By the middle of 2021, 15 new locomotives will enter the railway system, which will serve the main and busiest routes of the country. This was stated by the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Rossen Jeliazkov during the opening of Poduyane railway station, the commissioning of two new Siemens Smartron locomotives and the presentation of the new heavy machinery for maintenance and repair of the railway. The event was attended by the Mayor of Sofia Municipality Yordanka Fandakova, the Mayor of Poduyane Eva Mitova, representatives of the Managing Authority of Operational Program on Transport and Transport Infrastructure 2014-2020, the Director General of National Railway Infrastructure Company Krassimir Papukchiyski, the Executive Director of Holding BDZ EAD Nikola Vassilev and others.
"Today we are celebrating three events that are inextricably linked under the motto "Railway Renewal". Here we see the results of a long process of reforms, which goes through repaying the huge debts of BDZ and continues with colossal investments in the railway in the next few years", said Minister Rossen Jeliazkov.
"BDZ has signed an additional agreement with the contractor for 5 more locomotives, which will be delivered by June 2021", said the Transport Minister. He added that these are the first new locomotives purchased since 1986. "Next year's budget includes an increase of BGN 200 million for capital transfers and subsidies, of which nearly BGN 115 million are for rolling stock," said Rossen Jeliazkov.
According to him, for the first time the state will have the opportunity to apply for European funding for the purchase of traction units. "Within the framework of the Recovery and Resilience Facility, over BGN 750 million are envisaged for railway infrastructure and BGN 250 million for new trains", the Minister explained.
Regarding the renovated reception building at Poduyane railway station, the Minister pointed out that the project is an excellent example of effective spatial management and revitalization of urban areas, for the benefit of residents and passengers of the railway. "In 2019 alone, 147,000 passengers passed through the Poduyane railway station", Jeliazkov commented.
During today's event, two new high-tech tractors, owned by NRIC, were presented, which will provide faster and more efficient maintenance of the railway in the country.