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OP Transport and development

Sections of the forthcoming extension of the metro in Sofia,
financed by OP Transport / European fund for regional development/
and European Investment Bank with local co-financing


In compliance with The General City Plan, the most important sections of the forthcoming extension of the metro in Sofia have been subjected to design and town-planning studies, and to research of the environmental impact as well. Priority sections from the forthcoming extension of the metro have been differentiated. For this purpose A Short-term program for the extension of the metro has been developed. It covers two of the most important directions with total length of 18 km and 17 metro stations: line 2 /diameter North-South/ - “Obelya RD – Road junction Nadezhda – Central Railway Station – Sv. Nedelya sq. – Cherny vrah blvd.” and an extension of line 1 –“ Mladost 1 RD - Druzhba RD – Sofia Airport”


Fig. 1. Scheme for the development of the metro lines, according to the Short-term program



The sections of the forthcoming extensions of the metro, proposed for financing from EIB and OP Transport, are marked by hatches, while the succeeding extension sections are marked by brackets without hatches.



OP Transport
European Regional Development Fund

/Priority axis “Improvement of intermodality for transportation of passengers and freights“/

In view of the crucial importance and topical nature of the central section from line 2, it has been differentiated in a separate Sofia Metro Extension Project and has been included in Operational Program Transport, financing by European Regional Development Fund of the European Union with national and local co-financing. /Fig.2/ This section includes the route “Road junction Nadezhda – Central Railway Station – Sv. Nedelya sq. – Cherny vrah blvd”. For this purpose, in 2007-2008 there were conducted international tender procedures to choose contractors, and in Dec 2008 executive contracts came into force with deadline – end of the autumn of 2012. The section “Road junction Nadezhda– Cherny vrah blvd.” is 6,4 km long, with 7 metro stations. It includes the important direction of the transport junction at the Central Railway Station, the junction ”Kn. M. Luiza blvd. - Slivnitsa blvd., Sv. Nedelya Sq., The National Palace of Culture”. In view of the pressing need for parking space and comparatively deep deployment of three of the stations – Central Railway Station, Sv. Nedelya Sq. and J. Bourchier, it is envisaged construction of parking lots above them instead of backfilling.


Fig. 2. Deployment of the route from the section Road junction Nadezhda – Central Railway Station – Sv. Nedelya sq. – Cherny vrah blvd. in the urban planning



Because of the route crossing the central city part, underground tunnel construction is envisaged in most of the cases, while the metro stations will be built through cut and cover method in reinforced trenches with a minimum width. The metro stations are situated as follows: (Fig. 2):

The initial metro station Maria Luiza is situated under the roadway of Knyaginya Maria Luiza blvd. in Banishora quarter, in the proximity of Nadezhda road junction. The Central Railway Station metro station is situated under the station square between the Central Railway Station and the Central Bus Station with underground connections with these two major junctions of the capital. Due to the route passing under the existing subways in front of the railway station, an underground parking lot with a capacity for about 150 vehicles is envisaged above the platform of the station.

Lavov most metro station is located under the crossing of Maria Luiza blvd. and Slivnitsa blvd. The entrances to the station are northwards and southwards from Vladayska river in the pavements of the roadways of Slivnitsa blvd. The station will serve one of the busiest crossroads in Sofia and densely populated central part of the city. It is westwards from Lavov most under Vladayska river.

Sveta Nedelya Sq. metro station is located northwards from Sveta Nedelya Sq. under the roadway of Kn. Maria Luiza blvd. At this point there is a link between line 1 and line 2, and for this reason this is the station with the biggest number of passengers. It will serve the densely built up part of the city, where besides lodgings, there are important state and administrative buildings as well. At this place, southwards from the station, the route passes under the existing subway between TSUM and Shеraton hotel and under the tunnels of the first metro line. Due to the deep deployment of the station it is envisaged construction for underground parking lots for about 650 vehicles.

National Palace of Culture metro station is situated in front of the National Palace of Culture. It will serve both the biggest cultural centre in the country and the densely populated area in the proximity of Vitosha blvd. and Patriarh Evtimiy blvd.

Sveti Naum metro station is located at the beginning of Lozenets quarter, close to the busy crossroad of Cherny vrah blvd., Arsenalski blvd. and Sv. Naum blvd. Part of the constructions, and the tunnels connecting them were built together with the construction of The National Palace of Culture.

