The Warsaw Metro is the rapid transit system of Poland’s capital city Warsaw. It currently has a 22.6km-long single Metro Line 1 running north-south from the southern terminus at Kabaty to Młociny in north. It has 21 stations on the route and is operated by the state owned Metro Warszawskie.

The first section of Metro Line 1 opened in April 1995. It was an 11.5km-long underground rail line between Kabaty and Politechnika. It was extended further north towards Dworzec Gdański in 2003, to Plac Wilsona in 2005, to Marymont in 2006, and to Słodowiec and Młociny in 2008.

The city has a population of 1.7m whereas Metro Line 1 is capable of transporting just 28,000 passengers a day. It is also not linked to many of the important locations on the east-west corridor. This has resulted in traffic congestion and heavy carbon emissions due to the large number of vehicles travelling in the east-west direction. In order to address the problem, the city approved its much awaited Metro Line 2 in 2008.

Stage 1 of the project broke ground in August 2010 and is scheduled for completion by 2013. The estimated cost of the project is €800m.

The project contract was awarded to a consortium lead by an Italian construction firm Asaldi in April 2009. The other members include a Turkish firm Gülermak Isaat (10%) and a Polish contractor PBDiM (45%).


“The project contract was awarded to a consortium lead by an Italian construction firm Asaldi in April 2009.”

The city authorities had originally planned for two metro lines, Line 1 and Line 2, in 1918.

Initial planning and boring work commenced in 1920. The plans were, however, shelved due to the Great Depression of 1929 and then again due to the outbreak of World War II.

In the post war period, the metro plans could not be carried forward due to political uncertainty.

The project was reconsidered in 1955 but was approved much later in 1984 due to lack of funds, poor planning and bureaucracy.


Warsaw Metro Line 2 will be a 19km-long route with 19 stations running in the east-west direction. It will start from Chrzanów station and end at Rembielińska. It will have  intermediate stations at Lazurowa, Powstańców Śląskich, Człuchowska, Wolska, Bema, Płocka, Daszyńskiego Traffic Circle, ONZ Traffic Circle, Marszałkowska, Nowy Świat, PowiŚle, Praga Centrum, Dworzec Wileński, Szwedzka, Targówek, Zacisze and Kondratowicza.

Stage 1 involves construction of a 6km-long underground railway tunnel from Rondo Daszynskiego in the city centre to Dworzec Wilenski in the north-eastern suburbs beneath the Vistula River. It will have stations at Daszyńskiego Traffic Circle, ONZ Traffic Circle, Marszałkowska, Nowy Świat, PowiŚle, Praga Centrum and Dworzec Wileński.

The project was originally planned to commence in 2009 and be complete by 2012. It was delayed due to a legal battle between Asaldi and other bidders. Asaldi was accused of presenting a misleading tender as it had quoted $70m less than the rest. The project was, however, allowed to commence after the city’s district court rejected the claim in November 2009.

The project is also being considered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for a loan of PLN470m (€118.5m). The loan will be used towards the purchase of 35 metro trains to be used on the existing Metro Line 1 and the new Metro Line 2.


The project will use three boring machines to drill the subway tunnel.  The Daszyńskiego Traffic Circle will be located before the traffic circle at the intersection of Towarowa and Prosta streets. The tunnel will be constructed in the centre along the Prosta and Świętokrzyska Street to the next station at Marszałkowska.

“The central control room is located at Kabaty station.”

The next section of the subway will be drilled towards Nowy Świat and then towards PowiŚle along the Zajęcza Street.

It will head towards the eastern side of Vitsula River and pass under the Świętokrzyski Bridge towards Praga North.

This will be the first station to be built in the subway.

The tunnel will then be drilled in the north direction along Targowa Street to the station at Dworzec Wilenski.


The stations on Metro Line 1 were constructed using the cut-and-cover method. The distance between each station is 1,000m.

The platforms are 120m in length. The tracks are a standard gauge of 1,435mm with a concrete surface.

The trains operate on third rail 750V DC power and have four minute headway during peak hours. They have a top speed of 90km/h, but travel at an average speed of 36km/h. The train covers the north-south corridor in 25 minutes.

Rolling stock

The Warsaw Metro system has 60 Russian-made and 108 Alstom-made rail cars.

The Russian car has a steel body. It is 2,710mm wide and 19,2210mm long. It has four doors on each side.

It can accommodate 200 passengers and travel at a top speed of 90km/h.

The Alstom car is made of mixed aluminum and steel. It has additional features such as six handicapped seats and one wheel chair seat. A six car train set can carry up to 1,454 passengers at a time.

Signalling and communication

The central control room is located at Kabaty station. The Warsaw Metro uses a radio telephony system to communicate in the subway tunnel. The network covers the metro tunnel stations and the passenger areas including the train yard and the Kabaty parking.


The city plans to eventually have four metro lines covering a length of 100km. The station at Plac Konstytucji on Metro Line 1, which was shelved due to financial constraints in 2008, is now being reconsidered for construction.