shopping facilities.

Corporate: The first thing to point out is how inexpensive it is to use the system. As exit from the system is open you could in theory travel the whole system for the price of a single ticket (2 Lei/€0.42)-as long as you transferred to M4 at Basarab (see above). But a dagkaart is only 6 Lei (€1.26) and so it is incredibly good value. Metrorex and RATB are in negotiations (which have stalled) to create a uniform tariff union/ticketing system but at the moment they remain separate except that you can purchase a combined Metrorex/RATB Dagkaart for 16 Lei (€3.36). Strangely this is more expensive than buying RATB (8 Lei/€1.68) and Metrorex Dagkaarts separately!

The Metrorex day pass (and all other tickets) are in paper/card form with magnetic strip and are purchasable at all Casa in stations. But that is about all you can get there, there are no geographic maps (Harta) available for passengers to take away and the schematic Harta is very rare – I asked at 8 stations before I got a copy. Combined with the lack of information on platforms/trains and the complexity of some of the system (e.g the mouse shape of M1) then non Metrophiles like us may find the system confusing. The information provision is inadequate in my opinion and it is not helped by having two clearly separate transport authorities operating public transport in the city. In fact, although the system is well used, it is quite invisible as a system and its image is not present in the city unlike in most other Metro cities– you don’t see the Metrorex logo in use anywhere. Good- because it is ugly!

This all sounds negative and I don’t really want it to. It is a comprehensive, fast and inexpensive system and deserves credit - I am just being picky! Infrastructure development is resource intensive and time-laden but there are a few quick wins that could make things easier which are inexpensive and could bring immediate impact, especially in terms of information provision. It is certainly ‘one to watch’.

 

On 4 Oct 2014, Andrei Ivanes added these comments:

As a Bucharest native I feel the need to make some comments on Craig Moore's report:

-at it's peak there were four modes to get through the barriers: Metrorex's magnetic-strip ISO cards (main system), Visa Paywave and Mastercard PayPass (1-2 turnstiles), RATB's RFID card (1-2 turnstiles), cell phone audio system (1 turnstile). Now there are only Metrorex's cards and Mastercard PayPass. Mastercard has a promo where they foot 30% of the trip price if you use their system until the end of this year (and Visa didn't participate); RATB hasn't paid Metrorex its share for several months and now those readers and turnstiles are disabled; and Metrorex opted not to continue the partnership with the company that had the cell phone audio system and intends to develop their own system.

-cut and cover was the method of choice for the initial segment only and afterwords only select stretches were done using that method. The cut and cover stretches consist (by my google maps measurements) of roughly a third of the network (not counting the stations themselves, all built as cut and cover), and when the first section of M5 is finished cut-and-cover will be down to about 30% of the network

-not all stations have escalators: about 42% have escalators from the platform to the vestibule and about 74% have escalators from the vestibule to the surface. But not all exits have them. Most of them are one way only: going up, there are no descending only escalators. However, almost all stations are wheelchair-accessible: elevators have been retrofitted in most stations: either full-blown special-shaft elevators (uglifying the station), or by-the-stairs wheelchair-only climbing platforms; they are from the platform to the vestibule and from there to the surface; special turnstiles for wheelchairs and bulky items were also installed. M4 and the Anghel Saligny M3 branch have had the elevator shafts built in.

-there are many advertising boards (I guess he visited the system during the time that the advertising companies changed) and the original architecture of the stations gets hidden behind ugly advertisement boards, making the un-kept stations look even worse. Sometimes the entire station becomes a big advertisement: the pillars are wrapped, steps are plastered with commercials, the most common offender being Piata Unirii on M1/3. I've seen Vodafone Sol station in Madrid - this is way worse, though only temporary. -there are advertisement TV screens with some "news" between them -there are some other screens giving real-time info on the next two trains; they are not installed in all stations, but can be for sure found on the common stretch of M1/3, on M4, at Gara de Nord, at transfer stations and a few other stations of M1 and M3.

-the doors to the stations stay open in the winter as well (no happy decapitating swing doors here), although fewer of them; they are locked in an open/closed position during normal operating hours

- ‘Casa’ are inhabited by unhappy women handing out tickets and who don’t seem to have had any customer service training! TRUE!! Though now you have to option to use ticket dispensing vending machines.

-regarding the Petrache Poenaru - Crangasi curve, there is a whole novela regarding the planning of the metro lines, alignments being changed as construction had already started at the whims of Ceausescu and the nomenklature (e.g. Pantelimon depot should have been connected to the M3 that was supposed to run from a double-decked Gara de Nord terminus to this depot via a different alignment to Piata Victoriei the on to Obor and PIata Iancului then east to Pantelimon; a heavily curved connecting tunnel was built afterwords from Republica to the Pantelimon depot, together with the small Pantelimon station)

-some M2 stations are very neglected (most notably Piata Unirii and Aparatorii Patriei which don't have their fake ceiling anymore, and also Piata Romana which has a history of its own); some money should be available for their refurbishment in the short to mid term

-electronic information inside the rolling stock is inside all metro cars whose trains have them - the old IVA trains and first batch of 18 Bombardier trains (numbered 10xx/20xx) don't have them; the next 26 Bombardier trains and the 16 CAF trains now entering service have them. The CAF trains also have exterior information on the side of the train in cars 2 and 5. The main reason why M4 has only old rolling stock is because the newer cars don't have the ATP/ATO of that line.

-in Sept 2013 construction had already started on all of M5's stations except Eroilor and Parc Drumul Taberei. Tunnel boring machines started building the tunnels in October and now tunnels are built between Academia Militara and Romancierilor, with the cut-and-cover Romancierilor-Valea Ialomitei section in advanced stages.

-M1 normally runs between Republica and Dristor 2, only trains coming from/going to the depot also reach Pantelimon with passengers. Otherwise there is another train that shuttles on the single track between Republica and Pantelimon.

-last trains leave Piata Unirii at 23.30

-the lack of integration of the system, the long distances between stations in the centre and "unfortunate" route of M1 are the reason why the metro has a modal share bellow what it should be given its length. There are long term plans to add infill stations.

To add to the compalaints I'd have to add the shape of some of the lines (like M1/3's detour from Dristor to Piata Unirii, the "mouse" shape of M1). but as the system grows maybe some of those shortcomings will be mitigated.

In other news, there are plans to buy 51 metro trains in three batches (13-13-25) - supposedly to replace the remaining IVA stock, for M5, service enhancement and other future extensions - with EU money, though that number seems rather excessive to me. Time will tell how this pans out, though they have to hurry up otherwise the EU money will be lost (something to do with EU financial framework timeframe).

 Photos

M3 extension to Linia de Centura (now Anghel Saligny) (opened 20 Nov 2008):

Nicolae Grigorescu 1 Decembrie 1918
Nicolae Grigorescu - 1 Decembrie 1918

Policolor Linia de Centura
Nicolae Teclu (Policolor) - Anghel Saligny (Linia de Centura)
Photos © Andrei Ivanes

Berceni (I.M.G.B. Depou) Station on M2:

Click to expand! Click to expand! IMGB-Depou platform IGMB-Depou station

M4 1 Mai

 

 
Thanks to Mihai Pitigoi, Andrzej Brzozowski and Alex Riabov!
 
 

 


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