1st Istanbul International Geography Congress Proceedings Book
The railway ifrastructure of Bulgaria in the context of Balkan integrationAtanas Dermendzhıev, Martin Doykov
At the beginning of the 21st century—the era of communication—the role of transportation systems in the development of states began increasing, particularly in the Balkan states, which are situated on a crossroads between Central and Western Europe and the Middle East. However, the need for improved transit must be balanced with the need to safeguard nature by decreasing pollution and using alternative energy resources. The European Union (EU) is attempting to transfer freight from roads to water and rail systems, which are more efficient, thereby leading to an increased importance for rail transport that is becoming the basis of a combined approach toward transportation. The present research explores the significance of rail transport for the EU and its place in relation to other modes of transport as well as the development of the Bulgarian rail system in brief, its connections with the systems of neighboring Balkan countries as part of the Pan-European transport corridors, and views on the development of intermodal transport in the Balkan region, with a focus on container transport.