Sofia Metro system slowly extends further to the east

The Sofia Metro system is gradually expanding, with the recent addition of the line to the Inter Expo Centre on Tsarigradsko Chaussee and the eastern borough of Mladost 3 from the Bulgarian capital city’s centre. Additionally, those parts of Sofia are now finally linked with the western end of the city, Lyulin and Obelya.

The new route was launched in April 2012 by Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, in the presence of European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova.

With the latest two km addition to the metro system, the Sofia underground rail network now exceeds 30km in total length, a project which until now has cost more than 90 million euro, of which two-thirds were made available through European funding, with the rest raised domestically.

Additionally, the metro line from the Nadezhda residential area to Hladilnika is to open in October 2012. This line will have stations at Nadezhda, Khan Khubrat, Banishora, the central Railway Station, Lions Bridge (Lvov Most), will pass through Serdika station where changing to the other line will be possible, and will go on to the National Palace of Culture (NDK), Sveti Naum (next to City Center Sofia and the Hemus Hotel), go on to James Bourchier station and on to Hladilnika.

The website of Metropolitan Sofia, the underground railway operator, has a map of the routes.

According to public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television (BNT), the low prices in the last tender for extension of the metro system had prompted Metropolitan Sofia to look at reviving the project to build a line to Business Park Sofia.

This line will be from Mladost 1 to the Business Park Sofia, a project which will see the construction of two stations, one near the Hit supermarket in Mladost while the second one will be built at the business centre, the Executive Director of Metropolitan, Stoyan Bratoev, told Bulgarian media.

This project and the two station terminals development will swallow up to 50 million euro, the report said. The bids for the five km stretch were launched on April 30, expecting to cost 136 million, along with the construction of four additional stations, while the stretch from Mladost 1 to the Business Park Sofia is estimated at 80 million euro, Bratoev said.

It was reported that the three construction mergers, Stanilov – Metroproekt, Metro Druzhba and Metro Sifer offered the lowest prices and consequently were allowed to build the last three lots of the five km section spanning from Tsarigradsko Chaussee to Sofia Airport.

For the extension of the first subway diameter, a total of 15 companies had applied for the job.

In all, Bulgaria will allocate more than 250 million euro under the EU’s transport operational programme to finance the construction of Sofia’s underground system, according to an agreement signed between Transport Minister Ivailo Moskovski and Bratoev, Bulgarian media reports said.



The Sofia Globe staff

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