Bulgaria to Boost Its Retro Train Tourism

Business » TOURISM | April 4, 2011, Monday // 17:49
Bulgaria: Bulgaria to Boost Its Retro Train Tourism The Sofia-Bankya retro train's steam engine has been made in 1953 in Switzerland. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria considers developing further its options for retro train tourism, the country's transport minister, Alexander Tsvetkov said Monday.

Among the attractive and luxurious old trains the company will offer the tourists are those oncer used by former Bulgarian Tzar Boris III and communist dictator Todor Zhivkov. There has been a considerable interest in the country's retro train tours and the Bulgarian State railway company (BDZ) expects to double their number in 2011, Tsvetkov stated.

The state company has earned some BGN 60 000 in 2010 from retro train tourism, the Minister pointed out, adding it plans to make 2.5 times as much in 2011.

'Not many countries in Europe provide such a tourist attraction,' Tsvetkov said, stating there will be a considerable interest on behalf of foreign tourists.

At the end of March, BDZ started running a retro steam engine train between the capital Sofia and the suburb of Bankya. The train leaves at 12:10 pm every day for 20 days from Sofia's Central Railroad Station and entertains the passengers for the normal price of the destination. After these 20 days, the price of the tickets will increase to BGN 5.

The train's engine has been used for a number of movies and entertainment trips. In September 1989 it had served the famous "Orient Express" while the latter was passing through Bulgaria.The engine has been made in 1953 in Switzerland.

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Tags: BDZ, Alexander Tsvetkov, BDZ, tourism, train, retro, Todor Zhivkov, Tsar Boris III
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