The CEO of BDZ Nasko TSANEV: Accumulated experience aids immediate reaction to disaster situation

The company reacted immediately to the floods with adequate operational decisions. Bus transport was ensured for the passengers in the damaged regions, and trains were redirected along alternative routes.
Decisions were taken in the fastest operational manner. All managers were in permanent contact in order to coordinate their actions. Trains were redirected along safe routes and buses were provided to the passengers in the most heavily-damaged regions. In a number of cases, it was necessary to take the most difficult decision for any railway company - to cancel trains, in order to prevent any threat to the security of passengers and railway personnel.
The available data show that losses amount to BGN hundreds of thousands. These include costs for bus transport of over 9 000 passengers; enormous material damages as a result of the derailment of a freight train; increased operational costs for the redirected trains; compensation to passengers, who took a last-minute decision to cancel their journey; benefits omitted, etc. BDZ continues to provide buses for over 850 passengers per day in the railway section Dryanovo-Tsareva livada, which was blocked by a rockslide.
Tsanev underlines the dedication and discipline of Bulgarian railway personnel under extremely pressing and difficult working conditions. The railwaymen worked 24 hours per day, fully aware of the fact that the safe transport of thousands of passengers depended on their actions. The crisis centre provided regular information to the public and the media about the latest operational developments. Tsanev considers that in similar disasters in the future it would be necessary to improve coordination among the relevant institutions at national and regional levels and to accelerate some clumsy administrative procedures.
As regards rolling stock, the fleet of BDZ EAD complies with both international and national technical standards for safe operations. The very fact that there was no incident due to technical failure of Bulgarian rolling stock speaks for itself.
At the cost of much effort, BDZ has managed hitherto to cover some of the incurred costs by its own financial means, but the available financial resources are highly insufficient. The cost and damage assessment still continues. The government has promised assistance to the flooded regions, including assistance for infrastructure reconstruction. It is impossible for the railways to cope on their own with the expenses; therefore after the final cost and damage assessment is elaborated, the company will look for external financial assistance.

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