A consortium of Siemens and Polish train manufacturer Newag has secured a €140m contract from Metropolitan EAD, the metro operator of Sofia, Bulgaria, to supply the trains and signalling system for line 3 of the Sofia Metro.
The consortium will be responsible for the delivery of 20 Inspiro type metro trains and the Trainguard MT automatic train protection system, using wireless communications-based train control (CBTC) technology to achieve automatic operation.
The contract, which is for the first eight kilometre section of the route with eight stations, includes an option for ten additional trains and the related automation system.
Scheduled to start operations in 2019, the Sofia Metro line 3 will create an east-west link that will run 18km mostly under the city and also at ground level outside the central parts, and will serve 18 stations.
It is reported that the financing of the project is ensured at 70% by the European Union (EU) under the Operational Programme Transport and Transport Infrastructure, and 30% is locally co-financed.
Siemens Mobility Division CEO Jochen Eickholt said: "Sofia marks another European capital that has decided in favour of mass transit vehicles and train automation equipment from Siemens.
"The inner-city transportation services in particular have to cater to ever increasing demand.
"For this purpose, we have developed a rolling stock and trackside equipment that combine high transport capacities with low operating costs."
Under the deal, the consortium will also supply a CBTC-based onboard and wayside train control system, trackguard interlocking, controlguide OCS automatic train supervision, voice radio and data transmission, Scada system, a wayside digital communication network, and half-height platform screen doors for the stations.
Following completion, the metro system with its three lines will form a triangle underneath the centre of Sofia so passengers will only have to change once to get to a station on one of the other lines.
The rolling stock will be based on Siemens’ Inspiro family, with car bodies supplied from its Vienna plant and bogies from Graz.
Final assembly, factory train testing and static commissioning of the trains will take place at Newag’s plant in Nowy Sacz, Poland.
Image: The Sofia Metro line 3 is scheduled to start operation in 2019. Photo: courtesy of Siemens AG.