The Bulgarian rail transport sector is one of the major and very important transport sectors of Bulgaria.
The transport strategy of MOTC (Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications), BDZ Ltd.- (Bulgarian Railways) and The NSRI (National State Railways Infrastructure Ltd.) is to develop the upgrading and modernisation of the main railway line elements of Trans-European Railways and Combined Transport corridors crossing the territory of Bulgaria, to increase railway traffic and to improve operational conditions. The process of restructuring and progress of the two new railway companies needed a high level of educated specialists in management, control and operations for these activities.
The part of the high education of the new generation of specialists in all railway disciplines and the development of the rail research programme has been carried out in the Higher Transport School 'Todor Kableshkov', Sofia. This type of programme included scientific, theoretical and technological tasks, the increasing of knowledge base and specialisation in all sub-sectors of the control, operation and management in the railways, under the EU standards and requirements.
The main objectives of the Programme of science & research activities in rail transport and transport science are:
- To introduce the new knowledge and technologies needed to design, construct and develop the infrastructure and exploitation services;
- To increase the qualification of railway specialists;
- To increase the competitiveness of railway services;
- To support the development of reorganisation and modernisation in sector;
- To help the implementation of EU railway policy in Bulgaria in process of future integration.
The programme covered the sub-tasks in all main railways sectors in reference with the education programme in Higher School of Transport. The research included 36 subtasks in the following areas:
- Railway equipment and installations;
- Operation planning and technical specifications;
- Track, bridges, tunnels and others structures- planning, design, international standards, etc.;
- Power supply;
- Interlocking systems;
- Traffic management of interlocking and overhead catenary systems;
- Traffic forecast with the intelligent methods.
The programme aims to improve and develop the research and technological level of the Bulgarian railways, to support reorganisation and modernisation in the sector.
Public funds from MES and BDZ. MES - Their amounts to approximately EUR 25 000 per year.