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Old December 25th, 2016, 11:40 PM   #281
stefan2000
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What lines will be READY in 2020 or what reconstructions are to be financed in the 2014-2020 period?
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Old December 27th, 2016, 11:14 PM   #282
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As far as I know, the situation is as flollows:

Modernized so far (up to 160km/h)

* Plovdiv-Svilengrad-border with Turkey (~150km)
* Septemvri-Plovdiv (~53km), pending official announcement
* majority of Stara Zagora-Burgas (~162km), pending official announcement

To be modernized in the current window (up to 160km/h)

* Sofia-Septemvri (~102km)
* Plovdiv-Stara Zagora (~100km)
* rest of Stara Zagora-Burgas (~25km)

There are also several stations which will be reconstructed along the corridor.

I don't believe everything will be finished by the end of 2022 when is the milestone for completion, taking into account the slow pace of the whole process in general and the more difficult terrain to be traversed.
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Old December 28th, 2016, 12:13 PM   #283
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Let me present you some images taken last Spring on the picturesque Dobrinishte - Septemvri narrow gauge line (myself traveled from Bansko to Velingrad). Definitely worth a visit!












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Old January 5th, 2017, 06:28 PM   #284
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George Penelov published another marathon cab view across Bulgaria, this time starting from Sofia and heading towards Bugras via Plovdiv. The video is from July 2016 and enables to see what was modernised on this line although video length of 7 hours shows that situation is faaaaaaaaarrrrr from being satisfactory. Especially that similar run in opposite direction but through not modernised single track lines through Karlovo took only 6 hours!
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Old January 9th, 2017, 12:19 AM   #285
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Don't get confused by the speed, especially on the modernized sections. The trains are old and run slowlier for safety reasons. Bulgaria should definitely buy new rolling stock in order to benefit from the new lines.
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Old January 9th, 2017, 04:57 PM   #286
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Are they rebuilding ONLY the direct lines between Stara Zagora and Burgas?
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Old January 9th, 2017, 06:28 PM   #287
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What do you mean by direct lines? The major tracks supposed to be reconstructed are being modernized, all other subordinary tracks are not part of the equation.
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Old January 9th, 2017, 07:31 PM   #288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roaddor View Post

What do you mean by direct lines? The major tracks supposed to be reconstructed are being modernized, all other subordinary tracks are not part of the equation.
I mean the rest of the tracks beside the 2 who pass trough the station. Like in Stara Zagora for example.
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Old January 9th, 2017, 10:01 PM   #289
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I don't know how many tracks, at least at the bigger stations, are inluded in the contracts for renovation. Generally speaking, the active tracks should be completed but I don't think that every separate track is going to be processed. And there is no need to do so. If you move transit, a special track without platforms will be used for the freight trains in particular. Otherwise you just use one of the free renovated passenger tracks or you simply call at the corresponding station. The majority of the tracks, however, are passive and consequently not used for continuous arrival or departure of trains or even such, passing through the station without stopping.
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Old January 10th, 2017, 10:11 PM   #290
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_P View Post
George Penelov published another marathon cab view across Bulgaria, this time starting from Sofia and heading towards Bugras via Plovdiv. The video is from July 2016 and enables to see what was modernised on this line although video length of 7 hours shows that situation is faaaaaaaaarrrrr from being satisfactory. Especially that [URL="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynOW0n3UOdI"]similar run in opposite direction but through not modernised single track lines through Karlovo took only 6 hours!
Well actually, the fastest train Burgas-Plovdiv-Sofia takes 6.18 hrs. Some of the other trains take 7 hrs, but some of them run Burgas-Dimitrovgrad-Plovdiv-Sofia, which might be making use of the upgraded tracks, but nonetheless is a big detour, while Burgas-Karlovo-Sofia is geographically the most direct route. With the progress of works, especially between Sofia and Plovdiv, the speeds will hopefully improve. The distance after all is only 380 km.
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Old January 10th, 2017, 11:39 PM   #291
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I would highly appreciate to see one day a HSL between Munich and Istanbul, riding at min. 200km/h and stopping at Salzburg, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade and Sofia. Additional stops could be Villach, Slavonski brod, Nis, Plovdiv and Edirne.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 01:40 PM   #292
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron Hirsch View Post
Well actually, the fastest train Burgas-Plovdiv-Sofia takes 6.18 hrs. Some of the other trains take 7 hrs, but some of them run Burgas-Dimitrovgrad-Plovdiv-Sofia, which might be making use of the upgraded tracks, but nonetheless is a big detour, while Burgas-Karlovo-Sofia is geographically the most direct route. With the progress of works, especially between Sofia and Plovdiv, the speeds will hopefully improve. The distance after all is only 380 km.
The current distance between Sofia and Burgas via Plovdiv is 450km. When the line is fully completed, it will be a bit shorter because of curve straightening at some spots.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 02:34 PM   #293
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron Hirsch View Post
Well actually, the fastest train Burgas-Plovdiv-Sofia takes 6.18 hrs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by roaddor
The current distance between Sofia and Burgas via Plovdiv is 450km.
Which gives only 75 km/h average speed for the fastest train which is simply a joke. For a line with 120 km/h maximum speed fastest trains should average 90 km/h so even at present travel time between those cities should be rather 5 hours. And as for lines with 160 km/h maximum achieving 120 km/h average speed is typical which should give travel time of 3 h and 45 minutes. So You don’t need high speed line as proper 160 km/h modernised ones can be attractive enough. I know that at present some sections are in state of disrepair and parts are being modernised (resulting in reduced speed) but despite that travel times are still far from satisfactory.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 05:34 PM   #294
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BULGARIA | Railways

