Bulgaria’s rail infrastructure manager NRIC has launched the construction works for the Plovdiv – Krumovo and Plovdiv – Skutare rail sections part of Plovdiv railway junction project.
The official ceremony held at Trakia station in Plovdiv was attended by the Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Bozhidar Kostadinov, NRIC Director General Zlatin Krumov, Plovdiv Regional Governor Yordan Ivanov, Plovdiv Deputy Governor Nikolay Vassilev and the Mayor of Thrace Kostadin Dimitrov.
The project includes activities for design and construction and installation works along 59 km, the renovation of Plovdiv, Krumovo and Skutare stations, as well as the installation of new and modern signalling and telecommunication systems. The existing ETCS level 1.0 baseline 1 will be upgraded to level 1.0 baseline 2 version 2.3.0d and will be expanded to cover the Skutare station. In addition, two new road overpasses and two new facilities for pedestrian crossing on two levels will be constructed which will meet the requirements for passengers with disabilities.
It is also planned to build noise-proofing facilities in urban areas, safety fences along the entire length of the railway line, as well as new drainage facilities, drainage and drainage systems.
BGN 132.5 million (EUR 68.28 million) is the value of the contract which is expected to be completed in up to 35 months. The contract was awarded to Geostroy Lantania Association comprising Geostroy AD and Lantania AD and was signed in July 2020.
The modernisation of Plovdiv railway junction will be completed in 2024 which will allow trains to run from Plovdiv to Burgas at a speed of 160 km/h, crossing through Plovdiv city at 130 km/h.
The EUR 103.47 million project has received a EUR 88 million European funding under the 2016 CEF Transport call.
Plovdiv railway junction is one of the most important railway connections in Bulgaria as it is part of Sofia–Plovdiv–Burgas line, on the Orient-East Med Core Network Corridor. The full implementation of project will contribute to the modernisation of existing infrastructure, according to the EU standards and transport policies, will increase the capacity of the railway network and will provide the capacity to attract the projected traffic. The project will also increase the train speeds, meeting European requirements and improving the safety of railway infrastructure.
In 2021 the European Investment Bank announced it will assess the second phase of Plovdiv-Burgas rail project proposing a EUR 43 million funding. Two years ago, Bulgaria has opened the 26 km modernised Skutare-Orizovo section on Plovdiv – Burgas mainline.