In Brief

Train tickets via the Internet

By the end of this year, passengers in our country will be able to book their train tickets via the Internet. According to the CEO of BDZ, Nasko Tsanev, this will be implemented through the website of the company and the customers will select particular coach and seat as well as define in which class they prefer to travel. The payment will also be effected via the Internet - through websites for e-payment.Further to that, this autumn BDZ will test a new system, which provides information about the precise location of freight wagons. Thus, customers will know the location of their cargo at each moment of its transportation. The new system will be tested in several line sections before its full-scale deployment over the entire railway network of the country.

Underground passage at Rousse railway station

In July, NRIC started the construction of an underground passage at Rousse Central station. This passage will connect the station with three of the large residential areas in the city, thus providing a safe walking zone for the passengers who will no longer have to cross the tracks at the station. The state budget allocated BGN1.3 million for the construction of the underground passage.NRIC is looking at various funding options in order to ensure the financial means for the closure of the railway line section along the Danube, as well as for the doubling of the line section between Rousse Central station and Rousse Marshalling yard. The closure of the line section along the river will make it possible to use the area as an entertainment park.

Salary payments in BDZ EAD and NRIC are remitted as scheduled

By mid-July, NRIC and BDZ EAD remitted the due salaries of the personnel. In implementation of commitments undertaken by the managers of both companies, by 15th July the last due amounts were remitted to the workers and staff of BDZ EAD and NRIC (the salary for May).The managers of the companies stated that they will make maximum efforts in the future to keep to the payment schedule.

An additional agreement on Danube Bridge -2

On 21st July, the resigned Government approved an additional agreement to the contract with the German Credit Institution for Reconstruction (KfW) for the provision of funding for Danube Bridge 2. This agreement is part of the contract for the construction of the new bridge at Vidin-Kalafat. Grant funding on the part of KfW amounts to EUR2.05 million for the preliminary geological and hydrological studies of the terrain, plus a further EUR18 million for the construction works. The Bulgarian side will allocate EUR6.5 billion for the needs of this project.

The Children’s Railway in Kurdzhali will be restored

According to the Mayor of Kurdzhali, Hasan Azis, the children’s railway in the town’s ‘Prostor’ park will be opened again. The train, which was the greatest attraction for several generations, was stopped from operation in the beginning of 1990s due to a collapse of the tunnel, located under the track. This landslide has already been eliminated and the tracks have been reconstructed. The local firm ‘Gorubso’ undertook the restoration of the mini-locomotive and the passenger coaches at its own expense. A team of guards has also been allocated to the park with the restored children’s railway.

Agreement between Bulgaria Air and DB AG

The national airline carrier Bulgaria Air and the German railways (DB AG) have concluded a cooperation agreement. Thus, airline customers will be able to travel with the trains of German railways without buying an additional train ticket. The tickets will be combined and the passengers will indicate their train destination and will pay for a train voucher. The latter is half the price of the train ticket when bought in Germany. Bulgaria Air flies four times a week from Sofia to Berlin and Frankfurt and once a week from Varna. The vouchers are valid for all categories of trains with the exception of Metropolitan trains and high-speed services. Their validity term is two days - the day of the flight and the previous or the following day (before departure or after arrival, respectively). By means of this agreement Bulgaria Air and DB AG hope to attract more passengers in the high tourist season.

Discordia AD - applicant for private railway operator?

According to Hristo Hristov, the main stock-holder in one of the most popular Bulgarian companies for international transport services, Discordia AD, the company is considering its application for a private railway operator licence. Discordia AD was established in 1992 and has offices in the Ukraine and Russia. Last year the turnover of the company was EUR5.8 million and it performed over 6 000 loads. Discordia transports cargo groupage from and to Western and Central Europe and also provides transit services to Western Europe, Russia and Kazakhstan. This is one of the few companies to provide both rail and road services along the same routes. If Discordia receives the licence, it will be the third private railway operator in our country along with Bulmarket DM and the Bulgarian railway company.

New train-sets for Sofia Metro

The first of the total of six train-sets for the Sofia Underground, which are to be delivered by the end of 2006, is expected to arrive soon. The delivery is under the contract, concluded by the Municipality of Sofia and the Russian company ‘Metrovagonmash’. The maximum speed of the train is 90 km/h, but the actual operation speed in the Underground is restricted to 80km/h. The train-sets will transported from Ilichevsk to Varna by ferryboat and after that they will be transported to Sofia by BDZ trains.

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