Baku Metro

Year 2012 was special not only for the International Metro Association but also for Baku Metro which celebrated 45 years of operation.

Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan and it covers the territory of over 150 sq. km. stretching along 20 km. of sea line. The modern architecture fits nicely with the traditional old buildings creating the image of the new city which is undeniably one of the biggest and most beautiful cities of the Middle East. The oil industry has turned Baku into a densely populated scientific and cultural centre of the Caucasus and the former USSR. For this reason, the construction of the metro system as the fastest and the most comfortable means of transport was initially high on the agenda.

The first line section of Baku Metro (9,2 km) was inaugurated on November 6, 1967. It is hard to imagine Baku without a metro system today. The metro stations resembling underground palaces reflect the country’s culture and architectural traditions and are considered to be fine works of art.

The metro system of today consists of two lines (İçərişəhər-Nəriman Nərimanov and Xətai - Dərnəgül), 23 stations on 34,56 km of tracks. There are only seven deep stations in Baku Metro. The minimum headway of 120 seconds is achieved with 30 pairs of trains in operation per hour. There are 52 escalators and 91,36 km of tunnels in Baku Metro. As the city is located in the mountain area, some line sections were built at the angle of 40% and 60% and have the curve of 39%.

The continuous power supply of the metro system is provided by 5 traction, 11 combined traction and 14 step-down substations with the total length of the cables amounting to 3,000 km. The ventilation system consists of 43 ventilation shafts and 82 ventilators.

There are 12 departments and one depot in Baku Metro.

Supported by the government of the Republic, Baku Metro is actively building new metro stations. At the end of 2002, Həzi Aslanov station came into passenger service. The construction of the station was possible owing to the country leader Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev who got the financial support of EBRD (4,1 million euro) to finish the construction of the station. The new stations Nəsimi, Azadlıq prospekti and Dərnəgül have modern design. Azadlıq has become the first single vault Baku station with no columns.

схема Бакинского метролитена

On November 10, 2008, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed the decree to implement the development strategy of Baku Metro in the next 20 years. An international consortium comprising the famous and the most experienced metro building companies (SYSTRA from France, Mott MacDonald from England and Saman from South Korea) was created to define the development stages of Baku Metro. The specialists agreed that a quick metro construction was needed to prevent transportation problems in the future. According to the long-term development plan of Baku Metro the underground network should consist of five lines (2 existing and 3 new lines), 76 stations and 119 km of tracks. This means that 53 new stations and 84,4 km of metro lines should be built. The plan provides for good interchanges around the new metro stations. The existing 5-car trains will be substituted by 7-car trains, thus the station length will be extended up to 140 metres.

ст. Дарнагюль

The outside diameter of the tunnels will amount to 6 metres. A special German tunnel boring machine enabling to build 250-300 metres of tunnels per month will shorten the construction process by 4 to 5 times. A new department of the local precast factory will be reponsible for making reinforced concrete tunnel rings granting independence from international suppliers.

The metro development programme involves the renovation of 7 deep stations of Baku Metro. They are all centrally located and thus heavily loaded. The plan is aimed at building the second exit for each of these stations.

Внешний вид 2-го выхода ст.28 Май

Two metro stations (Koroğlu and İçərişəhər) have already been renovated. İçərişəhər station now features a modern vestibule in the shape of a glass pyramid. The old escalators have been replaced by the modern EK-30 Victoria escalators from Tisson Krupp (Germany) that comply with European standards. The escalators save 15 kW per hour and have a capacity of carrying over 2600 passengers per hour. 

The reconstruction of Koroğlu station was over at the end of 2011. The new station vestibule features a winter garden. New German escalators Tugela FT-945 have been installed there. The opening of the second exit of Elmlər Akademiyası station will relieve passenger traffic at the station and connect it with the students’ residential zone. The state funding of the metro construction is increasing every year thanks to the support of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

In 2002, Baku Metro in collaboration with Mytischi Metrovagonmash car building plant began the programme of the metro rolling stock renewal. The metro authorities got 166 new train cars with the support of the government. The increase in fleet resulted in better frequency which is highly important for meeting the growing passenger demand. In 2011, Baku Metro carried over 177 million passengers.

The trains that have been in operation since 2009 have been significantly modernised. Moreover, Baku Metro has purchased 15 new cars equipped with an automatic speed control system and a modern electronic unit. To check the traction, metro specialists use Vektor-2000 acoustic device and special ultrasound, magnetic and acoustic devices are used for controlling the state of other equipment without dismantling. Other detectors are used to find cracks in the equipment during maintenance activities.

Starting from 2005, Baku Metro authorities have turned their attention to the safety and security of the system. Over 3,000 CCTV cameras have been installed all over the system to monitor vestibules, escalators, platforms, passageways and train cars. The centralised system makes it possible to follow any person traveling by metro. The recording of the video is done on a regular basis. All metro passengers are checked by the guards from the metro police and a special control group.

