Bulgaria May 2017 (Part Three)

Third and final part of what should be the first of two Bulgarian weeks this year. Yes, I managed to take enough photos to drag this out to three parts. I hope adding the expanded captions is more interesting for people!

A few days doing moves from Sofia, I was hoping for some Cargo locos to drop out and pick up a couple of my few passenger winners around a look for 61010 which has joined the Cargo 61 on hire to BDZ-PP party.

Shiny! Fresh out of Poduyane Works 44120 is atop 46208 on the 0835 Sofia – Svilengrad in the morning sun at Iskar. This is the test trip for Poduyane and according to the Portuguese second man was 44120s first run in eight years. Interestingly it has been kicked out without the full UIC numbers which had been added a week later for its next working. This may be the last phot I ever get of a shiny 44 in ‘real’ condition then!

My first punt on covering a regular 61 turn drew a blank – 45162 brings the 0935 Blagoevgrad – Sofia into Zaharna Fabrika

Cargo by sticker only, 61019 is kicked out for the 1400 Sofia – Dupnica. This loco has been on hire to passenger for over a year and I decided to take it throughout in the afternoon sun.

61019 on arrival at Dupnica, where I had four options on the table, two north and two South. 61019 is about to run round as booked to form the 1652 Sofia…

Next up was the northbound fast, in the hands of ‘bear’ 46211 working what BDZ claim is the 1605 Blagoevgrad – Sofia but in reality is a through train from Petrich with a change of train number at Blagoevgrad. Well, I wasn’t doing that…

By now the loco for the fresh turn could be viewed on the shed outlet, but not enough to ID, but as it was a 61 I comitted to it. 44137 was next up on the 1500 Sofia – Thessoloniki. Well, on paper, due to an ongoing border blockade by Greek truckers it was only running to Kulata and lacking in the through OSE coaches.

F**k Yes BDZ! This is the one I really wanted, 61010 kicked out for the 1710 Dupnica – Petrich. This was worked by the traincrew that had brought ‘019 down from Sofia, decent diagram for single cab action that!

61010 gets away from Blagoevgrad with its load of two real compo coaches. I was off over the road for a couple of beers before 46208 took me back to Sofia.

Clouds?! The Saturday never brightened up, here the redcaps surveys the scene as 45204 arrives at Svogue on the 0612 Ruse Raz – Sofia. Quite pleased to see this one roll in as it I’d previously only had it on a single ned move.

52226 pottering around the east end of Sofia on never ending shunt duties. Interestingly this year a 55 was also on station pilot duties each day alongside the 52s.

In the field sidings at the east end of Sofia, BDZ 44144 waits for its slot to shunt around onto its train whilst DB have 92025 and a pair of EAs on hand. DB seem to regularly stable engines here now, I believe largely these are locos off transit traffic and run light to/from Dimitrovgrad ZS to pick up trains.


44126 has come off intermediate overhaul this year and been covered in the full works of new number stickers. It is seen in the 1820 Sofia-Mezdra on a scratch rake, most table 201 stoppers are now hauled as another batch of RVR “red” units have been taken out of service although there is the odd Desiro.

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