Railway Modernization to Cost Some Lv 314 Mln

Railway Modernization to Cost Some Lv 314 Mln

An estimated 314 million leva will be needed for modernization, repair and construction of railways and facilities in 2008, according to the Railway Infrastructure National Company (RINC), whose Director General Anton Ginev addressed a seminar for journalists at the Borovets resort.

Presenting the company's investment plans, Ginev listed three priorities: railways, energy and telecommunications. Overall, 120 million leva have been appropriated from the 2008 budget for a capital transfer of 88 million leva and for running maintenance and operation (32 million leva), BTA reported.

Nearly 200 km of railway will be repaired, the priority stretches being Sofia-Plovdiv-Stara Zagora-Bourgas and Sofia-Vladaya-Pernik.

The Railway and Facilities Directorate will get 38.5 million leva from the capital transfer, with extra financing forthcoming.

The total length of Bulgaria's railways is 6,938 square metres. However, the latest construction project dates from 1974, said Ivan Gogev, Director of the company's Railway and Facilities Directorate. The railways remain underdeveloped and their density is one of the lowest in Europe.

RINC's management is planning to invest heavily in repairs and construction of railway infrastructure to improve safety and cut travel time. This could be done by cutting the stretches with speed limits from the current 178.1 km.

One of the aims for 2008 is to cut travel time between Sofia and Bourgas via Plovdiv by an hour, Ginev said.

The company was established in 2002 and is responsible for the management and development of 365 railway stations.

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