Transport in Bulgaria: Wikis


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Map of Bulgaria's major roads and highways



A passenger train at Central Railway Station - Sofia
Map of Bulgaria's railroad network

Bulgaria's rail system has not expanded since the 1980s.[1] In 2005 Bulgaria had some 6,238 kilometers of track, 4,316 kilometers of which were considered main lines.[1] Sofia is the hub of the domestic system and of international rail connections.[1] In the mid-2000s, railroads remained a major mode of freight transportation, although highways carried a progressively larger share of freight.[1] A recent project upgraded the line connecting Plovdiv with the Greek and Turkish borders.[1] Despite recent privatization of some operations, the national railroad has suffered substantial financial losses in the early 2000s.[1] In 1998 the first six kilometers of an often-interrupted 52-kilometer subway project opened in Sofia.[1] Additional stations were opened recently and with the one to be opened on the 7th of September 2009 the subway will reach total length of 18 kilometers with 14 working stations.[1]

Rail links to adjacent countries


In the early 2000s, Bulgaria had some 37,300 kilometers of roads, all but 3,000 of which were paved but nearly half of which (18,000 kilometers) fell into the lowest international rating for paved roads. Only 324 kilometers of high-speed highways were in service in 2005. Roads have overtaken the railroads as the chief mode of freight transportation. Long-term plans call for upgrading higher-quality roads and integrating the road system into the European grid. The focus is on improving road connectors with Turkey and Greece and domestic connections linking Sofia, Plovdiv, and Burgas. Bulgaria has delayed building some key highway connections since the 1990s, but European Union membership is a strong incentive for completion. The National Strategy for Integrated Infrastructure Development calls for construction of 720 kilometers of new highways by 2015. A 114-kilometer link between eastern Bulgaria and the Turkish border is scheduled for completion in 2009. As of 2004, two international highways passed through Bulgaria, and a major highway ran from Sofia to the Black Sea coast. Proposed international corridors would pass from north to south, from Vidin to the border with Greece and from Ruse to the border with Greece, and west to east, from Serbia through Sofia to Burgas, Varna, and Edirne (Turkey). A new bridge link with Romania is scheduled for completion in 2006, relieving road and railroad congestion in that direction.[1]


Highways and Motorways in Bulgaria

  • total: 44,033 km
  • paved: 43,593 km (99%)
  • unpaved: 440 km (1%)
  • motorways: 459 km (2008)



In 2005 Bulgaria had 2,425 kilometers of natural gas pipelines, 339 kilometers of oil pipelines, and 156 kilometers of pipelines for refined products.[1] The pipeline system was scheduled for substantial changes and additions, however.[1] The 279-kilometer Burgas-Alexandroupolis Pipeline, still under negotiation among Bulgaria, Greece, and Russia in 2006, would provide a bypass of the overloaded Bosporus Strait.[1] The line would enable Russian oil arriving at the Bulgarian oil port of Burgas to reach Greece’s Mediterranean port at Alexandroupolis.[1] A 900-kilometer U.S.- financed alternate route, known as the AMBO pipeline, would bring oil from Burgas across Bulgaria and Macedonia to the Albanian port of Vlore on the Adriatic Sea, bypassing both the Bosporus and Greece.[1] As of October 2006, approval of both pipelines was expected.[1] With international investment, Bulgaria began constructing a new domestic gas transportation network beginning in 2005.[1] The Russian Gazprom company planned a gas pipeline from Dimitrovgrad in eastern Bulgaria across Serbia, reaching the Adriatic Sea in Croatia.[1] Some 400 kilometers of the planned Nabucco pipeline, bringing gas from Azerbaijan and Iran to Central Europe, were to cross Bulgaria sometime before 2011.[1]

Ports and harbours

Burgas, Lom, Nesebar, Rousse, Varna, Vidin, Primorsko, Sozopol, Pomorie, Obzor, Kavarna, Balchik, Silistra, Tutrakan, Svishtov, Nikopol, Oryahovo

Major and largest port is Varna Biggest harbour is Burgas

Merchant marine


Sofia's international airport

Compared with road and railroad transport, aviation used to be a minor mode of freight movement, and only 860,000 passengers used Bulgarian airlines in 2001.[2] In 2008 Bulgaria had 204 airports, 127 of which had paved runways.[3] One airport, Sofia Airport, had a runway longer than 3,000 meters, and there were four heliports.[2] The second- and third-largest airports, Varna Airport and Burgas Airport, serve mainly domestic flights.[2] In the early 2000s, Sofia Airport received substantial renovation, with aid from a Kuwaiti-led consortium, in anticipation of increased air connections with Europe.[2] A three-phase expansion was scheduled for completion in 2010.[2] The communist-era state airline, Balkan Airlines, was replaced by Bulgaria Air, for which a private owner was to be selected from among bidders by the end of 2006.[2] In 2005 Bulgaria Air transported 517,000 passengers to international destinations, including all major European cities[2] However, after the second terminal of International Airport Sofia was built the total number of passengers rose and reached 3 230 696 in 2008.


Civil transportation is well developed in Bulgaria. There are several big companies, which control the market and hundreds of small (one bus = one company), which operate between the smaller towns. The main problem with so many companies is how to find their timetables. Recently the project "bgrazpisanie" (BG timetable in English) succeeded to collect all Bulgarian civil transportation timetables on its website [1]

See also



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Bulgaria country profile, p. 14.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Bulgaria country profile, p. 15.
  3. ^ CIA World Factbook Bulgaria

Works cited

External links

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