Back to Bulgaria again and returning to the usual haunts! We were a couple of weeks later than normal and consequently the weather was on the turn; the sun didn’t feature as much and the temperature was down on what is normal for us! Nevertheless, a good time as per usual so thanks to the usual crowd for the company!
44120 at Sindel with BV9620 0915 Varna-Ruse. We saw this on its inaugural working after overhaul back in June and three months later it still looks remarkably pristine – especially against the stock! Note the addition of the UIC number on the front of the loco in place of the number plate. (26.09.17)
The main event! With the influx of ex-Romanian Class 40 locos (commonly referred to as junk) earlier in the year, tracking down 87s which don’t have one shoved on the front is quite a challenge.
Today, however, on arrival at Sindel we were greeted with the phrase “Днес почитаме” from one of the BZK drivers which means “Today, we honour”. This, naturally, caused some excitement and the sun even made a slight reappearance from behind a bank of cloud for the occasion.
87029 and 87028 stand waiting for the single line working ticket for the line to Ruse with the daily trip working from Razdelna. (26.09.17)
No apologies for the repetition as 87025 stands at Sindel shortly afer sunset. It arrived from Ruse behind an EA which then ran round to top 85004 (ex 86235) before departing towards Karnobat. It would have been nice to see 87009, but one can’t complain! (26.09.17)
The weather deteriorated rapidly as we moved inland to Sofia via Pirdop. Present were 87003, 87004, 87010, 87019, 87020, 87029, 87033 with 87012 arriving behind a 40 on a train from Iliyantsi. The first departure to Razdelna had 87019 inside a 40 but the subsequent departures did not feature any 87 input. A BZK driver indicated this is because the tonnages of the trains have dropped. (27.09.17)
A number of the BDZ passenger fleet have been going through overhaul over the last year or so (including 44120 as above), and another one is 44140 which is an extremely recent entrant to traffic judging by the clean pantographs. The loco is seen here leaving Iliyantsi with BV30115 Sofia-Karlovo. Train lengths on the long distance trains have actually increased since we were last over there in June, but the same can’t be said for the locals; this was the second instance of load 1 trains we saw that week! (28.09.17)
The freight sector (BDZ-TP) seems to be particularly buoyant at the moment and a typical scene here at Iliyantsi as 46012 has arrived with a train load of sulphuric acid tanks from Pirdop. This is unusual as it is usually BZK who work these tanks. The loco was swapped and then headed up the freight avoiding line to Voluyak (and onward to, I assume, Serbia). (29.09.17)
The passenger loco shortage continues, although there weren’t as many freight engines out as we have seen before, and 61003 is on hire from the freight sector. This isn’t unusual as there are usually a couple of freight 61’s on hire working between Sofia and Blagoevgrad and around Dupnitsa. 61003 seen here arriving into Sofia with a terminating BV50110 from Blagoevgrad. (30.09.17)