The International Steam Pages

Steam in Bulgaria, Sofia Locomotive Depot, May 2015

Clive Hepworth writes of a country which is increasingly popular for railtours.

Permission to visit on 20th May 2015 was readily secured for 12lev (ca GBP 4.50) from the central Sofia office of BDZ's marketing department. In complete contrast to neighbouring Croatia and Serbia, the marketing department of. Bulgarian Railways enthusiastically promote their "Retro-rail Tours" using the active steam stock.

Stepping into the workshops of Sofia locoshed was a bit like stepping back in time to Darlington or Swindon in the early 1960s! Locomotives were lined up for repair or servicing along the traverser as the photos show.

Two locomotives seem to be the next for restoration.

First, 0-8-2T 48.04, one of only 3 Bulgarian-built locomotives and dating from 1949.

Second, 0-8-0 26.26 (Henschel 9071/1908).

This is 2-8-2 01.23:

This shows the 2 "supertanks"! 46.03 on the left and 36.10 on the right.

The 4 operational locomotives are lined up left to right viewed from the traverser. 2-8-4T 36.10 (Krupp in 1943), the huge 2-12-4T 46.03 (Cegielski,Poznan in 1931), 4-6-2 05.01 (Krupp ca 1941) and 2-8-2 01.23 (SLM 3593/1935).

Dumped in the shed yard and almost overgrown by vegetation is an 0-10-0 probably a 49 class built in 1917 by BMAG or Hanomag.

The station is undergoing major redevelopment and so the 600mm gauge 0-8-0T 2479 and coach now stand in the entrance of the locomotive shed. but 0-6-0T 47.05 (Maffai 2133/1900) is still plinthed at the station.

Rob Dickinson