Trains to Run on Danube Bridge 2 in Bulgaria after Feb 2014Business | December 22, 2013, Sunday // 14:58| views
The second Danube bridge between the two Balkan countries, linking Bulgaria's Vidin and Romania's Calafat, was inaugurated in June 2013. Photo BGNES
Passenger and freight trains will start running on Danube Bridge 2 between Bulgaria and Romania as early as February or March 2014.
The announcement was made Sunday, in an interview for the news agency "Focus" by Kristian Krastev, CEO of the State Railways company, "BDZ Holding."
Krastev said his company was working very well with counterparts from Romania and the other neighbor – Serbia, as passenger trains' regular schedule with the latter has been reinstated.
Danube Bridge 2, linking Vidin in Bulgaria and Calafat in Romania, is part of the Pan-European transport corridor IV.
Over 415 000 vehicles are expected to pass through the bridge in its first year of operation – 186 000 cars, 20 000 buses, 209 000 trucks as well as 4 745 trains – 730 passenger and 4 015 freight ones. Their number is expected to reach 8 504 by 2030.
The total value of the project is EUR 282 M. Of them EUR 106 M came from EU funds and the rest were national financing and private investments.
The project was started in the late 1990s, but was stalled multiple times.
The only other existing bridge between the two Balkan neighbors, Danube Bridge 1 linking Ruse-Giurgiu, was completed in 1954.
In February 2013, officials stated that Danube Bridge II would be inaugurated on May 9, the Day of Europe, but the ceremony was postponed.
The final section of the bridge was finished in October 2012 and the entire construction between the Bulgarian and the Romanian Danube shores was connected. It was announced earlier that the infrastructure has been completed as of the end of August 2012.
The facility will pay off in 12 to 15 years, according to Bulgarian authorities.
The bridge is 1.8 km long and has four lanes, a railroad, a sidewalk, and a bike path.
There is a cross border checkpoint as well.
The toll is the same as the one in Ruse – from EUR 6 to EUR 37, depending on the type of vehicle.
There are no fees for pedestrians, bikers, fire trucks, ambulances and police cruisers.
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