Bulgaria Narrow-Gauge Train 'Could Face the Axe'
A narrow-gauge train in Southwestern Bulgaria "is a lifeline for surrounding villages, but could face the axe," Channel News Asia warns in a report.
This happens as Bulgaria's state railways, hobbled by "corruption and mismanagement," are seeking to modernize a network mired "in losses and debt", according to Channel News.
"Many lines have barely changed since the fall of Communism in 1989, despite a sharp drop in population due to emigration and an end to the planned economy... But the Septemvri–Dobrinishte line through what was once ancient Thrace has long been part of the local community," it notes.
It also reminds of plans of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to pursue reform in the Bulgarian State Railways, (BDZ), which employs over 20 000 staff, by laying off 1200 people and privatizing its cargo business.
Another issue touched here is the malpractice of stealing fuel from the trains, worth millions in the past years.
Last year, there was a loss of BGN 51 M for BDZ which the government cited to put an emphasis on the need for reform.
The report is available here.
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