Provisional programme for late April/early May, 2023
This tour was to combine what is left of the best of what we did in 2007 in the former Jugoslavia; with the Bulgarian tour of 2011, both in association with the LCGB., but unfortunately there are not enough working steam locos in Jugoslavia currently to make a viable tour. On the other hand, 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 Spring 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.)
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 April; recently completed is 0-8-0 26.26, a Prussian G7 looking splendid; other possible performers could be 2-8-2 01.23; 4-8-2 03.12 and 4-6-2 05.01, with DR Class 42 “on the subs. bench” only because it is probably more of interest to German enthusiasts than British.
Information about locomotive availability for the trip will be updated closer to the time, and as always ample time will be allowed for photo-stops and run-pasts, which will be managed by Bulgarian enthusiast-guides who are 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 tour price is still to be calculated, and will be published a.s.a.p., but it will include return flights from London ; and half-board (dinner, bed and breakfast) en-suite accommodation superior hotels in the hotels on a twin share basis. Single room supplement also t.b.a. The tour will be fully escorted throughout.
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. And you are more than welcome to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can update you individually as to progress of the tour.