New Sofia metro line springs a leak

Stations on Sofia’s second metro line sprung leaks only a fortnight after opening for business at the first sign of rain the Bulgarian capital.

Reports on Bulgarian TV on September 16 showed puddles of water on the floor of the new James Bourchier, NDK and Serdika 2 stations. Posts on social media claimed that older stations on the first metro line also had puddles of water.

On September 17, the day that the city celebrates the Day of Sofia – it is the day that Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate St Sofia, after which the city is named – the head of Metropoliten, the company that oversees construction and manages Sofia’s metro, said that the puddles were a normal occurrence that the city’s residents should get used to.

The metro stations are new and still “settling down” and it was possible for water to seep through, Metropoliten director Stoyan Bratoev told reporters. The situation was not unique to Sofia and was encountered in other cities with metro lines, he said. The leaks should stop about a year from now and did not pose any threat of short-circuiting.

At James Bourchier station, part of the reason for the leak was the unfinished underground parking; at the National Palace of Culture (NDK), a drainage pipe had overflown because of construction detritus from nearby developments, Bratoevs said.

Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova, who at a ceremony on September 17 bestowed a “honorary citizen of Sofia” award on Bratoev, took a less conciliatory tone.

“Let’s not generalise matters, the metro did not leak. There is a problem in two locations and there is an explanation from Metropoliten. The builders have their responsibility and should fix any problems as they arise,” Fandukova said.

(Serdika station on Sofia’s first metro line. Photo: jaime.silva/



The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.