“New Europe” Bridge (Danube Bridge 2) was officially opened, railway transport along the Vidin-Golentsi-Craiova route between Bulgaria and Romania started on the 10th of May 2014.
Official delegations from Bulgaria and Romania, led by the Deputy Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Petar Kirov and Secretary of State in the Romanian Ministry of Transport, Iulian Matache, were the first who crossed-over the newly built railway track along the Danube Bridge Vidin- Calafat.
“We all know that railways are crucial for the balanced development of the transport system of each country, ” said Petar Kirov. According to him, the bridge “New Europe” is not only of strategic importance, but also of regional importance, since it provides an opportunity for business and relationships development between the people of the two countries.
Passenger trains on Craiova-Vidin route will travel twice daily.
The newest bridge over the river has two car lanes and a railway line. Due to the difference in the altitude of the Bulgarian and Romanian banks where the bridge crosses the Danube, the trains will travel along the railway approach road and will gradually reach the level of the main road at pier PB5 of the bridge in direction Bulgaria – Romania. At the beginning of the railway track on Bulgarian territory is installed one of the biggest expansion joint the Balkan peninsula, produced especially for this location.
The speed tests along the railway track were performed last year by the Spanish company Eptisa (subcontractor of the bridge contractor – FCC Construccion), with three different speeds of 5, 30, 50 and 70 km/h at three places – along the railway approach to the bridge, along the bridge in the navigable channel and along the bridge in the non-navigable channel of the river.
Sources: Bulgarian Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications; http://www.danubebridge2.com/; photos* Sonya Machorska