|Could there be a better place to sit waiting for a train to photograph on a beautiful day? 77002 heads the 06:40 Dobrinishte to Septemvri away from Dolene on 22nd September 2012|
|The train destination board- |
written in Cyrillic of course
|Shunting locomotive 81002 with narrow gauge |
stock at Septemvri
|76006 pauses at Varvara, the first stop on|
the route from Septemvri
The train departs after we have disembarked and continues to climb, now doubling back on itself on the other side of the valley. It will continue through Vallilingrad (one of the largest towns on the route) and many other small halts including Avramovo (the highest railway station on the Balkans at 1,267m) to reach Bankso (a popular ski and mountain resort) and finally a few miles later Dobrinishte.
|Henschel-built 75006 departs from Dolene for Dombrinishte|
This railway is nothing like the tourist narrow gauge railways I care so little for in the UK and is a fascinating real working railway. It's future however is not assured. The service has been cut several times in recent years, and with BDZ effectively bankrupt one cannot help but wonder how long this railway can cling on to it's existence. It may be a lifeline for the the local people, but it is clear that this operation is not a profitable asset. I thoroughly recommend a ride on this railway- and do hope it will continue to run for many years!