Bulgaria starts ERTMS installation on Ruse – Kaspichan line

Ruse – Kaspichan railwayBulgaria’s rail infrastructure manager NRIC started the deployment of the ERTMS Level 2 on the Ruse – Kaspichan railway line.

BGN 205.86 million (EUR 105.2 million) is the value of the project which is financed by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

By implementing state-of-the-art safety and telecommunication systems of the latest generation, the throughput and the accuracy of the execution of the train movement schedule will be significantly increased, and ultimately the competitiveness of the railway transport will be improved compared to the other modes of transport and will determine the modal transfer from road transport to railways, minimising the impact on the environment. The new safety systems provide remote functional and visual control over the location of the rolling stock along the tracks, the status of all signals or traffic lights, at the stations and create conditions for full awareness of dispatchers, station staff, including the traffic supervisor.

The project “Digitalisation of the wide-ranging TEN-T network through the implementation of ERTMS, level 2 on the Ruse – Kaspichan railway line” will contribute to the fulfillment of the commitments undertaken by Bulgaria for the development of the railway infrastructure based on European standards which contributes to a better integration into the Trans-the European transport network.

Recently, NRIC obtained the construction permit for the modernisation of 9.4 km Ruse – Obratzov and 10.5 km Obraztsov – Yastrebovo rail sections part of the railway line linking Ruse and Kaspichan in the northeastern part of the country. In the area of Yastrebovo station a complete optimisation of the station has been carried out including the construction of electronic centralisation and telecommunications systems, efficient drainage, longer tracks and new platforms. The repair works at Senovo train station are identical and also include the reconstruction of the tracks and the switches, and the construction of a new 2 km branch. On the Samuil – Visoka Polyana section, 5.9 km of tracks have been renewed and 13.1 km of rail section between Hitrino and Pliska has been modernised.

The 137.5 km Ruse – Kaspichan line crosses five villages in Ruse where modernisation and construction works are essential for a safe and increased train speed. The last repairs to renew the tracks were carried out in separate intermediate stations, mainly in the period 1976 – 1996, except for the Senovo – Prostorno section which was renovated in 2017. In addition, the overhead line along the route has not been overhauled since its introduction and operation in 1983.

In September 2021, the Ministry of Transport launched the reconstruction works on the line including the installation of new tracks and signals, as well as LED lighting and video surveillance system. The project also includes track and signalling system modernisation between Ruse Railway Yard and Kaspichan station expected to be completed in 2023 when trains will be able to run at a speed of 130 km/h from currently 70 km/h.

BGN 290 million (EUR 148.27 million) will be invested in the modernisation of the oldest railway line in our country, providing rail connection between Ruse and Varna on a 222.7 km rail line and its modernisation is split into two main sections. The Ruse – Kaspichan section is a single track and electrified line with 5 bridges, 14 culverts, 2 road overpasses and 3 road underpasses. It was initially designed for trains running at 70-95 km/h. The Kaspichan – Varna section is an 85 km double track and electrified line which includes a includes 22 bridges, 12 culverts, 3 road overpasses.

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