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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
On November 8 the minister of transport, Information Technology and
Communication- Alexander Cvetkov made some investigations in front
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.