The opening of the third line of the Sofia metro underground rapid transit system has been pushed back from October to February 2020, the head of Sofia city hall company Metropolitan, Stoyan Bratoev, said on August 2.
The delay was due to the longer time required for testing the rail signalling systems and automated Siemens trainsets, Bratoev told Radio Sofia.
“This is a newer generation of rail systems. Previously, we did the tests on the other lines in three months. The minimum time requested by Siemens was eight months but they agreed to reduce it to six months, so we are working on that schedule,” Bratoev said.
Testing on the stretch between Krasno Selo neighbourhood and Bulgaria Boulevard were already underway and would finish by late-October, but there was no sense of starting operations with only “two stations” on the third line, he said.
Metropolitan was scheduled to begin tests on the stretch between Bulgaria Boulevard and Graf Ignatiev Street in late-August or early-September.
The delay will push back the start of operations on the stretch between Graf Ignatiev and Vladimir Vazov Boulevard in the eastern part of the city, which was scheduled for the end of the year. Bratoev did not say what the new target was.
It was equally unclear when Metropolitan would start running trains on the stretch from Krasno Selo to Ovcha Koupel district, which was initially envisioned for the first half of 2020.
Current plans envision further extension of line 3 of the Sofia metro in the eastern part of the city, covering the Levski, Slatina and Geo Milev districts, but construction on those sections is only scheduled to begin in 2021, Bratoev said last year.
(Siemens metro trains that will be used on the Sofia metro line 3. Photo: metropolitan.bg)