According to the Balkan Insight, Bulgaria will soon be another country with a high speed railway.
This sounds impressive: go-ahead Bulgaria is pressing on with faster railways, unlike backward Britain. But if you just read the headline, you might come away with a very misleading impression.
Because Bulgaria’s planned railways are not going to be overtaking Britain’s existing railways.
The Director General of the Bulgarian railway company, Milcho Lambrev, explained that ultra fast railways aren’t economic in Bulgaria.
He said “The territory of the country is characterised by very rugged terrain. In order to introduce railway lines for speeds above 200 km/h, we have to build a lot of expensive infrastructure, such as tunnels, bridges, viaducts and others, which would make the projects more costly.”
Tunnels, bridges, viaducts? That sounds very like the infrastructure that is being planned for the proposed HS2. So here’s a country who has rejected the expensive option in favour of a cheaper version of high speed.
But how fast does this new Bulgarian High Speed Railway go – will it be better then our railways?
Their top speed of 200kph is the same as 125mph. That’s the current speed of both the West Coast Main Line and the East Coast Main Line.
Mainline British railways are already running as fast as the “high speed” railways that Bulgaria will soon be building. We’re the ones who are ahead.