BDZ ACQUIRES 25 RAILMOTORS FROM SIEMENS
The Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) chose the German giant Siemens to supply 25 new diesel railmotors. The Desiro machines will be launched no later than 2006 on the unelectrified lines that cause the biggest losses to the company. The first two machines will be delivered within a month. They will travel demonstratively throughout the country, the Transport Minister Nikolay Vassilev announced. The rest of the machines will arrive in the country by the end of 2005. Bombardier and Alstom were the other companies that took part in the public procurement tender announced by BDZ last August.The new trains will travel as fast as 120 to 160 km per hour depending on the railroad infrastructure. The price of the 25 railmotors amounts to EUR67MN and will be paid in ten years, Nikolay Vassilev assured. The financing for their acquisition is not guaranteed by the state. The money was provided by Siemens and several German commercial banks in the form of a loan payable in seven years with a 6.47% annual interest. BDZ is planning to acquire electric railmotors, too. BDZ and Siemens will also establish a joint-venture that will be responsible for the maintenance of the new engines.