The Bulgarian cities of Plovdiv and Asenovgrad have announced the creation of a rail connection with 14 stations between Plovdiv and Asenovgrad main stations. This link is the first step of a light rail network in Plovdiv’s metropolitan area. The network will be the first of its kind in Bulgaria and strengthens the role of the Plovdiv central rail stations as a multimodal hub for the area.
Many workers and students commute between Asenovgrad and Plovdiv, a lot with the destination of Plovdiv’s industrial district. Both cities expect a modal shift to public transport use by the new project offering low-cost and quick commutes. Today, a trip between the approximately 20 km distant city centres takes double the time by public transport than by car.
Project costs are estimated at EUR 125million with major funding from European Cohesion Policy through the Transport and Connectivity Programme, Connecting Europe Facility and the European Recovery and Resilience Programme. The project makes use of raised rail connections and fits tracks to meet speeds of up to 160 km/h.
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Article published first at TheMAYOR.eu on 10 March 2023.