Bulgarian railway bulletin - November 2009

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Bulgarian railway bulletin - November 2009

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Bulgarian railway bulletin - November 2009

  1. 1. 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: railfriends@abv.bg DEAR READERS, This is our first monthly about what’s new in Bulgarian railways and our unpresumptuous contribution to the transparency of the railway sector. Thanks for the support of the European Passengers Federation. BULGARIAN RAILWAYS IN NORVEMBER 2009 On November 2 the first railway accident is registered – a train crashed into a trailer of a track when crossing the rails that was not allowed when by a regularly working signalization. There are no injured and no casualties. On November 3 after a declaration of the vice-minister of transport Kamen Kichev, it is made clear that a meeting between the creditors of the national railways is intended on which ways of discussions about he accumulated debts of the company are going to be made. The luck of money can lead to hard financial state of some distributors, the vice ministers claims, but there are contractions that have been made for years without being well-provided-for. By the end of 2009 BDZ and NRIC owes 40 millions to its creditors. On the other hand, the amount that should be paid to the distributors is 140 million leva. According to plan of payoffs, in 2010 the railways owe 100 million leva to their creditors. Besides, the amount for the distributors is to be estimated because of the default interest rates and also there are some of the purchases that are fulfilled on the base of previous contractions, Kamen Kichev said. On November 5 the Court of District in Pleven continues the trail about the Sofia - Kardam fire train when nine passengers were burnt to dead last year. Experts are asked questions, DNA tests are made, and the judge Nikolai Gospodinov declares that there should be more expertise to be done to find the cause of the fire on the Sofia – Kardam train. On November 8, a car driver causes the crash on the railway crossing Razgrad – Diankovo. Because of the crash, the schedule of the freight train Ruse- Razdelna is changed. Damages are estimated around 3000lv. On November 8 the minister of transport, Information Technology and Communication- Alexander Cvetkov made some investigations in front
  2. 2. of the Medias about corruption concerning the work of the railways in the last few years with the rolling stock. According to him the scandal of selling the newest carriages of BDZ made in 1986 on a secret auction has something to do with the fire on the Sofia-Kardam train because after the auction BDZ continues to operate with extremely old rolling stock. The minister of transport uncovers another secret deals about BDZ with ARVEX, which is about the supply of carriages. He claims that when comparing the parameters of transactions, they turn to be very disturbing. In conclusion, the minister declares, that in this order of transactions, it is not a pity that the financial condition of the national railway is in such a bad disposition. On November 9 The Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office raises charges and gets as a culprit Hristo Dichev Monov for the reason that on 19.11. 2008 as an office-bearer in Sofia – executive director of BDZ deliberately made a deal of disadvantage – contract № ЮД 223/19.11.2009 of selling of up to 30 sleeping carriages with performer AVREX , Switzerland, The Prosecutors Press informed. This causes a significant harm for BDZ which head is Monov. The harm is calculated to be around 9 990 000 euro /the excess between the selling price of a sleeping carriage of 550 000 euro and its real price calculated in expertise of about 217 000 euro/ and the case is very serious according to penal law. On November 9 criminologists from The Regional Office – Razgrad found the man who made the crash the day before at the crossing of Razgrad - Diankovo and escape the scene. On November 9 the press of BDZ explains its standpoint that the recycled sleeping carriages from Germany which Bulgarian State Railways are in service since July 1st this year, and are in safety certification according to all the requirements of the Regulatory. When delivered in Bulgaria they include a Safety Certificate issued by Eisenbahn Bundesamt which is independent about certification of rolling stock in Germany. On November 9 at a conference of Ministry of Transport of Bulgaria reported another corruption scandal concerning inappropriate costs, an example is given with BDZ with its 200 accountants. In the company there are 2000 people to be out of jobs by starting with the administrative staff. Alexandar Cvetkov reports that it is planned the Turkish TIR to be moved to Dragoman and Ruse by train to ease the highways traffic. In an interview for the medias on November 9 the director of ‘Operations and Marketing’ and ‘ BDZ – Passenger Services’ Nedialka Raikova made it clear about what are the advantages of travelling by train; where are the busiest railways; does the crises influence the railway transport and are there any compensations when a train is late.
  3. 3. On November 10 the Ministry of Transport Information Technologies and Communication began a tender for choosing a project Rehabilitation of Railway Infrastructure in sections of Plovdiv- Burgas railways. The budget of the project is 187.365 million euro as 55% are free given by the Cohesion Fund of the European Union and the other 45% are from the national budget. The project is of a first class importance for Bulgaria as the section is part of the Pan-European Transport Corridor 8. After the tender is finishes it is supposed the project to be realized in 3 years. After its implementation the speed of the railways would be around 130/160km/h that would shorted the arriving time from Plovdiv to Burgas with 1 hour and 10 minutes. On November 12 ‘BDZ-Passenger Service’ undertakes precautious about the new flue A (H1N1) to protect its employees. There are protective masks for all the employees who communicate with clients. These are preventive measures because of the increasing reach of the infection and the reported epidemic by The Ministry of Health. On November 13 there appears information from the medias that the separation of the tender for modernization of Sofia- Plovdiv is considered to part to some stages, as the aim is the procedure to be realized soon because of the already existing ‘too late’ situation with the tenders funded by money from the European Union. It is also reported that the big infrastructure projects are hardly to be put in the period of the financial memoranda which ends by the end of 2010. On November 13 after some media research the 12 sleeping carriages reported to be dangerous are shown to be moving at night between Sofia- Varna- Burags railways. And as the accusers wants the carriages to be stopped from work, BDZ claims that everything is in order and there is no danger in using the carriages. On November 14 the Minister of Interior Cvetan Cvetanov says that surveillance cameras are going to be put on some settlements where attacks of rocks against the trains are seen. On November 16 a girl at the age of 16 died and a boy is in critical health after being hit by a train to Montansko. On November 19 the BDZ press states about the Supreme Cassation Prosecution recommendation for undertaking immediate security measures about the German carriages, that there are no failures on the technical system and the elements of the carriages when checking the system, that cold threaten the safety of exploration. On November 19 starts the official tender for rehabilitation of the railway Plovdiv- Burgas. The work on the project includes some renewing of the rails and the equipments at some regions, average repairing, and renovations of the signal and communication systems. According to the tender the period for documentations is January 11th, 2010. Documentations for participating in the tender are gathered in the national company ‘Railway Infrastructure’ in ten days before period expires. The offers will be open on January 12th 2010, 10.00am, in the company building. The criteria of the contracts is thus gathered
