Rhodope narrow railway train. Timetable, tickets, prices

A term «narrow railway» is directly related to the width of track gauge. In Bulgaria this type of railway is called a «tight ruler» (теснолинейка). Narrow railway is easier to build and cheaper to operate. The space between the rails in the Rhodope narrow gauge is only 760 mm, while the standard track size is 1520 mm. «Septemvri — Dobrinishte» is a last part of an old narrow gauge in Bulgaria.

Route passes through the Rila and Rhodope Mountains, offering to passengers a scenic view of meadows, villages and gorges. Travel time, from the first station to the last one is only a 5 hours. Rhodope narrow gauge railway was built during the war years, step by step, between 1921 — 1944. Some parts of the road was closed in 2003.

Fare is not high, price is calculated per kilometer and depends on the start and end points of the trip. Children under 6 years can travel for free. Students, pensioners and children, older than 7 years are given a discount of 50% (but special discount card is required).

Bulgarian narrow railway cash desk

Bulgarian Narrow Gauge route on the Google map

Map symbols:

  • Station
  • Stop
  • Closed station
  • Roadside facility
  • Functioning railway
  • Closed railway
  • Bridge / Overpass
  • Tunnel

Tickets can be purchased at the station, right before the trip, but no later than 5 minutes before the departure. If you take a train on a terminal without cash desk, ticket will be sold in a wagon. Online purchase is available on the official Bulgarian Railways website (https://bdztickets.com). Also, tickets can be bought at the regular railway cash office.

The cost of travel

Smoking is prohibited in the train

Price of the entire route from Septemvri to Dobrinishte is 6.50 BGN (2,98 GBP). A round-trip ticket costs 11.70 BGN (5,37 GBP).

route one way roundtrip
Septemvri — Bansko 6,10 BGN 10,50 BGN
Septemvri - Dobrinishte 6,50 BGN 11,70 BGN
Septemvry - Velingrad 2,70 BGN 4,90 BGN
Velingrad — Bansko 4,20 BGN 7,60 BGN
Sofia — Velingrad 8,20 BGN 14,00 BGN
Sofia — Dobrinishte 11,30 BGN 19,60 BGN
Burgas — Dobrinishte 21,50 BGN 37,35 BGN
Plovdiv — Dobrinishte 9,50 BGN 16,30 BGN

Rhodope Narrow Gauge ticket prices

By the way, Bulgarian Railways additionally offers an excursion in old retro-wagon, but the cost of such trip is much higher, than a regular and requires a special booking. Here are contacts for the request: e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +359 889 915 863.

Schedule

Rhodope Narrow Gauge railway works daily, 4 trains leave in each direction. The timetable is the same every day.

From Dobrinishte to Septemvri

Station Cash desk Dep. arr.. Dep. arr.. Dep. arr.. Dep. arr..
Septemvri 02:20 08:45 12:25 16:25
Pamporovo 02:26 02:26 08:51 08:51 12:31 12:31 16:31 16:31
Varvara 02:31 02:34 08:56 08:59 12:36 12:40 16:35 16:38
Marco Nikolov 02:45 02:45 09:10 09:10 12:51 12:51 16:49 16:49
Tsepina 02:54 02:54 09:19 09:19 13:00 13:00 16:58 16:58
Dolene 03:10 03:11 09:36 09:37 13:15 13:16 17:14 17:15
Kostandovo 03:35 03:36 10:01 10:02 13:40 13:53 17:39 17:40
Velingrad 03:48 04:08 10:14 10:17 14:05 14:08 17:52 17:55
Velingrad-south 04:14 04:14 10:23 10:23 14:14 14:14 18:01 18:01
Ostrets 04:29 04:29 10:38 13:38 14:29 14:29 18:16 18:16
Tsvetino 04:39 04:40 10:48 10:49 14:39 14:42 18:26 18:27
St. Petka 04:49 04:49 10:58 13:58 14:51 14:51 18:36 18:36
Avramovo 05:11 05:16 11:19 11:22 15:13 15:16 18:57 19:00
Smolevo 05:26 05:26 11:31 11:31 15:25 15:25 19:09 19:09
Cherna Mesta 05:39 05:39 11:44 11:44 15:38 15:38 19:22 19:22
Yakorouda 05:50 05:53 11:55 11:57 15:49 15:51 19:33 19:34
Yurukovo 06:10 06:10 12:14 12:14 16:08 16:08 19:51 19:51
Dagonovo 06:15 06:15 12:18 12:18 16:12 16:12 19:56 19:56
Belitsa 06:25 06:38 12:28 12:31 16:22 16:24 20:06 20:09
General Kovachev 06:46 06:46 12:38 12:38 16:31 16:31 20:17 20:17
Guliyna Banya 06:57 06:57 12:49 12:49 16:42 16:42 20:28 20:28
Razlog 07:06 07:09 12:58 13:01 16:50 16:53 20:37 20:40
Bansko 07:17 07:28 13:09 13:19 17:01 17:08 20:48 20:58
Saint George 07:34 07:34 13:25 13:25 17:14 17:14 21:04 21:04
Dobrinishte 07:40 13:31 17:20 21:10
train name & number № 16101
«Vihren»
№ 16103
«Rodopi»
№ 16105
«Mesta»
№ 16103
«Rila»

