updated on 6th Feb 2020 21:18 posted on 22nd Dec 2019 19:10
The scope of the contract covering 22 Class 10 Desiro Classic DMUs and 24 Class 30 and 31 Desiro Classic EMUs (in total 126 cars) includes full maintenance services, consisting of preventive and corrective maintenance as well as overhauls of these trains. Gabriel Stanciu, Managing Director for Alstom in Romania, Bulgaria and Republic of Moldova, said: „This contract builds on our unique expertise in maintenance of non-Alstom trains, like our 15-year contract for the Bucharest metro trains and other maintenance projects worldwide. This is our first contract in Bulgaria. We have started the preliminary preparations in order to be able to provide maintenance.“
The contract stipulates that during the first six months after its signing, Alstom will prepare all the work necessary for the planned repairs, following which it will start the overhaul of several Desiro DMUs, which have been a long time withdrawn from operation on account of their very poor condition. BDZ stated that once all the 46 Desiro Classics have been repaired, they are to be operated reliably for the next ten years.
This contract should therefore ensure the reliability of these trains, which still represent the most modern vehicles in the BDZ PP fleet, the latter suffering from insufficient maintenance due to lack of finance. It is to note that the BDZ Desiro Classics were manufactured by Siemens, at its Krefeld works, namely 25 two-car Class 10 DMUs in 2005 and 25 EMUs in 2007 - 08, divided into 15 three-car Class 30 and ten four-car Class 31 trains.
Preparations for the BDZ's new contract for the Desiro Classic maintenance were carried out since 2017, one of those interested in maintenance of DMUs being Expres Servis Ruse, which maintains locomotives of many private railway operators in Bulgaria. As regards EMUs, there was an 11-year contract for their maintenance from 2008 between BDZ and Siemens, which was terminated this year.
We asked Alstom for following detail:
- will Alstom use the BDZ workers for the Desiro maintenance? (if yes, how many % will be participating there?). In which depot(s) the maintenance and repairs will be realised?
On 22 December 2019 we received following Alstom answer: "Alstom has participated in an open tender for the BDZ maintenance project and the selection process took over two years and a half to finalise. We are very proud and happy that the client entrusted us with this task, as Alstom has an unparalleled expertise in rolling stock maintenance for all types of trains. The company will perform maintenance works in Sofia and Varna, once all the logistical details are in place. We will keep the public opinion informed about any major project developments. Regarding your other questions they should be addressed to BDZ."
In late January 2020 we received BDZ answers: "Talks are currently underway to provide the halls of BDZ for repairs of these trains. The use of BDZ staff in the agreed processes is also under negotiation."
- how will be organised the payment of the 70 million EUR, when, as well known, BDZ suffers from lack of money?
BDZ answered: "BDZ is a financially secured company and the funds are planned in our budget. Payment will be divided within the five-year contract period."
- does Alstom have any specific target for the maintenance, like to enhance the reliability and disponibility of the Desiros? What is the level of these parameters now? And what is the new level expected/required?
BDZ answered only partially: „It is planned to restore several Desiros that have not been in operation for a long time on account of their extremely poor condition. Once the repairs of the 46 trains incorporated in the procedure will be completed, they will be operated smoothly for the next 10 years. Currently, most of the Desiros available require general overhaul (R1 and IS 600) and a routine maintenance. Repairs include the replacement and upgrading of technical elements and electronic systems.“