BULGARIA: A 3·8 km western extension of Sofia metro Line 3 from Krasno Selo and Gorna Banya opened on April 24.


Revenue services began at 12.00, following an opening ceremony at Miziya/Nov Bǎlgarski Universitet attended by Minister of Transport Rosen Zhelyazkov, the city’s mayor Yordanka Fandakova, and the European Commission’s representative in Bulgaria Tsvetan Kyulanov.

Built at a cost of €102m, the second phase of Line 3 has been 66% co-financed by the EU, with a grant of €68·5m from the Operational Programme Transport & Transport Infrastructure 2014-20. The remaining 34% was financed locally.


Running entirely underground, the extension adds a further four stations, including an interchange to the national rail network at Gorna Banya. Construction began in July 2017 and was completed by the end of 2020; following commissioning and testing, trial running began in March.


Line 3 is worked by a fleet of 20 three-car Inspiro trainsets ordered from Siemens Mobility and Newag in September 2015. These entered service with the opening of the 7·8 km first phase of Line 3 in August 2020, and a further 10 sets were ordered in February 2019.

A 4½ min interval service is provided for much of the day. The extension is initially expected to carry between 25 000 and 30 000 passengers/day, rising to 45 000 in the longer term.

Opening of the extension takes the total length of Sofia’s four-line metro network to 52 km and 47 stations, with an average daily ridership of around 500 000.


A planned four-station eastern extension from Hadzhi Dimitar to Botevgradsko Shose north of the city’s airport would take the east-west Line 3 to a length of 18 km and 18 stations. Preliminary design work is also underway for a 6 km fourth stage with six stations, running from the Military Academy at Evlogi to Tsarigradsko Shose, which is expected to be financed from the EU’s 2021-27 budget.