Bulgaria buys EUR 1.4 billion rolling stock with EU funds

Bulgaria’s Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications is launching a tender for rolling stock worth BGN 2.8 billion excluding VAT (€1.4 billion).

The winners of the four tenders will have to supply 35 single-deck EMUs and 7 double-deck EMUs, 20 traction locomotives and 18 shunting locomotives, provide train staff and ensure maintenance for 15 years. Completion is scheduled for June and July and delivery of rolling stock is expected in 2-3 years.

EU-funded rolling stock

All purchases will be financed by the EU under the Recovery and Resilience Plan for Bulgaria adopted last year and from the country’s budget. The future owner of the new rolling stock, the Ministry of Transport, will lease it to the national operator BDZ under a passenger service contract.

The tender consultation was completed last July and, according to the ministry, 32 companies submitted their bids. Alongside global giants such as CRRC, Alstom, Siemens Mobility, Stadler Rail, CAF and Hyundai Rotem, Spanish Talgo, Czechs Skoda and CZ Loko, Poles Pesa and FPS, Croatians Koncar, Bulgarians Express Service and Vossloh Locomotives (part of CRRC) also decided to compete.

The largest tender is worth more than BGN 1.2 billion excluding VAT ( EUR 613.6 million) and the winner is expected to deliver 20 push-pull trains designed for a maximum speed of 200 km/h. In addition to a locomotive and a staff car, half of the trains will have at least four intermediate coaches and 300 seats, and the other ten will have at least five intermediate coaches and at least 360 seats. It is stressed that at least 10% of seats should be adapted for disabled passengers. Entrance doors will have an automatic passenger counting system that will provide statistical data to a central communication server. The rolling stock must allow multiple unit operation of two train sets (minimum 12 coaches).

Two tenders provide for the supply of EMUs for the suburban service. The largest of these, worth more than BGN 1.1 billion excluding VAT (EUR 562.4 million), concerns the supply of 35 single-deck EMUs. The technical specifications provide for a maximum speed of 160 km/h and at least 200 seats. Under the other tender, seven double-decker EMUs will be delivered for BGN 410.5 million excluding VAT (EUR 209.6 million). With a maximum speed of up to 160 km/h, they will be able to accommodate at least 300 passengers per seat. The winner of the fourth tender is expected to supply 18 electric shunting locomotives for around BGN 93 million excluding VAT (EUR 47.5 million).

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