Bulgarian railways to increase number of trains between Sofia and Bourgas

Beginning this week, Bulgarian state railways BDZ will increase the number of trains between Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia and the southern Black Sea city of Bourgas, a June 24 statement on the Transport Ministry’s website said.

On June 22, BDZ put into operation its new German-made rolling stock on the Sofia-Bourgas line, with it arriving just six minutes late, but this was followed by June 24 reports of overcrowding and disorganisation on a Sofia-Bourgas train on June 21.

At a meeting on June 24 with the management of Holding BDZ and BDZ Passenger Transport, caretaker Transport Minister Georgi Gvozdeikov asked for a full investigation of all circumstances related to Friday evening’s Sofia-Bourgas train.

“It is absurd for passengers to travel in this way when they have a purchased ticket and someone has not done their job,” Gvozdeikov said.

Regarding the claims by passengers that there were empty sleeping cars in the train, which were locked, BDZ gave an assurance that absolutely all seats in them were sold and occupied.

The statement said that the problem arose from the fact that passengers board at unserved stations and passengers buy tickets from train staff, who have no connection to the ticketing system.

“We are gradually starting to equip the trains with electronic devices for selling tickets, which will completely solve this problem,” BDZ Passenger Transport manager Ventsislav Slavkov said.

Such devices are already in use on a pilot basis on the Sofia-Vidin line. A further 140 are to be put into operation, and the busiest trains in the country will be equipped with them as a priority, the statement said.

BDZ said that from June 24, measures have been taken to increase the composition of the night train from Sofia to Bourgas, with the inclusion of an additional carriage to serve the growing number of passengers in the summer.

From June 28, two more carriages will be added to the train, and from June 29, another train will depart in the same direction. With this, there will be a total of 10 trains a day between Sofia and Bourgas.

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