According to the statement issued by the Bulgarian Ministry of Transport and Communications, Minister Georgi Gvozdikov said, “We are already working on providing more trains on the Plovdiv-Edirne route, which will be an alternative to the ever-increasing car traffic,” in the meeting he held with Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Sofia Aylin Itkok yesterday (July 20). The minister added that there are currently two trains per day to and from this route.
“The modernization of the railway infrastructure continues along the entire direction from Serbia to the Turkish border, but we must ensure rapid transit through border points as well as build railways within the country,” Gvozdikov noted.
On this occasion, he stated that the technical details of a railway project for a second border crossing between the two countries will begin soon. In June, a memorandum of understanding was signed to implement the project. “The opening of a new railway crossing will facilitate traffic from the existing Svilengrad-Kapakule border checkpoint and will attract more loads to the region,” the minister commented.
Both sides expressed the view that active efforts should be made to ease freight and passenger traffic on our common border. “In addition to the increasing number of trucks, more than 6,600 vehicles pass through the Kapitan Andrevo, Lesovo and Malko Tarnovo border checkpoints every day in the summer,” said Ambassador Itcock. The ambassador assured the minister that the disinfection fees that the Turkish side currently receives from Bulgarian vehicles will be reduced at all checkpoints. Gvozdeykov also brought up the problem that Bulgarian shippers often face when entering one-time or multiple permit data into the Turkish automated system.
Minister Gvozdikov and the Turkish ambassador also discussed the progress of the construction project of the Elin Belen-Vakarel railway line, which is being built by a Turkish consortium. In his early days in office, the Minister felt aware of the need to further strengthen the tunneling facilities along this line. “We held a series of meetings with lawyers and technical experts, now this issue has been resolved and additional funding has been provided to secure these facilities,” Gvozdikov explained.
The meeting also discussed the construction of a Ro-Ro line between the ports of Burgas and Karasu. The Minister and the Ambassador commented that security and communication are at the core of the good relations between Bulgaria and Turkey.
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