Bulgarian state railways company BDZ will be restructured into a holding company, informed the Transport Ministry.
According to a decision signed by Bulgarian Transport Minister Alexander Tsvetkov on October 22, 2010. the Bulgarian state railway company is going to "give birth" to a holding company, which is going to have two major divisions – one in charge of passengers, and another one in charge of freight transport.
In the new situation, the parent company BDZ is still going to be responsible for the strategic management. The new holding company, however, is going to take over the management of the valuable railroad assets, such as locomotives and carriages.
The restructuring aims mainly at the establishment of a new and more effective system, which should be able to transform BDZ into a profitable company.
Currently, the Bulgarian state railways company is in turmoil as a week ago five employees were fired over the derailment of three cars of an express train between the capital Sofia and the Black Sea city of Burgas.
Furthermore, at the beginning of October about 80% of passenger trains in Bulgaria were declared as operating "illegally" and with expired safety certificates, according to a ruling of the Sofia Administrative Court. Since a train fire in 2008, the Bulgarian trains have come under much criticism not only with respect to safety standards, but also for their considerable lack of comfort.
Meanwhile, as BDZ is facing restructuring, a Bulgarian delegation, led by Transport Minister Alexander Tsvetkov is on a visit to China discussing opportunities for including Bulgaria in the China's' project to launch a railway connection to Central and Western Europe through Central Asia, Turkey, and Bulgaria, the so called China-Europe high-speed rail link.