Sofia Metro

Sofia Metro
Sofia Metro Logo.svg
Sofia metro collage.jpg
Overview
Native nameСофийски метрополитен
Sofiyski metropoliten
OwnerCity of Sofia
LocaleSofia, Bulgaria
Transit typeRapid transit
Number of lines2[1]
Number of stations35[1][2]
Daily ridership335,000 (2015)[3]
Chief executiveStoyan Bratoev
Headquarters121, Knyaz Boris I str.
WebsiteMetropolitan.bg
Operation
Began operation28 January 1998; 20 years ago (1998-01-28)[1]
Operator(s)Metropoliten JSC
Number of vehicles52
Technical
System length40.0 km (24.9 mi)[1][2]
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
ElectrificationThird rail, 825V DC
Average speed40 km/h (25 mph)[4]
Top speed80 km/h (50 mph)

The Sofia Metro (Bulgarian: Софийски метрополитен, translit. Sofiyski metropoliten, also colloquially called Софийско метро, translit. Sofiyskо 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), and serves the Sofia Airport.[7][8]

History

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]

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