Эскалаторы 2-го выхода ст. 28 Май

To exchange information between the metro departments internet is widely used. In 2007, Baku Metro began introducing new turnstiles with chip card readers and automated counting of incoming passengers. Three years later, special sensor kiosks, modern information panels and SOS panels were installed at metro stations to improve passenger service. The new stations of Baku Metro are fitted out with racks to facilitate the entrance of the people with reduced mobility.

In 1998, Baku Metro authorities decided to make their system compliant with the world standards and subsequently began to replace the old equipment and facilities with the new ones.

Following the introduction of new technologies on the metro system, the performance indicators have improved bringing the profit of 5,8 million manats (5,4 million euros).

To provide for safe operations, Baku Metro uses modern facilities and equipment such as a special track measuring car controlling the condition of the rails, a computerised rail welding machine and crack detectors.

The power supply systems and substations are now controlled by dispatchers. The old power converters and switches have been replaced by modern ones, silicon rectifiers have been installed, the traction energy system has been improved and the lighting at stations and in tunnels has been changed.

The old signaling systems of Baku Metro have recently been replaced with the new ones. A centralised digital system enabling to modernise communication methods in the metro was installed in 2009. The metro has received 3,000 new telephone numbers to improve the quality of communication. The new electric contactless switches are much easier in operation. Baku Metro is introducing jointless rail circuits to get rid of the old bulky equipment. Overall, the metro system is becoming more reliable and the sound insulation is improving.

One of the serious problems that Baku Metro had to face was the corrosion of escalator shafts at deep stations. As it was dangerous to continue using them, Baku Metro specialists have replaced the corroded parts with lighter dural parts. It improved the stations design and cut the maintenance costs. The metro tunnels are maintained on a yearly basis: they are fortified with concrete and insulation materials to prevent from leaking. The tunnels with cast iron rings are treated with anti corrosive materials.

Открытие 2-го выхода ст.28 Май

Baku Metro has several workshops. In fact, they resemble a plant which repairs escalators and produces spare parts for the metro.

The old ventilators for the shafts installed in 1967-1975 have been replaced with ВОМ-20, ВОМД ventilators produced in the city of Artyomovsk, Russia.

Other equipment such as motor line inspection trolleys, cars, trucks and compressors have been replaced with modern ones.

All metro stations, vestibules and passages are disinfected at night. The floors are cleaned with German machines. The sanitary condition of Baku Metro complies with all the requirements and has often been praised at different seminars and meetings.

A special technical room has been created to help people better understand the opertation of the rolling stock and its equipment. Baku Metro was the second metro system in the CIS to make a special room with a train simulator which is used for training train drivers. It was produced by OAO Agat - Management Systems in Belarus. The simulator is especially good at teaching new metro drivers to cope with emergency situations that could disrupt normal train operations in real life. Besides this, all metro departments have a special information corner where the safety rules and other instructions can be found.

Эскалаторы на ст. Дарнагюль

The social conditions for the metro workers have recently been improved. Two hundred people working in harmful working conditions get free meals on a daily basis. The trade unions cover the costs of the trips to the sanatorium at the side of the Caspian Sea and other health centres.

Baku Metro is a member of the International Metro Association and International Union of Public Transport (UITP). The exchange of information and experience with other metro systems helps to improve the reliability of Baku Metro.

The achievements of Baku Metro are praised by NGOs, the International Metro Association, the International Union of Public Transport (UITP) and by the Trade Leaders’ Club that has given Baku Metro international prizes for the good quality and excellent entrepreneurship in the transport sector.

Baku Metro deserves this recognition and continues to improve its services for the passengers.


Key Performance Indicators, 2012  
Total operational length (two tracks), km 34,56
Number of lines 2
Number of stations 23
            including number of stations with one exit 6
Metro system density ( per city km.) -
Number of pairs of trains per hour 30
Minimum headway, sec 120
Fulfilment of train schedule, % 99,96
Inventory rolling stock, cars 266
Rolling stock in operation, cars 235
Total car/km, mio. 33,1
Number of depots 1
Average operational train speed, km/h. 50,3
Average train speed, km/h. 38,5
Power consumption, mio. kWh 112,9
             including power for train traction, mio. kWh 81,3
Specific energy consumption for traction, Wh per t/km 66,8
Number of substations 30
Length of power cable systems, km 2784
Number of escalators in operation 55
Number of stations with escalators 16
Length of lines equipped with speed control systems, km., including: 34,56
             as a main signaling system, km.  34,56
             with seamless track circuit, km. 6,64
Number of switches 110
Number of ventilation shafts in operation 43
Number of ventilators in operation 82
Number of water drainage installations 124
Operational length of tunnels, km. 91,36
Staff responsible for operations, pers. 4455
Total ridership, mio. pax. 195,6
Average daily ridership, mio. pax. 0,519
Cost of transportation of 1 passenger, rub. 20
Modal share, % 30



20 Raffilli str., Baku, Azerbaijan Republic AZ 1010


Chief of press office: + 994 12 490 02 64


Head of Baku Metro: + 994 12 490 00 00

Chief Engineer of Baku Metro: + 994 12 490 00 03

Deputy Head of Baku Metro - Chief of Metro Construction department: + 994 12 490 02 46