Metropoliten EAD, the train operator in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, is set to purchase eight new metro trains from the Skoda Group, which are set to enter service in 2026 and have a contract value that exceeds €65m ($73m).

The Czech group’s factories in Ostrava and Pilsen will produce four-car trains for the carrier Metropolitan EAD.

The Sofia metro transports more than one million people each day, the 80-metre trains running at 90km/h will improve efficiency in transit in Bulgaria.

Furthermore, the Skoda Group said the collaboration further strengthens its position as a major European manufacturer in the transport industry.

Škoda Group central east president Zdeněk Sváta said he believes this partnership will strengthen the group’s reputation as a reliable partner in urban mobility solutions: “This success highlights our expertise in public transport. We offer a complete portfolio of environmentally friendly vehicles for public transport.

“I am confident that, based on this cooperation, we will establish a strong relationship with Metropolitan EAD that will support the future development of Sofia’s public transport system.”

The Bulgarian metro train sets will be outfitted with an advanced air conditioning system to provide maximum comfort throughout the summer, as well as two wheelchair-accessible areas to ensure accessibility and comfort for all passengers.

This contract further extends the relationship between the Skoda Group and Bulgaria, overseeing previous ventures such as the delivery of 210 trolleybuses to five Bulgarian cities since 2010.