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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.

Following a masterplan approved during Communist times, the Sofia Metro shows a typical Soviet three-diameter layout:

 Lines M1 - M2 - M4

The first line runs from Obelya through Lyulin to the city centre and from there to Mladost. It opened in 1998 after some 20 years of construction work, with through operation from Obelya to Mladost finally starting in 2009. Later, a branch from Mladost to the airport was added.

A second line, running north-south via the city main railway station, was built in only four years and opened in summer 2012. 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. The second line has since been operated jointly with the first line, so Obelya is not a real terminus, but trains continue on the respective other line (since Aug. 2020, M2 <> M4)

Average distance between stations is 1100 m; platform length - 105-120 m; operational speed of the trains is 90km/h; track gauge - 1435 mm; power supply - third rail at 825 V DC.

After two southern extensions were added to the original line in 2015, the Sofia Metro was operated with the following routes:

M1 - Slivnitsa - Business Park Sofia
M2 - Airport - Vitosha (running through Serdika twice)

In conjunction with the opening of the third line, the layout of the original network was changed, and M2 was (visually) split into two lines, although through operation continues at Obelya:

M1 - Slivnitsa - Business Park Sofia
M2 - Obelya - Vitosha
M4 - Obelya - Sofia Airport

Total original network length (M1, M2, M4 - 2020) - 37.5 km:

Obelya - Mladost 1: 16.1 km
Obelya - Vitosha: 11.5 km
Mladost 1 - Airport: 7.1 km
Mladost 1 - Business Park Sofia: 2.8 km

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 Shose (2.2 km)
31 Aug 2012: M2 Obelya - James Bourchier (10.1 km)
02 Apr 2015: M1
Tsarigradsko Shose - Letishte/Airport (5 km)
08 May 2015: M1 Mladost 1 - Business Park Sofia (2.8 km)
20 July 2016: M2 James Bourchier - Vitosha (1.3 km)

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

More Line 1-2-4 photos

 Line M3

While the other three lines are interlaced, the third line is completely independent. After construction had started in 2016, the first section opened in August 2020. It runs east-west through the city, and stations feature platform screen doors. It was originally proposed as a 'light metro', but eventually became a full-scale metro with 105 m long platforms, though using overhead power supply. M3 is operated with 30 Siemens Inspiro trains.

26 Aug 2020: Krasno Selo Hadzhi Dimitar (7.8 km)
24 Apr 2021: Krasno Selo Gorna Banya (4.0 km)

Sofia Metro Line 3 Sofia Metro Line 3 Sofia Metro Line 3 Sofia Metro Line 3

More Line 3 photos

 Projects

Line M3 is to be further extended east, with three stations; and eventually a southeastern branch with 5 stations may be added.

 

 

 Links

Metropolitan of Sofia (Official Site)

Sofia Metro at Wikipedia

Transport and Metro Info from City Server

Metro Sofia (Private Site)

 

 Photos
Metro Sofia Metro Sofia Metro Sofia 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

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

 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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