Bulgarian Transport Minister Rossen Zhelyazkov inspected the construction works on the rehabilitation of a major railway section

5 Dec 2018

86% of the modernization of the railway section Skutare-Orizovo (Southern Bulgaria) is completed. This was announced by the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Rossen Zhelyazkov at the project inspection, which is being carried out by “European Railways” Joint Venture with a leading partner Trace Group Hold PLC. The inspection was realized at the end of November 2018.

"Most of the work on the railway track has been completed. Still remains the toughest and most important task in terms of passengersinterest - to improve comfort and reduce travel time", Zhelyazkov said. According to him, in order to use rationally the capacity of the railway linebetween Sofia and Burgas, it is necessary to purchase new trains, which will reduce the travel time of less than 4 hours. According to the transport minister, then the customers of BDZ (as Bulgarian State Railways are known) should be provided with cleaner and more comfortable conditions.

During the inspection, Minister Zhelyazkov was accompanied by Krasimir Papukchiyski - Director General of the National Railway Infrastructure Company. They also visited Belozem and Orizovo railway stations, which were renovated within theproject.

Engineer Vassil Shilov is manager of the rehabilitation of the 26-kilometer lot between Skutare and Orizovo and the adjacent stations.

The project is divided into two stages:

The first one includes the Belozem train station (tracks and arrows on the side of Orizovo) and the Belozem - Orizovo interchange. Approximately 10.2 km of railway track have been rehabilitated, incl. culverts and bridges. A new arc bridge was built at km 42 + 036. The contact network in the section was changed with a new one. The activities were carried out in a regime of total train traffic interruption in the period September 04th 2017 – November 26th 2017.

At Belozem station tracks No. 2 and 3 were rehabilitated. A new drainage system has been built at the station, as well as a new drainage station at km 32 + 741, draining Belozem train station and the northern part of the village at the same time. The contact network at the station was also rehabilitated.

The second stage includes the Belozem station (arrows on the side of Manole) and the railway section Skutare - Manole - Belozem. Approximately 16 km of railway tracks (including Manole station), as well as culverts and bridges, were rehabilitated. The entire contact network in the section has been replaced with a new one. Two new passengers’ platforms were built, as well as a new pylon lighting for the entire railway area. The activities were executed in a regime of total train traffic interruption in the period May 10th 2018 – August 01st 2018.

At the moment, some finishing worksin ditches’ construction are being carried out, as well as works on signaling and telecommunication systems, cleaning of slopes of vegetation and recultivation of areas affected by the construction.

In connection with an additional procedure for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the approved Report by the Ministry of Environment and Waters during the implementation of the project construction, were carried out additional design and construction works of soundproofing and protection walls in Manole and Belozem, as well as a pedestrian crossing at Belozem. These unforeseen activities have predetermined the extension of the deadline for completion of Skutare – Orizovo project till March 2019.

The contract for the rehabilitation of Skutare-Orizovo railway section, including Manole, Belozem and Opalchenets stations, provides a railway track for a speed of up to 130 km/h.