Heatwave in Bulgaria: Restrictions on lorry traffic, train speeds slowed

In response to the continuing heatwave in Bulgaria, the Road Infrastructure Agency has announced restrictions on lorry traffic in parts of the country, while the National Railway Infrastructure Company says that it is ordering trains to travel at reduced speeds.

The Road Infrastructure Agency said that up to August 31, from 1pm to 9pm, when the temperature exceeds 35 degrees Celsius, the movement of lorries of more than 20 tons will be restricted on sections of the national road network in the districts of Turgovishte and Shoumen.

The temporary restrictions are intended to minimise the risk of damage to the roads, the agency said.

The agency previously announced that from July 22 to 31, restrictions on lorry traffic were introduced on some national roads in the Kurdzhali district. Further details of the restrictions are available, in Bulgarian, at this link.

It said that the restrictions do not apply to lorries transporting perishable food, temperature regulated goods, live animals and dangerous cargoes.

The agency said that lorries would be stopped in appropriate places without impeding other road users, but it also called on motorists to drive with caution.

The National Railway Infrastructure Company said that reductions in the speed of trains are being imposed daily, for a certain period of time, in different places.

Staff are monitoring temperatures on an hourly basis, at individual points throughout the entire railway network, at intervals of 40 to 50 kilometres.

The company said that a dangerous interval for high temperatures is from 11am to 7pm.

When rail temperatures exceed 54 degrees, the two nearest railway stations are notified, and the train dispatcher alerts train drivers.

It said that the speed reductions were necessary because of a risk of loss of stability from the rails swelling in the heat.

(Photo: Johka/sxc.hu)

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