Engineer Valentin Kanchev, director of Management of Train Traffic and Network Capacity Unit at the National Railway Infrastructure Company, in an interview with FOCUS News Agency
FOCUS: Mr. Kanchev, a new control center for the railway line between the southern cities of Plovdiv and Svilengrad will be opened. Will this be the most modern control center built by the National Railway Infrastructure Company?
Valentin Kanchev: Yes, the newest and most modern chief control center will be opened tomorrow. The systems for signaling and communication of the railway line is designed and constructed by Thales-Alcatel-Lucent consortium. The chief control center has a system and facilities for centralized management of the trains running on the Plovdiv-Svilengrad railway line. In this way the whole traffic along the line can be managed from one post. The old relay-operated equipment is replaced by a microprocessor system, which makes it possible to manage all objects along the line distantly, name the railway stations Katunitsa, Popovitsa, Karadzhalovo, Yabalkovo, Dimitrovgrad. The system makes it possible to make a program for automatic ordering of train maneuver routes. In addition, the system makes it possible to switch off the contact network from a distance, in case of an accident.
FOCUS: How long has the center been under construction?
Valentin Kanchev: About two years.
FOCUS: What European model does the National Railway Infrastructure Company use for the center in the city of Plovdiv?
Valentin Kanchev: Essential solutions are used, such as the first in Bulgaria computer centralization for managing automation at a railway station, railway signaling equipment, ETCS Level 1 (European Train Control System), integrated telecommunication solutions. The experience of Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Hungary was used. The consortium implemented projects there.
FOCUS: How will the new control center improve customer services and train safety?
Valentin Kanchev: Customer services will improve through the information system for receiving information on time. Electronic information boards in waiting rooms and at railway platforms give information about the movement of a train, its making up or delays. In addition, the new system enables carriers to monitor the movement of their trains. The main goal and priority task is to guarantee the safest possible functioning of the systems without a safety risk for passengers. The equipment has the highest safety level, in accordance with the European standards.
FOCUS: How will you train your staff to work with the more modern equipment?
Valentin Kanchev: The staff of the National Railway Infrastructure Company underwent training and took a test. Certificates about preparedness to work with the new modern equipment were issued.