James Bourchier - the last station from the section is situated under the roadway of Cherny vrah blvd. in the densely populated area of Lozenets quarter between the crossing of James Bourchier blvd. and Elin vrah str. Due to the significant gradient of the route between Sveti Naum metro station and James Bourchier metro station, the platform of the last station and the tunnels for the change of the direction of the movement are deployed at about 10-12 m in depth and above them it is envisaged an underground parking lot with a capacity for about 620 vehicles.


Due to the specificity of the route, and the appropriate constructions, the route is divided into two lots:

- Road junction Nadezhda - Central Railway Station- Sv. Nedelya sq. – Patriarh Evtimiy blvd. –
- Patriarh Evtimiy blvd. - NPC - Cherny vrah blvd.

The achieved tender price of the project, as a result of an open tender procedure according to the Public Procurement law, held by an inter-department tender commission, with representatives from The Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transport, The Union of the auditors from Bulgarian National Audit Office, Regional Administration, Sofia Municipality, and Metropolitan JSC comes up to 247,145 million euro. The financing of the lot, included in OP Transport is provided by the European Fund for Regional Development-157 million euro, Sofia Municipality-62 million euro, National Fund-28 million euro.


Table. 1. Basic parameters of the section Road junction Nadezhda-Central Railway Station-Sv. Nedelya sq. - NPC –Cherny Vrah blvd



- 6,4 km

Number of stations

- 7 бр.

Beggining and end of the construction

- beggining - 01.12.2008

- end - the autumn of 2012

Construction methods:


Lot 1:

"Road junction Nadezhda - P. Evtimiy blvd”:


-Two-carriageways tunnel with tunnel boring machine 2.8 кm long , diameter - 9,43 m

- Metro stations –cut and cover method - 4 in number

Lot 2:

“P. Evtimiy blvd.-Cherny vrah blvd.”:



- single and double carriageways tunnels –cut and cover method-0.8 km
Double carriageways tunnel- new Austrian tunneling method , width -8,5 m, length-0,9 km

- metro stations-cut and cover method- 3 in number.

Number of passengers, after the implementation of the section



- 340 thousand a day

Share of the metro in the system of Public Transport after the launching of the section



- 26 %

Planned minimum headway


- 2,5 - 3 minutes


Priority stages of the forthcoming extensions of the metro in Sofia,
included for financing from European Investment Bank with local co-financing

Two major sections are accepted as a priority in the scheme of metro development, according to the General Urban Plan – the first metro diameter /line 1/ and the second metro diameter /line 2/ From the first metro diameter this is a part of the section Mladost 1 RD –Druzhba RD- Sofia Airport with total length of 7,2 km and 6 metro stations. For this reason, the section is divided into stages.

The first stage, provided financially by Sofia Municipality and by a loan from EIB, includes the route Mladost 1 RD /MS 13/ -Tsarigradsko shose blvd. /MS 19/ with total length of 2,2 кm and 2 metro stations. (fig. 1). It will serve the adjacent part of Mladost RD and through appropriate transport it will serve the rest parts of Mladost RD and Druzhba RD. It will provide a buffer connection with Tsarigradsko shose blvd. also. Census, conducted by GALLUP in Nov-Dec. 2007 on the recommendation of JASPERS, showed that only in peak hours /7-10 o’clock AM/ more than 10 500 vehicles enter the capital, passing through this boulevard. For this reason, a spacious buffer parking is envisaged at this place for the vehicles, entering the capital and terminus for the numerous suburban bus lines.


Table. 2. Basic parameters, project readiness and possibilities to start construction of the stage Mladost 1 Rd-Tsarigradsko shose blvd.

А. Basic parameters


- 2,2 km


- underground

Including underground construction by cut and cover method

-1,8 km

by tunneling method

- 0,4 km

Number of underground stations

- 2

Underground buffer parking under Tsarigradsko shose blvd.

- with 1500 parking spaces

B. Project readiness

Evaluation of the environmental impact procedures

- completed


- approved

Detailed conceptual design

- completed

Land acquisition

- completed


Completion of tender procedures according to the Public Procurement Law and contracts

-january 2009

Start of construction

- february 2009

Г. Duration of construction and estimated value

Duration of construction

- 3 years and 3 months

Estimated value, incl. Construction and Assembly Works, and engineering-consultant, metro and spacious buffer parking under Tsarigradsko shose blvd. in front of Expo 2000.

