25 Most Extensive Metro Systems In The World

Posted by on December 26, 2012

Measuring the most extensive metro system in the world isn’t as cut and dry as it seems. First off, what exactly constitutes a metro? Does it have to be underground? And do we count the number of stations or the length of the track? Generally the two follow one another closely but not always. For the purposes of this list we decided to go with length of track but we are by no means claiming that this is the best or only way. So keeping all of this in mind we bring you the 25 most extensive metro systems in the world.

Tianjin Metro

Tianjin MetroThe second city in China to open a metro system after Beijing, Tianjin has 80 miles of track that service 76 stations.

Busan Subway

Busan SubwayThe subway system of Busan in South Korea, this underground network has 128 stations along 81 miles of track.

Osaka Municipal Subway

Osaka Municipal SubwayAn integral part of the extensive mass transit system of Greater Osaka, the Osaka Municipal Subway runs for 86 miles and stops at 101 stations.

Hamburg S-Bahn

Hamburg S-BahnThis rail network in the German city of Hamburg makes stops at 68 stations along 86 miles of track.

Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore)

Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore)Spanning the entire city-state of Singapore, the MRT services 89 stations along its 91 miles of track.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)Serving the San Francisco metropolitan area, BART operates five lines on 104 miles of track with 44 stations.

Washington Metro

Washington MetroCommonly referred to as the Metrorail, Washington’s rapid transit system is the second busiest in the United States after the New York Subway.

Chicago ‘L’

Chicago 'L'Short for “elevated”, the L is the rapid transit system serving the city of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. It’s the second longest rapid transit system in the United States after New York and third busiest (after New York and Washington D.C.)

Mass Transit Railway (MTR)

Mass Transit Railway (MTR)The official rapid transit railway system in Hong Kong, MTR covers 108 miles of track and stops at 82 stations.


MetrovalenciaThis large suburban network crosses the city of Valencia, with all trains continuing out to far-flung suburbs. It has 109 miles of track and 169 stations.


S-trainThis combined urban rapid transit and suburban rail network serves the Copenhagen metropolitan area and connects the city center with the suburbs.

Shenzhen Metro

Shenzhen MetroA relatively new metro system, Shenzhen is the sixth city in China to open an underground. It has 111 miles of track and 137 stations.

Delhi Metro

Delhi MetroPossibly one of the most dangerous modern metros to construct in terms of life lost, over 100 people have died in the last decade working on various expansions to the network.

Tokyo Metro

Tokyo MetroOne of two separate metro systems used by the citizens of Tokyo, the Tokyo Metro gets so full during peak hours that specially trained individuals known as Oshiya or “pushers” are used to cram people into crowded trains before they depart the station.

Guangzhou Metro

Guangzhou MetroThe fourth metro system to be constructed in China after Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai, the Guangzhou underground is the sixth busiest in the world and has 120 stations lining 134 miles of track.
Syed Balkhi


Syed is a co-founder of List25 and a very successful blogger. He is most famously known for his blog WPBeginner that covers WordPress tutorials, beginners guides on topics like installing WordPress, choosing WordPress hosting, and more.

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  • Adam

    It seems that there’s not a person on the web that actually knows -or at least understands- the track length of the NYC Subway……… the ‘route length’ (loose term) is 209 miles…… but the ‘track length’ is far more at **656miles** (and that does not include non-rider track… that distance is over 840 miles). The NYC Subway has dedicated express tracks (a world first) unlike the London Underground… etc… so while the ‘route distance’ may not be as impressive as others…. any given ‘route’ may have 4+ tracks (lines) on it for different services. If that’s not enough for you, an entire new line is being dug stretching the length of Manhattan… creating a new service/train (the T train) and extending the Q line up to the very top of Manhattan. Lastly, it should be noted that the NYC subway does not include the PATH/QPATH lines, LIRR, NJT, Amtrak, etc…. much of which is technically part of the NYC rapid rail transit system. See what I’m getting at?

    • Adrian

      Syed has been very up front in not claiming any partcular accuracy because in truth sorting out which netwrok is “biggest” is like grappling with a jellyfish. In my local case, London, there is another system, the Docklands Light Railway, and now a third player with London Overground which joins up a lot of pre-existing suburban rail with tunnels and other links, and bothe interchange seamlessly with the Underground. Add to that the new Crossrail that is being built and the fact that the Underground operates mainly north of the river Thames because of the difficult geology to the south, where a baffling maze of suburban surface lines have their own big network and comparison becomes pointless. Other cities have similar complexities. But thanks to Syed we get a glimpse of 25 important networks all in one place.

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  • Erik Griswold

    Sorry, but the “S” in “S-Bahn” stands for “Stadt”, i.e. “City” Railway.