Bulgarian state-owned railway company BDZ Passengers, a wholly-owned unit of BDZ Holding, saw its passenger’s numbers decline by 20-30% due to the coronavirus pandemic, transport minister Rosen Zheliazkov said on Wednesday.
Respectively, the net income of BDZ Passengers’ parent company decreased by a similar percentage, Zheliazkov said in a video file published on the website of public television BNT.
The modernization of the rolling stock of BDZ Passengers, however, will not be halted over the coronavirus pandemic and the number of operating trains will not be reduced despite the drop in passenger numbers, according to the transport minister.
The company expects to receive new and renovated locomotives by the end of this year, Zheliazkov said.
In July, the railway company said that it expects to receive the first repaired locomotives under two contracts with Slovakia’s ZOS Vrutky and the Czech-led tie-up Rail Services, respectively, by the end of 2020. Each of the two deals envisages the repair of 10 locomotives.
In May, BDZ Passengers signed a 55.5 million levs (.3 million/28.4 million euro) deal for the purchase of 10 new electric locomotives from a consortium comprising Siemens Mobility Austria and Siemens Mobility Bulgaria. The first locomotive will be delivered within 10 months of the signing of the contract, while all 10 must be delivered within 13 months.