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_P View Post
For a line with 120 km/h maximum speed fastest trains should average 90 km/h.
Let's not forget that a stop in the Balkans is not taking just 3 - 5 minutes at main stations, rather 10-15 or even 20 minutes. These long stops contribute to a limited increase of the average speed of long distance trains in south Eastern Europe.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 06:47 PM   #295
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Let's not forget that a stop in the Balkans is not taking just 3 - 5 minutes at main stations, rather 10-15 or even 20 minutes.

So this isn't a problem with infrastructure nor with rolling stock but with scheduling which can be met even by steam engines! There isn’t any need for proof that BDZ is living in alternative reality. Meanwhile Google shows travel time by a car slightly below 4 hours.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 07:15 PM   #296
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Originally Posted by Richard_P View Post
Which gives only 75 km/h average speed for the fastest train which is simply a joke. For a line with 120 km/h maximum speed fastest trains should average 90 km/h so even at present travel time between those cities should be rather 5 hours. And as for lines with 160 km/h maximum achieving 120 km/h average speed is typical which should give travel time of 3 h and 45 minutes. So You don’t need high speed line as proper 160 km/h modernised ones can be attractive enough. I know that at present some sections are in state of disrepair and parts are being modernised (resulting in reduced speed) but despite that travel times are still far from satisfactory.
How do you judge we don't need a high-speed line? Where are you from?
At the moment the conditions are certainly bad but there is still a lot of work to be done on the whole railway (Sofia-Burgas) and once it gets completed, the average speed will definitely increase. Depends also to a big extent on the rolling stock.
Let me remind you that on the recently renovated line Plovdiv-Svilengrad (designed for 160km/h), the trains are running at 140km/h. During a test trial, speed of 200km/h was achieved on some sections, even with a conventional short train.

Last edited by roaddor; January 11th, 2017 at 07:22 PM.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 08:24 PM   #297
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How do you judge we don't need a high-speed line? Where are you from?
Have You seen any proper high speed line in Muenchen? No, all exits from the city are a modernised 200 km/h conventional lines with added additional tracks. So Yes, Bulgaria doesn't need proper high speed lines at least as long as main lines are only single track and doesn't enable even 160 km/h maximum speed which is enough to compete with road transport yet cheap enough to be maintained. Plus modernised lines in Bulgaria are with options to increase it to 200 km/h so even at this point there isn't any need for dedicated high speed in Bulgaria

