Provisional programme for late 29th/30th September – 6th October, 2023
Bulgaria continues to amaze us, adding steam engines to their heritage fleet, of which this tour intends to take full advantage, operating them on mostly lightly-trafficked and non-electrified lines, in what we hope will be warm, sunny late Summer weather!
One highlight of the trip will be the use of the narrow gauge 2-10-2 tank, 609.76, on the mountainous Septemvri system. Modern traction adherents will also travel behind the 1965 Henschel n.g. diesels still operating on that n.g. system, not to mention the ex-BR Class 86 and 87 electric locos. run by the independent company “Bulmarket”, which we will use on the charter trains for the main (“Classic Modern Traction”) tour, and which will also include several depot visits, as well as some hours spent exploring the vast Maritza Iztok mining complex, which uses both electric and diesel traction.
Another highlight will be 2-12-4T 46.03 nicknamed “mother bear” because of its size, on the route Radomir – Kyustendil – Gyueshevo. It is currently under repair but should easily be ready for our trip at the end of September; recently completed is 0-8-0 26.26, a Prussian G7 looking splendid; other performers will be 2-8-2 01.23; and 4-8-2 03.12, with ex-DR Class 42 16.27 “on the subs. bench” only because it is probably more of interest to German enthusiasts than British.
As always, ample time will be allowed for photo-stops and run-pasts, which will be managed by Bulgarian enthusiast-guides like Assen Stoyanov – who managed the British 2011 tour, and who has kindly agreed to lead our tour again this year – very familiar with the topography of the Bulgarian railways, and have excellent communications with the loco. drivers, who are also experienced in operating this type of tour.
The exact tour price is still to be calculated (our current estimate is above) and will be confirmed a.s.a.p., but it will include half-board (dinner, bed and breakfast) en-suite accommodation in 4 Star hotels on a twin share basis, and lunch boxes daily. Single room supplement also t.b.a. The tour will be fully escorted throughout as mentioned above.
A German group visited Bulgaria in October 2022 with considerable success, and we expect our Spring 2023 tour – in both its versions – to be even more memorable!
Please keep an eye on these pages which will be updated as news comes in – a detailed itinerary for both versions of the tour will be added in the next few days. And you are very welcome to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can update you individually as to progress of the tour.