BULGARIA: The European Commission has allocated €471m from the Operational Programme Transport & Transport Infrastructure for a three-phase project to modernise the 51 km Elin Pelin – Kostenets section of the Sofia – Plovdiv main line.

This aim is to enhance the double-track electrified route to permit freight trains to run at up to 120 km/h and passenger trains at up to 160 km/h.

This will involve the construction of over 20 km of tunnels, the longest being 6·7 km, and 23 bridges totalling 3 km. Completion is planned for 2023.