If you’re a fan of traveling by train and have always dreamed of feeling like a real king, give yourself a trip by vintage train. On April 8th you can reach with the retro carriage Kyustendil, and on April 9th – Cherepish. The prices are also royal compared to ordinary travel by train in Bulgaria, but tickets are already nearly sold out. You have to pay 43 leva /approximately 21 euro/ for a voyage to Kyustendil and 31 leva /approximately 15 euro/ to Chеrepish.
However, you can enjoy the most powerful steam locomotive in Europe, affectionately called Grandma Bear. It weighs 150 tons. The arrangement of its wheels makes it unique in the world. The locomotive was designed by Bulgarian engineers and was built at a Polish plant in 1931.
For three years on it, worked as a stoker the famous Bulgarian poet Nikola Vaptsarov. In the dark, cramped room where he had labored still is kept his payroll. So you can see his salary for the hard work – 1680 old leva. The machine is recovered from the train driver Angel Alexiev. Currently, three people ride the train. One is throwing coal into the furnace, the second is watching the next devices, and the third is actually driving. For just one journey of stoker can throw up to 10 tons of coal.
After years of negotiations and good wishes, finally, the Ministry of Tourism and the Bulgarian Railways unite for a common program to bind journey experience after arrival. Nowadays most of the steam locomotives and retro carriages are enjoyed foreigners who are willing to pay about four or five times more than the traditional week-long vacation to experience the thrill ride. BDZ is preparing to mobilize all its historic steam engines, and fans traveling by train will be able to make a collection of tickets from them all.