THE Bulgarian government is creating a state-owned operator by combining BDZ-Freight, BDZ-Passenger and BDZ-Holding under the Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) company. The National Railway Infrastructure Company will continue to manage the country’s infrastructure.

“The aim is to keep passenger transport clean, safe and enjoyable,” minister of transport and communications, Mr Nikolay Sabev, announced on February 4,. “We are changing the company, so it also returns to the freight market.”

Sabev said that by the end of 2023 the railway will be in a healthy financial situation and that currently the Bulgarian government does not propose any other change in terms of passenger transport and the national budget.

The government’s position is that revenue needs to be realised through an increase in market share and that costs need to be managed more efficiently, with clear trends to achieve this to be identified within the first six months of the changes being implemented.

Sabev said the integrated company is expected to start operating in Bulgaria and other international markets in early 2024.