DB Bulgaria & Class 92s

Class 92s in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian arm of DB has received a handful of 92s which work alongside some more ex-DSB ‘EA’ locos out of Pirdop. DB operate fairly boring traffic, basically a couple of bulk flows and transit intermodal traffic. Various ex-DR shunters are also used at Pirdop as it is a DB operated facility beyond the exchange sidings and there are a number of ex-DB 232s for off-the-wires working. 92034 was the first to go and after passing various test was joined by 92027 & 92030 and thrn 025 following later. In Spring 2017, the locos were renumbered into “Class 88” with the UIC country code also amended to Bulgaria rather than their previously retained UK designation.

DB Bulgaria Class 92 Fleet:

  • 92025 (88025)
  • 92027 (88027)
  • 92030 (88030)
  • 92034 (88034)

The locos remain in essentially ex-BR condition, just the addition of wing mirrors and removal of EH equipment. 92025 and 92030 have now gained stripy yellow snowploughs.

Livery wise, all retain their ex-BR two-tone grey livery including tunnel ‘rings’ and Crewe Electric depot plaque albeit with various DB branding and UIC numbers added on. The ‘EWS’ yellow stickers are now being withdrawn which makes them look a bit smarter.

92022 arrived in 2017 unfit for traffic and after assessment at Podujane was duly dumped inside Pirdop Works as a Christmas tree / waste of space!

DB Bulgaria Traffic

Between the arrival of 92s in Bulgaria and 31/12/16, the 92 operation was fairly simple as below. However this contract was lost to BZK, so it is presumed the 92s are currently working turn and turn about with EAs on other DB traffic. This will include the Chelopech to Burgas ore train and there is also reported work on services between Burgas and Ruse, however little is currently known. Locos are usually parked at Pirdop in the DB area (which has private security, don’t go wandering without permission) and also inside the secure area at Burgas Iztok which can be viewed from the station. Other work will take them elsewhere, Sofia stabling is generally on the field sidings at the east end of the central station.

Until 2017, Core 92 operation was a daily train of ore imported from Burgas to the works at Pirdop, this is booked a mere 3,000 ton of six-axle box wagons and is worked by a 2×92. Due to 92s being, well, 92s, quite often an EA will replace one of them however in contrast to other operators it seems to be the preference to have a 92 leading in the event of a mixed pair.

These trains are, in BG terms, solid runners:

  • Vlak 30562, 16.00 Burgas Iztok – Pirdop
  • Vlak 30561, 01.05 Pirdop – Burgaz Iztok

Additionally 92s are also quite regularly sent out from Pirdop, often with a 232, on daytime trip workings to and from Chelopech. Locos will often be stabled over the back at Pirdop off the wires and shunted onto trains – be aware there is a DB security presence which is best avoided.

Maintenance is carried out at Podujane, with the light locos often running via Sofia station.

Other DB Traffic includes (at least):

  • Chelopech to Burgas copper
  • Oganovo to Lyubenovo limestone
  • Transit intermodals between Turkey and Romania
  • Cargovan traffic between Burgas and Ruse (for Romania)


  • Ex-DB 232: 232265 (oos at Pirdop), 232411, 232600, 232613, 232663, 232678
  • All of the 232s are now being renumbered to Class 07, seems to involve retaining the running numbers (232411 now 07411)
  • Ex-DSB EA:
  • 86012 (EA 3012)
  • 86013 (EA 3013)
  • 86014 (EA 3014)
  • 86015 (EA 3011)
  • 86016 (EA 3016)
  • 86017 (EA 3017)
  • 86018 (EA 3021)
  • 86019 (EA 3019)
  • 86020 (EA 3018)
  • EA 3015 spares donor – never used in Bulgaria
  • 3013/3014/3017/3019 were the original DB Bulgaria locos, the others were first sent to Romania and renumbered there, then onwards to Bulgaria. Cannot guarantee these renumbers are 100% correct, but best endeavours and all that!
  • Shunters ex DB Class 204/345/346 (TBC)

Posted September 18, 2016 by redcow87015

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