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Bulgaria – Spring 2024 – 2 versions, for “classic traction” fans, and for steam enthusiasts

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  • Duration: 5 Days (Classic traction version) May 18th – 22nd; 4 days (steam version) May 21st – 24th with possible extension. 
  • Location: Europe
  • Available Seat: 55 (Classic modern traction version); 40 (steam version)
  • Price: £1,499 Classic traction version; steam tour, £1,999; both excl. flights, of which there are many options – prices will depend on when booked, but a ball-park figure would be c £250 return London area – Sofia. Indirect flights from UK regional airports also available – details upon request. Single room supplements – “Classic Traction” tour £98; “Steam” tour £63 

All details of both Classic Traction and Steam tours are currently being reviewed – deposit (for either version of the tour) will be £300 per person; final confirmation of tour operation should be posted November/December 2023


Provisional programme – CLICK ON LINKS BELOW

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 Spring weather!

One highlight of the trip will be the use of the narrow gauge 2-10-2 tank, 609.76, on part of the mountainous Septemvri system. Modern traction adherents will also travel behind the Henschel n.g. diesels originally built 1965 and still operating on that n.g. system (click here for more information on them), 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 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 may 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 next May (its test run is due for mid-Summer); recently completed is 0-8-0 26.26, a Prussian G7 looking splendid; other performers will be 2-8-2 01.23 or 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 3/4 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 late Spring 2024 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 – preliminary detailed itineraries for both versions of the tour can be found below left.  There is also a booking/ registration form, which enables you to secure your place, and prompts us to keep you updated  as to progress of the tour; or you can simply email us on info@enthusiasthols.com 

Click here for  the full Steam Tour itinerary 

Click here for the full Classic Traction tour itinerary

Click here for Reservation/Booking Form

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