Bulgaria’s Railway Co to Restore Cancelled Trains
The subsidy cut for the Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) company will be revoked, with the Finance Ministry allocating the much-needed BGN 40 M to the state-owned railway carrier, according to a decision of the parliamentary transport committee.
The parliamentary transport committee decided Wednesday at an extraordinary sitting that no more trains would be dropped from the schedule of BDZ and the 38 trains stopped on January 12 would be restored, according to reports of Sega daily.
Bulgarian Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski vowed that no more trains would be cancelled, adding that the restoration of the stopped trains could only happen after an evaluation of the condition of the rolling stock.
He made clear that he had ordered 32 locomotives immobilized because they had been found to be dangerous.
On Monday, BDZ cancelled 38 trains and shortened the routes of 10 trains.
The measure hit the districts of Gabrovo and Karlovo hardest and the locals started a petition.
On January 17, railway workers in Gorna Oryahovitsa threatened to stage a protest.
The district governors of Gabrovo and Veliko Tarnovo submitted to Parliament a request for the restoration of 4 of the cancelled trains.
The plan for the financial rehabilitation of BDZ is to be ready in February and a national strategy for the state-owned railway carrier is to be approved in four months.
According to Ivaylo Moskovski, the two units of BDZ registered operating loss of BGN 27 M in 2014, with the Freight Services unit closing the year at a loss of BGN 12 M, while the Passenger Services unit registered a loss of BGN 15 M.
In Moskovski’s words, staff cuts and cancelled trains were inevitable, taking into account the amount of the loss in 2014 and the subsidy cut by BGN 40 M.
According to the Transport Minister, unless reforms are implemented at BDZ, the operating loss of the state-owned railway carrier will grow to BGN 30 M by end-2015, while overdue repairs will amount to BGN 50 M.
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