EU provides close to half a billion euro for railway modernisation in western Bulgaria

EU provides close to half a billion euro for railway modernisation in western Bulgaria

About 471.5 million euro from the Cohesion Fund is invested in the development of the railway section between the towns of Elin Pelin and Kostenets, in western Bulgaria, the European Commission said on February 1.

This section is part of the high-speed railway line between the two largest Bulgarian cities; Sofia, the capital, and Plovdiv, on the Orient/East Med corridor of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T).

This corridor crosses eight EU countries, from Berlin to Athens, creating important rail connections in central and southern European countries, meaning smoother travels and exchanges for Bulgaria and its neighbours, the Commission said.

European Commissioner for Regional policy Corina Creţu said: "Seamless railway connections for passengers and freight will boost regional development in Bulgaria, and contribute to building a competitive and low-carbon economy in the country for the next generations. I'm glad that the EU Cohesion Fund can be a part of it."

More than 100 million euro from the Cohesion Fund was invested in the Sofia-Plovdiv line in the 2007-2013 funding period, to build the section between the cities of Septemvri and Plovdiv.

The Kostenets-Septemvri section is currently being financed by up to 151.5 million euro from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

Once work is completed on the Sofia-Plovdiv line, passengers will be able to travel between the two cities in less than 80 minutes at speeds of up to 160 km/h, the European Commission said.../IBNA

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