Quote:
Depends also to a big extent on the rolling stock.
Don't blame the rolling stock for bad scheduling. The reality is that BDZ may have old rolling stock but most definitely it isn't a lost case. Either Czech or Romanian build locomotives from design enable conversion to 160 km/h operations, the same implies to the passenger cars fleet which in part was upgraded to that speed. The problem is that BDZ got stuck somwhere10-15 years ago and didn't move a bit from that time. And as there aren’t any ideas as for company future this is real problem not lack of fancy rolling stock

Quote:
Let me remind you that on the recently renovated line Plovdiv-Svilengrad (designed for 160km/h), the trains are running at 140km/h. During a test trial, speed of 200km/h was achieved on some sections, even with a conventional short train.
I do know about that but this only shows that building of proper high speed line isn't needed at least at this point as modernised conventional one can allow 200 km/h operations. Modernisation of present lines is much more pressing issue as in many places badly need second track should be constructed (to reduce pointless reserves on passing stations) and speed enhancements
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Old January 12th, 2017, 12:01 AM   #298
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theijs View Post
Let's not forget that a stop in the Balkans is not taking just 3 - 5 minutes at main stations, rather 10-15 or even 20 minutes. These long stops contribute to a limited increase of the average speed of long distance trains in south Eastern Europe.
This is a bit of a prejudice. Check the schedule for above-listed trains, you will not find any stops in excess of 2 minutes except for Plovdiv, a major town, where stops take 4-5 minutes. There are some stops that are necessary for changes of direction and thus shunting the loco from one end of the train to another, and sometimes waiting for an approaching train on single track lines.

When calculating an average speed, one should take into account that between Sofia and Septemvri, there is a sharp rise and then fall in altitude. Planned reconstruction is supposed to compensate for this to some degree, but even then max speeds will allow for 120 kmh, which is still good for this terrain.

Rolling stock should improve, not only to enable faster speeds, but in the case of passenger services, also because Bulgarians in the year 2017 also expect some more comfort than the aging and badly maintained coaches have to offer.

The greater problem is really for the Bulgarian state to keep up any investment policy towards rails, something many prefer to forget, and to improve BDZ and make it a company that can offer good services, good maintenance, and make both employees and customers satisfied. This will not be easy.
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Old January 12th, 2017, 11:43 AM   #299
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Originally Posted by Richard_P View Post
Have You seen any proper high speed line in Muenchen? No, all exits from the city are a modernised 200 km/h conventional lines with added additional tracks. So Yes, Bulgaria doesn't need proper high speed lines at least as long as main lines are only single track and doesn't enable even 160 km/h maximum speed which is enough to compete with road transport yet cheap enough to be maintained. Plus modernised lines in Bulgaria are with options to increase it to 200 km/h so even at this point there isn't any need for dedicated high speed in Bulgaria


Don't blame the rolling stock for bad scheduling. The reality is that BDZ may have old rolling stock but most definitely it isn't a lost case. Either Czech or Romanian build locomotives from design enable conversion to 160 km/h operations, the same implies to the passenger cars fleet which in part was upgraded to that speed. The problem is that BDZ got stuck somwhere10-15 years ago and didn't move a bit from that time. And as there aren’t any ideas as for company future this is real problem not lack of fancy rolling stock


I do know about that but this only shows that building of proper high speed line isn't needed at least at this point as modernised conventional one can allow 200 km/h operations. Modernisation of present lines is much more pressing issue as in many places badly need second track should be constructed (to reduce pointless reserves on passing stations) and speed enhancements
Look dude, I don't know what your problem with the railways in Bulgaria is, but you are not the one who will say what lines the country needs and what it doesn't need. Like I said, the conditions are overall bad nowadays but that does not mean that there is no demand for new fast lines. Once again where are you from? Don't hide trying only to ridicule one country's network or another.
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Old January 12th, 2017, 04:11 PM   #300
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I would highly appreciate to see one day a HSL between Munich and Istanbul, riding at min. 200km/h and stopping at Salzburg, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade and Sofia. Additional stops could be Villach, Slavonski brod, Nis, Plovdiv and Edirne.
It is very nice to have dreams and visions, but is still pie in the sky

Munich-Istanbul is about 1700 km, and if you implement train with top speed 200 km/h, it would be 10-11 hours journey. For price not cheaper than 200 euros for both way ticket. Today, possible travel time would be ~35 hours. From Munich to Budapest, where track is in best condition, is ~7 hours, because all trains stops in little places between main cities. I understand countries like Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Bulgaria, do that because of only few trains on some main lines anyway, but why Germany, Austria and Hungary do that?

