The Bright Future of BDZ Would Cost BGN 1.3 Billion
BDZ can become a modern and competitive enterprise, but at the cost of huge investments - between BGN 800 million and BGN 1.3 billion. This was announced by the director of Bulgarian State Railways Vladimir Vladimirov, who yesterday presented a project for the procurement of new modular trains. They will have a speed of 160 km/h, they will have WiFi, will offer comfortable first class and will save 15% of the current expenses of BDZ, or BGN 35 million annually", Vladimirov said.
The trouble is that the state-owned holding is mired in debt and the treasury has to constantly help it financially. The next state support scheme provides for BDZ to receive hundreds of millions of concessions at Sofia Airport.
The forecast for the necessary investments is part of a BDZ technological update report, developed by 3 universities - UNWE, the Technical Uni and Higher Transport School, together with experts from the Ministry of Transport, BDZ and NRIC. "This document has looked at all possible aspects of what the BDZ train fleet should look like in the next few years, what should be its common technical parameters, what kind of passenger traffic BDZ can win after improving its competitiveness on the market and what comfort it needs "On this basis, the collegues from" Passenger Transport "are ready to launch a public procurement for the supply of new modular trains," Vladimirov told Focus.
The project for the technological renovation of the railway has two stages. During the first phase it is planned to buy 41 modular trains, which will cost at least BGN 380 mln. During the second stage, 44 more compositions have to be delivered. It is expected that the first new trains will be on the rails of Bulgaria by 2020. "It is necessary to take decisions at the government level in order to provide funds for the second stage," said BDZ chief.
He noted that BDZ is confidently on the way to clearing debts, a very heavy burden on the railway, and more than BGN 600 million have been deducted to date to cover these debts and any additional costs associated with them. By the end of 2018 the debt crisis of the railroads will end, Vladimirov is convinced.
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