Асоциация “Приятели на железопътния транспорт”
Railway Transport Friends Association
Bulgarian member of European Passengers’ Federation
120 V. Aprilov Blvd, Plovdiv 4002, Bulgaria, tel: +359 889 111 149, web: www.railfriends.org, e-mail: email@example.com
This is our monthly about the events in Bulgarian Railways and our modest contribution to
transparency in the railway sector. Thanks for the support of the Bulgarian Ministry of Transport,
Information Technology and Communications.
BULGARIAN RAILWAYS IN DECEMBER 2009
On December 3 Bulgaria officially enters into force regulations on the
rights and obligations of the passengers using the Railway transport in
On the same day at a conference the new Director General of the
National Company ‘Railway Infrastructure’ announces that the
company starts structural changes to optimize operations and reduce
costs. He declares that the measures foresee the closure of five
directories, two of which are transformed into 30 departments and
discharge of one of the deputy director posts too.
On the same day, NRIC gives a report on building an accessible
environment for person with reduced mobility in urban areas. In accordance
with EU requirements for equal access to vehicles by all social groups,
including people with disabilities, the National Railway Infrastructure Company
/NRIC/ fulfill commitments to provide better access and free access of people
with limited physical capacity to the building and platforms.
On December 5, Bulgarian medias announces that instead of paying the two
months late salaries, the management of the railways has been forced to pay
off the previous bosses loans. The creditors refuse to give to Bulgarian
Railways a grace period for their obligations, the company declares.
On December 7 development of the project ‘Increase of the throughput by
improving the parameters of the rails and increase the speed of railway Sofia
- Karlovo – Zimnitza’ is presented in the Medias. Construction contractor to
repair the railways is company ‘RVP-Koehne-Eurotransproject
ThyssenKrupp’ and a consultant is Rubicon Engineering Ltd. The grouping
applies for the first time in Bulgaria a new type of truck construction asphalt
base with steel Y sleepers system FFYS-ATS.
On December 8, popular daily reported that cartons of cigarettes are illegally
carried on a passenger Serbia Belgrade-Sofia train. Since the beginning of
the year till /December 8/the border police has found 34 thousand boxes of
contraband cigarettes on the trains from Belgrade.
On December 9, nearly 100 people went out to protest near a road crossing
facilities on the outskirts of the Dimitrovgrad village Iabalkovo. In this way,
they make specific requests for adjustments in the implementation project
which is now to reconstruct the high-speed railway line Plovdiv-Svilengrad.
Representatives of the company "Railway Infrastructure" said the
problems are not insoluble and justified the lack of public debate and the
ignorance of people with the fact that the project was presented at the
district administration in Haskovo 2003 – 2004 and people were supposed to
know about it then.
On December 11, the mayor of Stalevo Pancho Panushev on a meeting with
representatives of the National Railway Infrastructure Company says they are
ready to make a camp next week and even to declare a hunger strike, if no
solution to the problem of missing overpass future railway line, near the
village is found.
On December 14 the President of the union of railway men of CITUB Gorna
Oryahovitsa- Dechko Garkov says he will not give consent for redundancies in
the rail sections. He added that options will be considered about the turning
from redundant jobs to others in the structure of BDZ. "Nobody will go out in
the street," said Garkov identifying redundancies in this sector during the
winter period as a "mockery". In his turn Ivan Stoyanov- Regional Coordinator
of the Railway Trade Union in Bourgas states that redundancies of railway
men in Bourgas will be in progress and procedure for selection of workers
who remain unemployed is now going on. His opinion is not to hurry to make
redundancies that are related to the safety of train operations.
On the same date, only five out of 17 witnesses appeared in District Court in
Pleven, where the next meeting is held about the case of fire on the Sofia –
Kardam train. Six other summoned to appear witnesses turned to be
irregular. A court will to bring three of the witnesses by force is not fulfilled.
On the same day the new executive director of BDZ - Pencho Popov, said
that private investor for the Railways is sought. He said that among the
possibilities in seeking a partner for freight of Railways is Germany's railway
and partial "Deutsche Bahn" which according to him has already expressed
interest in shipments of Railways.
