Modernisation of the Sofia-Plovdiv railway line: railway section Elin Pelin – Kostenets

Full name of the project

Modernisation of the Sofia-Plovdiv railway line: railway section Elin Pelin – Kostenets



Cohesion Fund

Operational programme

OPTTI 2014-2020





Brief description of the project



The aim of the project is the modernisation of the railway infrastructure in the Elin Pelin-Kostenets section. The implementation of the project will contribute to the development of the Orient/East Mediterranean corridor passing through Bulgaria, part of which is the railway line Sofia – Elin Pelin – Kostenets – Septemvri – Plovdiv.





Project description and objectives

The modernisation of the railway section Elin Pelin – Kostenets is the largest project in OP Transport and Transport Infrastructure. With its implementation will be upgraded over 51 km of railway lines and 5 railway stations and stops falling within the scope of the route. It is also envisaged to eliminate all crossings at the same level between rail, road traffic and passengers.

In order to achieve the design speeds of 160 km/h for passenger trains and 120 km/h for freight trucks, more than 20 km of tunnels, the longest of which is 6.7 km are going to be built. It is also planned to build over 23 bridges and viaducts with a total length of the facilities approximately 3 km. The project will meet the European requirements for modern rail transport and fast rail for 53 thousand residents living between Elin Pelin and Kostenets.

The construction of the route is divided into 3 sections: Elin Pelin – interstation after Vakarel station, interstation after Vakarel station – interstation after Ihtiman station and interstation after Ihtiman station – new station Kostenets. The deadline for completion of the works is 2023.

The project includes the following main components:

— Modernisation of approximately 51 km double track for speed 160 km/h for passenger trains and 120 km/h for freight trains, in full compliance with the requirements of the TSI, including:

— Renewal of 14.5 km of double railway line;

— Construction of 36.5 km double railway line;

— Expansion of platforms in stations and the construction of pedestrian overpasses, including the provision of accessible environments for persons with disabilities;

— Reconstruction of reception buildings Elin Pelin and Ihtiman;

— Construction of new stops Pobit Stone, Vakarel South and Verinska;

— Reconstruction of the platforms of 2 existing stops – Stambolovo and Nemirovo;

— Closing of 4 existing level crossings and replacing them with road overpasses;

— Renewal and new construction of 24 bridges and viaducts;

— Construction of single-way tunnels with a total length of 15.4 km;

— Construction of 8 two-way (one-pipe) tunnels with a total length of 5.48 km;

— Construction of a new overhead contact line 50 Hz, 25 kV;

— Construction of 2 new traction substations and 2 new separate posts;

— Installation of 3 new route-computer centralisations at Elin Pelin Station, Vakarel South and Ihtiman Station.

Results, achievements, influence


The expected benefits and results of the project are as follows:

— Increased speed on the railway section;

— Improved safety of trackside transport;

— Increase the capacity of the track;

— Reduction of environmental pollution in the areas through which the railway passes.



Project budget

BGN 1 301 273 600

% EU contribution

85 %

European co-financing in BGN

559 713 149.57 BGN

National co-financing in BGN

98 772 908.75 BGN

Own funds

642 787 541.88 BGN

Start date


Final date



DP “National Railway Infrastructure Company”

Contacts of the Beneficiary

Sofia, 1320, 110 Knyaginya Maria Luisa Blvd.