The narrow-gauge railway Septemvri-Dobrinishte marks 75 years

75 years ago today, on December 9, 1945, the narrow-gauge railway reaches Dobrinishte - the last station of the picturesque rail route connecting the town with the cities of Bansko and Septemvri.

"Rhodope" train on departure from Septemvri station / Photo: Christian Vaklinov

These last 6 kilometers of the 125-kilometer route were built in two years, with an active voluntary part from the entire population of Dobrinishte, driven by the desire to be connected with the rest of the country by rail.

In recent years, there has been steadily growing tourist interest to the unique railway. In view of development of the narrow-gauge railway, in 2020 Bulgarian State Railways started a modernization project for over 4 million BGN, including overhaul of some of the locomotives and renovation-upgrade of two of the carriages to rail buffets. Also, one steam locomotive and two retro carriages are kept in operation, for the organization of special attraction trips.

"Rhodope" train upon its arrival at Avramovo station / Photo: Ali Marekov

The Septemvri-Dobrinishte railway is defined as a marvel of engineering thought and an architectural masterpiece, and in early 2020 is appointed by "Guardian" as one of the 10 Europe’s best sightseeing train journeys.

"Rhodope" train after its arrival at Dobrinishte station / Photo: Pavlin Karabelov