Bulgaria starts work on overhauling stretch of Plovdiv-Bourgas railway line, building new section of Struma motorway

The close of August 2017 sees two transport projects getting underway in Bulgaria – an overhaul of a 26km section of the Plovdiv-Bourgas railway line to enable high-speed train movement, and the building of a new 12.6km section of the Struma Motorway which leads to the Greek border.

Bulgaria’s deputy transport minister Velik Zanchev said that 70 million leva (about 35 million euro) was being invested in the overall rehabilitation of the railway line between Skutare and Orizovo.

Zanchev was speaking at a “ground-breaking” ceremony for the rail project, which should be completed by the beginning of 2019. Once completed, trains will be able to travel at speeds of between 130 and 160km/h.

He said that Belozem train station would also be modernized within a year and a half.

Zanchev said that the overhaul of the Straldzha-Tserovski section of the Plovdiv-Bourgas railway line would start on August 31, and the overhaul of the Sofia-Elin Pelin railway line would start by the end of 2017.

“Our goal is to have a fully modernized railway highway from the Serbian border to the port of Bourgas by 2022,” he said.

“We are also working actively to buy a new rolling stock that will run on the renewed routes and our plans are to have the first new trains by the middle of 2020,” Zantev said.

On August 31, construction of the section of the Struma Motorway between Blagoevgrad and Krupnik is to begin. The total length of the stretch is 12.6 km.

(Photo: Eiji Miura)



The Sofia Globe staff

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