Narrow gauge railway Septemvri – Dobrinishte

The sole operational narrow gauge railway in Bulgaria, the Septemvri – Dobrinishte railway of BDZ, boasts a track width of 760mm. Covering a distance of 125 km from the initial to the terminal station, the journey takes around 5 hours at an average speed of 25 km/h. Serving as both a transportation option for local residents and a draw for tourists, this railway has also served as the backdrop for numerous historic films and videos.

Traversing from Septemvri (situated on the main road between Sofia and Plovdiv) to Dobrinishte via Velingrad, Yakoruda, Razlog, and Bansko, the route connects the western part of the Gornotrakiyska Valley with the Western Rodopi, Rila, and Pirin mountain ranges. Renowned for its challenging mountainous terrain, the Septemvri – Dobrinishte narrow gauge railway is often referred to as the Alpine Railway of the Balkans. The rugged landscape necessitates slow train speeds, with the Avramova station, positioned at 1267 meters above sea level, claiming the title of the highest railway station in the Balkans.

Constructed in multiple phases spanning from 1921 to 1945, this railway stretches across 125km, featuring a variety of man-made structures including bridges, tunnels, and spiral ascents.

As the sole narrow gauge railway in Bulgaria, it holds appeal for both domestic and international tourists. Notably, the shunting diesel engine with a hydraulic transmission system, designated as Henschel – 80 001.2, stands out as a unique feature on both national and international scales, albeit requiring repairs.

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