Security is a top priority for the railways

Sibila VLAIKOVA

The national conference on ‘Transport safety and security’, organised by the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Scientific and Technical Union of Transport, was held on 15th-16th November in the Rodina Hotel in Sofia.

Representatives of national, foreign and international institutions met companies dealing with railway security matters, and the media. In his welcoming address, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Transport and Telecommunications, Prof. Iordan Mirchev, commented upon the manner in which the splitting up of the infrastructure manager and the railway operators was implemented. He appealed for the finding of better solutions to the problem through debates on the role of the State in the transport sphere, and hinted that a new working law for the railways may be drafted.

Further welcoming addresses were presented by the Chairman of the Presidium of European Railway Engineers, Heinrich Salzman and the Project Manager for ‘Railway Safety and Interoperability”, Benoît Chevalier.

The Bulgarian Minister of Transport, Petar Mutafchiev, delivered a presentation on ‘Safety and security – top priority in the transport policy of Bulgaria’. In his presentation, Mr H. Klumper – manager of the Dutch Safety Board for accident investigations and analysis – described in detail the structure, functions and objectives of the Board.

Within the Railway Transport panel, Patrick Lukevich, who is President of the ‘Railway safety and interoperability’ project, delivered a report. The Head of the Railway Inspectorate Division in the transport ministry, Anton Burov, M.Eng. Sc., presented the development of safety management systems in the railway sector.

Further to that, presentations were delivered by the Head of Safety Control and Certification Department, Bozhidar Stoyanov, and the Chief Inspector in the same department, Stoyan Stoyanov, as well as the joint paper of the Chief Safety Inspector of NRIC, Kiril Angelov, M.Eng.Sc., and the Head of Safety and Control department of BDZ EAD, Ivan Lalov, M.Eng.Sc., who analysed Finally, as a culmination of the conference, Minister Mutafchiev went on an inspection visit to the section of railway between Ihtiman and Septemvri, which was heavily damaged by the floods in July and August. As of 00.00 hrs on 15th September, railway traffic along this line section has been fully restored.

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