These proposed metro lines are complementary to the proposed urban-regional metro in Bratislava. Together, they would form a network, which could be further augmented by new tram lines. The lines suggested here serve corridors not served by the urban-regional metro (S-Bahn) – and in that sense, they do not form a complete network themselves.
A simple metro network in Bratislava (population 427 000) was first proposed, when the city was still part of Czechoslovakia. Preparations for the first line, to the southern suburb of Petržalka, were well advanced, and part of the alignment was built. The city now plans to use it for a fast tram line.
The planned metro would have used the French VAL system – Véhicule Automatique Léger (light-metro). The lines would have served four corridors:
- first line: south through Petržalka (but not via Petržalka Station), and north to Rača: (corresponding to the northern line of the proposed urban-regional metro)
- second line: west to Karlova Ves, Dúbravka, and Devínska Nová Ves; east along Záhradnícka / Ružinovská through Ružinov, to Bratislava airport (corresponding to the western line of the urban-regional metro).
The proposal here would have southern and western lines, much as originally planned. Instead of a northern line, there would be a north-western line, along Trnavská to Vajnory. The western branch would run under Prievozská and Gagarinova, parallel to the Ružinov urban-regional line. It could also terminate at the airport, or at Vrakuňa / Podunajské Biskupice.
In the original plans, the southern branch was linked to the western branch in a wide semicircle, via the main station Bratislava Hlavná Stanica. It would have crossed the other line twice: in the old town, at Kamenné nám, and at Trnavské myto. The proposal here would allow a similar arrangement – but also a simpler version, with the southern branch terminating at Hlavná Stanica, and the rest as an east-west line. The VAL system (or a similar automatic light metro) remains appropriate for a city of this size. Since it allows gradients of up to 10%, construction would be simplified.
In the old town, the southern route to Kamenné nám is more or less fixed: the line would cross the Danube on (or beside) the existing bridge, Stary Most. From Kamenné nám, the southern line could simply go toward Hlavná Stanica. For the east-west line, there are three options: one along Dunajska and Gorkého, one from Dunajska to Hurbanovo nám and then parallel to the existing tram tunnel, and one along Dostojevského and the river bank.
The Petržalka line would follow the existing partly-built alignment, but it should be extended to a new station on the rail line to Mosonmagyaróvár. The stations shown are indicative only.
The western line to Karlova Ves and Dúbravka would follow the existing tram line. It runs in a valley between the hills north of the Danube. Some university faculties, the main television centre, and a large student housing complex, are built on one of these hills, at Mlynská Dolina. They are up 1500 m from the existing tram route, and diverting the metro line to serve them would be difficult (dotted line). Like the southern branch, the Dúbravka line should connect to a new rail station (S-Bahn to Devínska Nová Ves, and beyond).
The north-western line would follow Jelačičova and Trnavská (the main road to Trnava), away from the city centre. The main road is very wide, and almost straight. The line could go to a new station on the Bratislava – Budapest line, and then along the old road to Vajnory. Alternatively, it could turn alongside the rail line, to the existing Vajnory station, and then turn to the village itself, about 1 km north. A branch to the airport is also possible, starting about half-way along Trnavská.
The western branch would also follow a wide road (Prievozská and Gagarinova), exactly 800 m south of the parallel Ružinov S-Bahn line. Between them, they would put almost every building in Ružinov within 800 m of a rapid transit line. This line could possibly be extended along the western side of Vrakuňa and Podunajské Biskupice.
With the metro and urban-regional metro providing strong radial connections, the tram network could be re-organised and expanded, with new tangential lines.