"Modernization of Traction Substations Vratsa and Pernik located on the Orient/East-Med Core Network Corridor"


The Action is an integral part of Bulgarian railway axis Vidin-Sofia-Kulata (Orient/EastMed Core Network Corridor) and is part of two Global Projects, located on adjacent sections: 1) “Modernization of the railway line “Vidin-Sofia” and 2) “Modernization of the railway line Sofia-Pernik-Radomir”. Vratsa Traction Substation is located on the railway alignment between Vidin and Sofia and Pernik Traction Substation is located on the railway alignment Sofia-Pernik-Radomir.


CEF Transport financing: € 12, 189, 968

State budget(s): €  2, 151, 171

Total: € 14, 341, 139

The main objective of the two Global Projects is to ensure smooth accessibility and connectivity of the Bulgarian railway section of the Orient/East-Med Core Network Corridor, by removal of existing bottlenecks and by reducing infrastructure quality gaps for long-distance railway freight and passenger traffic. Thus interoperability, safety and security requirements at EU level will be covered, which will ensure quality, efficiency and sustainability of the railway transport services. The specific objectives of two global projects include:

  • integration of the Bulgarian railway transport within the European Transport Network;
  • increase of modal shift from road to rail that will reduce the overall negative impact of transport on environment;
  • set up suitable conditions for increasing the volume of freights to be transported by rail;
  • development of transport infrastructure along the TEN-T Network by improvement of rail infrastructure capacity along the Orient/East-Med Core Network Corridor.

The Action aims at modernizing the outdated (more than 40 years old) traction substations (TSS) Vratsa and Pernik, which do not meet any more the technical and safety requirements. Both substations are located along the pre-identified section Vidin - Sofia - Burgas/TR border Sofia Thessaloniki - Athína/Piraeus on the Orient/East Med core TEN-T railway corridor. The proposed Action is part of two Global Projects covering the modernization of railway line Vidin-Sofia and modernization of Sofia-Pernik-Radomir railway line on the same corridor referred above.

In more detail the Action envisages the renovation of the technical equipment and related buildings of the two traction substations, replacement of old equipment and facilities with new high-efficient ones, modernization of the adjacent sectioning locations for both traction substations, substitution of stationary disconnect switches in the area of Vratsa TSS and providing opportunities for tele-control and telecommunication and functioning without on-call personnel by introduction of Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) for both traction substations, the adjacent sectioning locations and stationary disconnect switches.

Activities description:

Activity 1: Execution of works

This activity aims at modernisation of Vratsa and Pernik TSSs and their adjacent components, which are part of railway infrastructure in order to ensure interoperability in terms of “Energy” subsystem. Activity 1 will be implemented by two contractors selected under open tender procedures, according to the Bulgarian Public Procurement Act and in compliance with Directive 2014/24/EU and Directive 2014/25/EU.

The first contractor will be responsible for the following tasks: modernization of Traction Substation Vratsa (TSS), the adjacent sectioning locations Moravitsa and Krivodol, replacement of stationary disconnect switches in Moravitsa Stop, Ruska Byala, Vratsa, Beli Izvor and Krivodol Railway Stations, as well as construction of system for telecontrol and telesignalling /SCADA/ and connecting the TSS Vratsa, the sectioning locations and stationary disconnect switches thereto, commissioning with a Use permit.

The second contractor will be responsible for the following tasks: modernization of Traction Substation Pernik (TSS), the adjacent sectioning location Gulubnik and construction and their integration into system for telecontrol and telesignalling /SCADA/. The contractor will be responsible for the preparation of the Detailed Design and its coordination and approval by the relevant authorities to obtain a building permit. The modernization works will include construction of a new open distribution system 110 kV, a new closed distribution system 25 kV, replacement of unreliable high and medium voltage switchgear, etc. The modernised TSS will be constructed and put into operation in accordance with the Spatial Development Act.

This Activity will be implemented through three sub-activities:

  • Sub-activity 1.1 Approval of Detailed Designs for modernization of the technical equipment buildings of TSS Vratsa, adjacent sectioning locations Moravitsa and Krivodol, TSS Pernik and adjacent sectioning location Gulubnik;
  • Sub-Activity 1.2. Construction works, Dismantling, Delivery and Replacement of Equipment and Facilities for the TSSs and adjacent railway infrastructure components;
  • Sub-activity 1.3. Interoperability Assessment.


Activity 2: Works supervision and compliance assessment

This activity aims to perform compliance assessment of the construction works performed with the essential requirements for designs and construction, according to the Bulgarian Spatial Development Act (SDA) and supervise construction works under Activity 1. Two external consultants selected following open procurement procedures will implement this Activity. The activity will be implemented for each of the TSSs and the adjacent railway infrastructure components by the selected contractors. They will be responsible for monitoring and control of the construction works. The responsibilities of selected contractors include:

  • Preparation of Act 2A for opening of construction sites and Order Book;
  • Monitoring and control of the construction documents: Acts and Records;
  • Monitoring and control of used construction materials;
  • Monitoring and control of health and safety requirements during construction works;
  • Prevention of damages to third persons and properties during construction works;
  • Preparation and registration of Technical passports for the constructions;
  • Preparation of Final Reports, as stipulated in the Spatial Development Act.

Activity 3: Communication and Project Management

This Activity is cross-cutting and will be implemented by the beneficiary through two sub-activities together with external experts selected through an open tendering procedure.

  • Sub-Activity 3.1 Project Management - this Sub-Activity foresees to ensure the day-to-day management and coordination of implementation of the Action and will carry out the information and communication activities. The Project Management and Implementation Unit (PMIU) is established in the National Railway Infrastructure Company (NRIC) and it will be responsible for the project management and coordination, tendering procedures, financial management, monitoring, internal quality control, reporting. The PMIU consists of internal experts who will work full time throughout the project duration and will report their working time by means of reports. The PMIU team will be supported with specific experience by the relevant departments of NRIC and with external contractors to be contracted following the national and the EU public procurement law. The beneficiary (NRIC) and the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications (MTITC) have a bilateral system for the management and implementation of projects financed by the EU, which will also apply to the Action. The Coordination of Programmes and Projects Directorate within the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications (MTITC) will be responsible for ensuring the efficiency and correctness, as a competent body of the Member State. The Ministry will be responsible for certification of Action Status Reports to certify that the reports are full, reliable and true within the implementation of operations co-financed by the CEF. The management and control is performed by the NRIC’s Project management board (PMB). This board consists of the Deputy Director General "Strategy and Administration", the Deputy Director General "Operation", the Director of the Directorate "Strategic Development and Investment Projects". The main responsibility of the board is setting out strategic objectives, planning, organizing, leading and controlling the implementation of the Action at the highest level in NRIC.
  • Sub-Activity 3.2 Communication - this Activity covers the communication and dissemination activities and the necessary publicity measures in accordance with the requirements of Regulation 1303/2013, Regulation 1316/2013 and CEF rules for publicity measures. The plans for information and publicity of the project will be approved and supervised by the beneficiary. This sub-activity will be implemented by the Beneficiary, the works contractor under Activity 1 and a separate contractor designated to this sub-activity and selected under the public procurement procedure.



Headquarters, Bulgaria,

Sofia 1233 bul. ”Knyaginya Mariya Luiza” 110

E-mail: office@rail-infra.bg