Bulgarian rail passenger transport operator, BDZ Passengers, announced that the tender for the procurement of 41 multiple-units will be launched after the end of April 2018, as conditions to participate in the public tender procedure are almost completed. According to the BDZ’s announcement, 36 trains will be EMUs and five will be DMUs. The procurement cost is estimated at BGN 420 million (EUR 214.7 million).
Plamen Pesharov, the manager of the rail passenger transport operator, estimates that the winner could be announced by December 2018 and that new trains will be delivered in phases over the next 2-3 years. The first trains will be put into operation on Sofia-Burgas and Sofia-Svilengrad routes. Sofia-Burgas time travel will be reduced by approx. 3 hours. Each of the new multiple-unit will be composed of 6 sections and will have the capacity to run at speeds of 200 km/h.
Almost all big European rolling stock manufacturers, but also those outside European borders, such as Hitachi, have expressed interest to participate in the tender in Bulgaria. Vladimir Vladimirov, CEO of BDZ Holding, said that the 41 new multiple-units will be procured as part of the first phase of a more complex rolling stock modernisation project in Bulgaria which consists of the procurement of a total number of 85 new multiple-units.
“We are focusing on buying these 41 new multiple-units and we are allocating the necessary financing for this project to be completed”, said Vladimirov. He then added that the second phase for the procurement of 44 new multiple-units, will fall into the responsibility of the Government in Sofia (most probably after 2019).