Rail manufacturer Stadler will see its trains rolled out in Bulgaria for the first time after signing an order with the country’s Ministry of Transport and Communications for up to 10 KISS double-decker trains. 

The contract covers an initial order for seven of the electric trains with options for a further three rolling stock as well as 15 years of maintenance and staff training. 

Philipp Brunner, vice president of the Central Europe division for Stadler, said: “The vehicles set new standards in terms of performance, reliability, safety, comfort and state-of-the-art technology. 

“We are convinced that they will make a significant contribution to improving public transport in Bulgaria. We also hope to continue the partnership we have started with further rail vehicle replacement projects in Bulgaria.” 

The double-decker trains have a capacity of at least 300 seats and are capable of speeds up to 160 km/h, they will be manufactured at Stadler’s factory in Siedlce, Poland for deliveries set to begin within 26 months. 

The deal is part of Bulgaria’s recent efforts to upgrade its rail infrastructure after years of stagnation and a lack of investment, while the two parties did not disclose where the new trains will be used, it is likely they will enter the fleet of state rail operator BDZ, which also signed an order with Siemens last year for 10 Smartron locomotives

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Transport and Communications Minister Georgi Gvozdeykov described the importance of the order, he said: “We will not only significantly improve the comfort of rail transport for our passengers, but above all make a significant contribution to the realisation of current sustainable mobility goals. 

“This is currently an extremely important challenge for European countries.” 

The deal with Bulgaria’s government will bring Stadler’s international footprint to 48 countries, further expanding its reach after other recent notable deals such as its first order in the Gulf Cooperation Council region signed in February with Saudi Arabia Railways.