  4. 4. that to be balanced on a higher level and to expel discrimination. The periods for reaching the project are in three years after the tender procedure. In its monthly the National Statistical Institute published the statistics of October 2009 on November 20. Compared to the same month of the previous year, there is decrease of 10% of passengers and 30% of baggage, and on a month base there is increase of 20% of the carried baggage and comparatively keeping of the amount of the passengers. In a complete aspect, in November there is 1203 000 tons cargo and there are cargowork за 290.1 mln tonkm, In passenger service - 27,069 mln passengers and 173.7 mln passengerkm. On November 20 the transport trade union leader Peter Bunchev declares in front of the media that the present government hasn’t been granted the money estimated from the state budget by the Sergei Stanishev government for the BDZ amount of 44 million leva. According to the words of Bunev if only 40 millions had been given, the Bulgarian railways wouldn’t be in such a bad disposition. Meanwhile, when visiting the country, the vice-minister of EK and commissioner of transport Antonio Taniany declared that the EC has decided to accept as legal the financial BDZ help of the previous government. Then The Premier Boiko Borisov, in his terms, says that if the amount of the discussion hasn’t been approved by the EC, would have to be returned in the budget. Today, by the statement of the union leader it is made clear that the money hasn’t been given to BDZ under the decision of the present government. The union leaders declare that the dept of BDZ to its creditors is accounted to be about 135 million leva, and with its supplier’s depts, the total amount is 150 million leva. On Novmeber 20 the railway workers protested because of unpaid wages. The trade union leaders declare that the paying of the salaries is late for about a few months and if the paying system is not recovered till the end of December, there would be strikes all over the country. The amount of the unpaid money is 8-9 million leva. On November 23 it is decided that the tender of railway Plovdiv-Sofia should start in the beginning of the year. The project is in main prioritiesе of Operative Program Transport of two program periods till 2013 and the other one with beneficent NRIC. It provides the modernization of Sofia- Plovdiv with 160km/h and ERTMS/ETCS using. The line is along the transeuropean transport network. It is expected the preparing of the tender documentary to start in December and in the beginning of February 2010 and a start of the two равнинни участъка Sofia - Elin Pelin, and September – Plovdiv. The treaties for accomplishment of the building are expected to be signed in the second half of the year. Preparing for the building in the not easy mountain region Elin Pelin - Septemvri is supposed to end by the end of 2013 and a new 2014-2020 fund program period to start building in 2014. Within the Transport Operational Program 2007-2013 the money for the project are expected to be in amount of 400 million euro.
  5. 5. On November 23 it is reported that the working project will be ready by the end of the year, on which bases the third phase for electrification and reconstruction of railways Plovdiv-Svilengrad- Turkish border will be authorized. Meanwhile on November 26 there about 100 people from Dimitrovgrad village Stalevo protesting. They insist on building of an overpass under the building high speed route where agricultural machinery should pass to next massif of about 2000 dca. To talk to the dissatisfied and do with the existing tension, representative of the National Railway Infrastructure Company arrives. On November 26 Georgy Minchev Chairman of the Bulgarian Association for Freight Forwarding, transport and logistics says that the structure of BDZ wastes money and generates big competition. This part of BDZ SPED (forwarding) which at this moment is part of subsidiary part of Railway Freight Transport. When asked about the future of this part, the executive manager of BDZ Pencho Popov answers that it is appropriate to be an independent company. He commented that the wills of the freight forwarders are not justified and there is not an unfair competition, but it is not argumentative. On November 26 the minister of transport Alexander Cvetkov says that contemplates to turn the railway into a normally functioning market company even thought there is a big amount of credits, and now is looking for strategic partners with the aim to function on a market principle. By the end of the year all the obligations to the employees are to be paid, the minister reassured us. There are agreements between the working people in BDZ and in the National ‘Railway Infrastructure’ Company and at this time there is no social tension, according to him. He estimates that the situation in BDZ is approving now. For three months 5 millions are saved and the plans of the government foresee to ensure 1.5 million leva per year decreasing the costs in future. On November 30 Pencho Popov, the executive manager of BDZ reports in an interview that the company is in a process of serious reforming which aim is to made the management much more rational and clear responsibilities of the separate structures to be determined. According to him the subsidiary company for locomotives will be returned to BDZ because it serves to passengers and freight transport at the same time and there is no need to exist as a separate entity as it was till now. P. Popov says that a raise of 8% the carried freights is supposed in 2010. An issue of development of the railway transport that is to be contemplated is the enlarging of the market offers inclined to definite branch of clients. For this aim BDZ is going to build information ticket giving and reserve system in the railway transport. On 30 November the locomotive of an express train 3601 which travels Sofia-Burgas burst in fire around 6.10h at the stop Kadievo between Stamboliiski and Todor Kableshkov. There are no injures in the incident. People were evacuated on time. The fire is extinguished.
  6. 6. Best regards, Varujan Apelian

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