The Bulgarian road transport market leader PIMK Holding Group has entered the rail freight business by establishing PIMK Rail, Bulgaria’s newest rail freight operator. With a planned EUR 9 million for capital investments, PIMK Rail will start operations this autumn. The rail freight operator will run company trains, aiming to take part of its containerised cargo off the road and shift it to rail, informs Capital.
PIMK already collaborates with DB Cargo, which operates a block train on Ruse-Nuremberg route. In the future, the route will change into Ruse-Wels (Austria) and PIMK will be in charge with operations on the Bulgarian market, while DB Cargo will cover operations in Romania and Austria.
With the support of Austria’s export credit agency (ECA), PIMK has purchased from Siemens one locomotive and is negotiating with the rolling stock manufacturers the acquisition of additional units. Siemens has already delivered one Vectron locomotive, which will operate on both Romanian and Bulgarian market. The new railway operator has also purchased 34 double pocket wagons for transporting semi-trailers and containers.
In addition, PIMK Rail is also interested in taking into concession the new intermodal platform currently being developed near Plovdiv.
In 2012, PIMK and its Turkish partner Mars Logistics Plc obtained a EUR 1.4 million grant under the Marco Polo EU transport programe to develop new rail links between Plovdiv (Bulgaria) and Istanbul (Turkey), and Plovdiv (Bulgaria) and Ljubljana (Slovenia). The freight transported by PIMK on these routes was modally shifted to rail service carrying fully loaded trailers.