- 94 mln. Euros



There are appropriation procedures forthcoming for the phase Tsarigradsko shose blvd. – Druzhba Rd- Sofia Airport which is 5 km long with 4 metro stations. At this stage there is no financing guaranteed. Within one year after the financial provision tender procedures can be carried out and construction can start. Estimated duration of the construction - 3,5 – 4 years.

For the section Mladost 1 RD - Business Park in Mladost 4 RD there is a Technical design ready, there are Evaluation of the environmental impact procedures completed and there is an approved Regulation Plan. After the provision of financing it could be implemented within 3,5 - 4 years.

From the second metro diameter /Line 2/, besides the section, included in OP Transport of EC – “Road junction Nadezhda - Central Railway Station - Sveta Nedelya sq.- Cherny vrah blvd.”, another section “Obelya RD – Nadezhda Rd – Road junction Nadezhda” is a priority as well. It is 4,1 km long with 4 metro stations. These two sections constitute the main part of the second metro diameter /line 2/of the metro. The central section of the line can not function without the construction of the section “Obelya RD –Nadezhda RD – Road junction Nadezhda” ,because in addition to serving the residential districts Vrabnitsa, Obelya, Nadezhda, it will provide a connection with the depot for the service of the trains in Obelya RD. Proceeding from the above, the second diameter, which is proposed for financing by EIB, is just the section “Obelya RD – Nadezhda RD - Road junction Nadezhda /Fig. 2/

The section starts from the already existing metro station Obelya in the residential district with the same name. After the metro station, close to Lomsko shose blvd., the route, 1,35 km long, is deployed on overhead road. The first metro station is located on the overhead road as well, situated between the two carriageways of the new Lomsko shose blvd. which will be built together with the metro. After this metro station, the route sinks under the carriageway of the boulevard and goes on under the ground up to Nadezhda Road junction. The two metro stations, under Lomsko shose blvd. and the metro station before Nadezhda road junction are deployed under the ground and are implemented by cut and cover method in reinforced ditches. The tunnels in this section of the route are envisaged to be built in a similar way. Westwards, above the tunnels close to the first underground station, two underground buffer parking lots for 600 vehicles are planned to be built.


Table. 2. . Basic parameters, project readiness and possibilities to start construction of the lot “Obelya RD-Nadezhda RD-Nadezhda overpass


А. Basic Parameters



- 4,150 km

Including underground construction through cut and cover method


- 2,8 km

Open on overhead road


- 1,35 km

 Number of underground stations

- 3

 Number of stations on overhead road

- 1

B. Project readines


Evaluation of the environmental impact procedures

- completed
Regulation - approved
Technical design - worked out
Land acquisition
- 2009-2010
(about 150 estates)
C. Readiness for inviting tenders and projected start of the construction  
Preparation of tender documentation - may 2009
Invitation of tenders for the first lot 
Invitation of tenders for the second lot
-  june 2009
-  november 2009
Conclusion of tender procedures under PPL - 2009
Feasible start of the construction - 11.2009 - 02.2010
D. Duration of construction and estimated value  
Duration of the construction  - 3,5 years
Estimated value (up to 50% from ЕIB; 50% - SM and SB)
Incl. metro and two underground parking lots under Lomsko shose blvd. and reconstruction of the tram line
- 130 mln. Euros
Number of passengers/ a day after the completion of the sections, proposed for financing from EIB
(up to 50% from ЕIB; 50% - SM and SB)
- 420 thousand passengers a day



 Public benefits after the completion
of the started extensions of metro line 1 and 2

- Number of passengers - 550 thousand a day
- Share in the system of public transport - approximately 38 %.
- High carriage capacity - 50 thousand passengers/hour
- High travel speed – 80 km/h
- Duration of the traveling to the centre - 10 ÷ 12 min
- Reduction of the traffic and road accidents - 18 %.
- Reduction of noxious emissions, including greenhouse effect
- 90,5 thousand tons /yearly
- Noise reduction - 15 ÷ 20 %.
- Economy of time for the citizens of Sofia – 110 thousand hours/ daily
- Direct and indirect economic effect - 35 million euro/yearly



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