Bulgaria’s Ministry of Transport has announced it will accelerate the activities for the development of Plovdiv city rail system, under the Plovdiv Railway Junction project.
The decision follows a working meeting between the Minister of Transport and Communications Hristo Alexiev, the Regional Governor of Plovdiv Region Angel Stoev, the Mayor of Plovdiv Zdravko Dimitrov and the Director General of the National Railway Infrastructure Company (NRIC) Zlatin Krumov. The event, held in Plovdiv was also attended by representatives of municipalities and businesses in the region. During the meeting it was agreed in the establishment of a working group with the participation of representatives from state structures and local authorities. The main task of the experts is to coordinate the actions of the involved state structures, so that all processes of the realization of the city railway happen faster.
The problems related to the proper planning of transport infrastructure and passenger and freight mobility “can be solved with the urban railway both as an intra-city transport and as a feeder transport. I hope that Plovdiv will be the first city in Bulgaria to develop the railway as an internal urban transport,” the Minister of Transport said.
According to the Ministry of Transport, the documentation to select a designer for the Plovdiv – Filipovo – Skutare rail connection, which will be implemented into two sections, is currently being prepared.
The project includes the modernisation of Plovdiv – Skutare rail line, the construction of new rail bridges over the Maritsa Rive, new rail and road overpasses/underpasses as well as new train stops. The locations of the new stops which will ensure the service of the passenger flow and connectivity with the industrial zones should be determined next month. The implementation of the ERTMS system for signalling and telecommunications is also planned, which will increase the safety of transport and provide a higher quality of services.
In addition, the documentation to select a designer for the rail connection between Krumovo railway station and Plovdiv airport is also being prepared. This project has a value of BGN 44 million (EUR 22.5 million) and will allow trains to run at a speed of up to 80 km/h.
The projects are part of the development of Plovdiv Railway Junction phase 2, which is included in the “Transport Connectivity” programme 2021-2027. The project is worth BGN 198 million (EUR 101 million) and is planned for implementation under Priority 4 “Intermodality in urban environment” of the programme.
The modernisation of the section will allow passenger trains to run at up to 160 km/h and freight trains, at 120 km/h.
Rail development in the city area included the construction of a new intermodal terminal which now “generates 4 times more traffic than initially projected. Last year, 50,000 trucks were put on trains in the intermodal terminal, which leads to a reduction in pollution, alleviating the traffic and preserving the road infrastructure”, Deputy Prime Minister Hristo Alexiev said.