On 19 December the National Railway Infrastructure Company (NRIC)
reported that on January 1, 2010 20% an average infrastructure charges for
freight decrease. With the reduction their amount is getting near the average
levels of the European Union, thus creates conditions for growth of freight
and increase competition in the transport market, NRIC indicates. Thus, under
EU regulations, the charges will include only the costs directly incurred as a
result of operating the train service, they applied.
On 21 December, is announced the launch of the first tender of the project
"Super Bourgas". The contract is for feasible study of project for construction
of "public access area of intermodal passenger terminal Port Railway Station,
Bus Station Bourgas ". Super Bourgas is a spectacular project, which
provides the opening of the city to the sea by making a breakthrough in
existing industrial zones and the port. According to the three conceptual
designs made by ‘Zodiac’, Bourgas Construction Association and the
Architectural Studio Motto, one place should be situated for a marine station,
railway station and a bus station.
On the same day the Bulgarian media reported that the National Railway
Infrastructure Company is preparing a new project with the World Bank. It is
expected that the agreement will be signed on March 2010; the Board of
Directors of the international financial institution is to approve it by the end of
May 2010, and National Assembly to ratify it soon afterwards. The project is
price is 200 million euro, of which the loan amount is about 128 million euro,
and the Bulgarian co-financing is around 73 million (the ratio of the source of
funds is 72% of the World Bank and 28% - Bulgarian budget).
On 21 December the situation of the railway network in the country is
complicated and the traveling of trains is accompanied by severe winter
conditions, the Railways announced. At 12 o'clock 3 international fast trains, 3
fast trains with compulsory reservation, 2 fast trains and 3 trains are late in
the country. Delays of the international trains are between around 30 to 360
minutes, and were made mainly on a foreign territory. There are delays in the
international trains from Istanbul to Belgrade, from Belgrade to Sofia and
Thessalonica to Sofia. On the same day Sofia - Lom Brusartsi passengers are
waiting at the station about an hour because of problems with the
locomotive. By schedule, train, which arrives at the station Brusartsi 10.21
minutes, should continue to Lom station at 11.10, after splitting the wagons to
Vidin and Lom. The duty signaling manager explained to the passengers that
there are no locomotive and crew for them to be transported to Lom. About
40 travelers are waiting in the carriages, with no heating.
On the same day, ‘Bulgarian State Railways’ gave for the fifth year the
award of honorary customer Railways. The prize is about a bonus program of
the rail travel that allows customers to collect bonus points depending on the
type and number of the purchased season tickets for travel by train. By the
rules, honor customer of Bulgarian State Railways is the passenger who has
collected the highest number of bonus points during the year.
On 21 December the National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria published its
monthly statistics about railway transport in the country during the previous
month. Counting the goods carried by rail in November 2009, they were 11.3
percent less than those from previous month, and compared to the same
month of 2008 a decline is registered of 28.6%. In passenger traffic,
compared to the previous month, the total number of passengers decreases
with 8.6%, and compared to November 2008 - with 7.1%.
On 22 December a tender is conducted about on-line buying tickets for trains
in Bulgarian Railways. "Buying a ticket will be in the payment system. We
make a tender. The service will be of ‘an electronic drawer’ kind- It is a
dialogue that is conducted by the client, what kind of ticket he wants”, Nelly
Raykova of The Railways explains. She added that the service will be first
applied to international and fast trains."
On 23 December in an interview Milcho Lambrev - General Director of a state
enterprise National Railway Infrastructure Company (NRIC) declares that
there is a shortage of young researchers, "There is no rush for us or from the
Transport University graduates Todor Kableshkov or from the Technical
University of Sofia and no one comes to work with us” He said. He also
further stated that salaries will remain the same levels if the company's
financial situation does not improve.
On the same day, Transport Minister Alexander Tsvetkov shall check whether
there is heating on the carriages of Railways. On the same date, the Director
of Finance and Property Management in the state enterprise National Railway
Infrastructure Company (NRIC) said that it is expected next year the country
to provide 40 million euro more than this 44 million euro for present
maintenance and repair.
The same day, Milcho Lambrev - General Director of NRIC, says that a theft
from the railway infrastructure should be considered terrorism. On 30
December NRIC made statements that there are 500 thefts that worth 255
000 euro, recorded in the company in 2009. For comparison, in 2008
encroachments are 621, in amount of 450 000 euro.