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09 May 11

Turkey, Bulgaria Plan Bullet Train Connection

Bulgaria and Turkey are planning the launch of a bullet train between Sofia and Edirne, according to the director general of the Turkish State Railways.

Novinite (Sofia News Agency)

Suleyman Karaman, who is also the chairman of the Board of the Turkish Railways, told Bulgarian National Radio that transport ministers of the two countries recently held talks on the project, saying Turkey is ready to go forward with the project and is waiting for the Bulgarian side.

"Bulgarians are making efforts according to their possibilities. We insist on the realization of the project as soon as possible, because the high-speed train will facilitate transport between Turkey and Europe," Karaman said.

The Turkish railways chief explained that the two sides hope to complete the line within the next five years, pointing out that the bullet train launch between Edirne and Istanbul is coming in the very near future, by the end of 2011, with two thirds of the 280-km railroad already finished. The railroad will be used for both passenger and cargo trains.

The proposed Edirne-Sofia line is part of Turkey's ambitious project to have a direct railway connection between Central Europe, Turkey and the Middle East.

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