I am writing about line trugh Hungary, not Slovenia and Croatia, because that is more likely to have rapid link on that route:
- Route through Hungary is the way to avoid Eastern Alps as much as possible. That means cheaper and faster improvement of transcontinental route.
- Croatian politics and transport policy neglect rail links with all countries around, including Serbia. From December 9th 2012, Croatian Railways reduced international traffic from 5 pairs of cross-border trains to 1, in the moment when cross-border section is just reconstructed for 160km/h. Two years later, they accepted one more pair of trains, but for 2017 they will accept it only for summer holiday. To Hungary, situation is similar. At all, by reform dictated by IMF, Croatian Railways expelled 2/3 of former passengers in 4 years.
- When Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria, and in last few years Serbia are really investing in railway main lines, Croatian and Slovenian railways are stagnating. On other side, motorway network is most extensive in Europe, consider population and GDP. Consequently, they have the most non-competitive economy in EU, but for planning transcontinental corridor there are reasons for suspicion in Croatian and Slovenian partners.
- If we talk about demand, it is much higher transport demand from Serbia to Austria, then from Serbia to Croatia and Slovenia. Transport demand from Serbia to Croatia is oriented to little places between Slavonski brod and Zagreb, and between Zagreb and Split. The highest demand from Serbs to Austria is from Eastern Serbia, but at all, people from all around the Serbia is oriented to a lot of centers in Austria and Germany.

Another important notes are:
- Demand has season peaks during holiday time. There is no high demand during all year for intercity transport on longer distances, like in Germany, Benelux or Germany. Long distance trains could be only subproducts of in future maybe improved railways, economically feasible for shorter distance passenger transport.
- Even there is infrastructure in railways and rolling stocks in Serbia, there is no much faster and more frequent service except on two ~80km lines. Before repairing of 3 worst sections on track from Nis to Macedonia border, there was 4 pairs of regional trains, and 2 pairs of fast international trains Belgrade - Skopje: daily and night. No domestic fast or regional express trains, for region with 700.000+people. After repair, train will be 45 min faster, but there will be only 3 pairs of regional trains, and one pair of fast night international trains Belgrade - Thessaloniki. New trains are bought not to increase the capacity, but to overdraw all other passenger rolling stocks, some of them only on third of exploitation lifetime.
- Purchase power of Serbian citizens, and acceptable standards to push majority of people on railways for distances >50 km are: average speed >70 km/h, delays <30 min, cleanness, heating in trains, sitting, or not to much standing passengers, train at least every 2 hours, for distances over 200 km every 3 hours, one seat ride, ticket cheaper than bus ticket, station well integrated in towns and cities.
- The Serbian Government want to make new high speed line Belgrade-Budapest for 200 km/h max speed with Chinese partners. At this moment our building companies are capable for speeds 120 km/h, power supply equipment is for 180 km/h, signal equipment is for 160 km/h, 20 fastest locomotives are for 140 km/h, there are ~100 of currently withdrawn coaches for 160 km/h, and 26 domestically produced for 200 km/h, and 21 new Steadler trains for 160 km/h with seats uncomfortable for >2 h trips. Any honest expert recommend 160 km/h track as next logical step.
- At this moment, Serbian citizen travel by rail 73 km/year, 2 times less then in worst in EU Greece, and 15 times less then in West Europe.
- There are ordered credit for modernization of Nis - Bulgarian border track from 2006. Modernization includes repair of track for 80-120 km/h, electrification, automatic block system, and all section central dispatching system. That will reduce current travel time Belgrade-Sofia 2 hours, and will be improvement enough for next 15-20 years. But, at now we don't have good explanation why there is no investment, only speculations.

Yes, it is Bulgarian thread, but it is good to understand the surround of any plan and idea to improve international transport.
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