Wagon interior in «Rodopi» train

From Septemvri to Dobrinishte

Station Cash desk Dep. arr.. Dep. arr.. Dep. arr.. Dep. arr..
Dobrinishte 05:38 10:20 14:15 17:50
Saint George 15:45 05:45 10:27 10:27 14:31 14:21 17:57 17:57
Bansko 05:51 05:56 10:33 10:38 14:27 14:32 18:03 18:08
Razlog 06:04 06:07 10:46 10:49 14:40 14:43 18:16 18:19
Guliyna Banya 06:16 06:16 10:58 10:58 14:52 14:52 18:28 18:28
General Kovachev 06:27 06:27 11:08 11:08 15:02 15:02 18:39 18:39
Belitsa 06:34 06:36 11:15 11:17 15:09 15:12 18:46 18:49
Dagonovo 06:46 06:46 11:27 11:27 15:22 15:22 18:59 18:59
Yurukovo 06:50 06:50 11:31 11:31 15:26 15:26 19:04 19:04
Yakorouda 06:50 06:50 11:48 11:58 15:43 15:53 19:21 19:36
Cherna Mesta 07:22 07:22 12:10 12:10 16:05 16:05 19:48 19:48
Smolevo 07:35 07:35 12:23 12:23 16:19 16:19 20:01 20:01
Avramovo 07:44 07:47 12:32 12:34 16:29 16:34 20:10 20:13
St. Petka 08:08 08:08 12:55 12:55 16:56 16:56 20:35 20:35
Tsvetino 08:17 08:18 13:03 13:04 17:05 17:10 20:43 20:41
Ostrets 08:28 08:28 13:44 13:44 17:20 17:20 20:54 20:54
Velingrad-south 08:43 08:43 13:29 13:29 17:35 17:35 21:09 21:09
Velingrad 08:48 08:51 13:34 13:37 17:41 17:56 21:14 21:19
Kostandovo 09:03 09:05 13:49 13:51 18:08 18:10 21:31 21:33
Dolene 09:28 09:39 14:14 14:15 18:33 18:34 21:56 21:57
Tsepina 09:55 09:56 14:30 14:30 18:50 18:50 22:13 22:13
Marco Nikolov 10:05 10:05 14:39 14:39 18:58 18:58 22:22 22:22
Varvara 10:15 10:19 14:49 14:51 19:08 19:10 22:32 22:34
Pamporovo 10:24 10:24 14:56 14:56 19:15 19:15 22:39 22:39
Septemvri 10:30 15:02 19:21 22:45
train name & number № 16101
«Vihren»
№ 16103
«Rodopi»
№ 16105
«Mesta»
№ 16103
«Rila»

What does the ticket look like?

Bulgarian Narrow Railway Features

The train length is quite short: at the head one red locomotive plus 4 small wagons. Unfortunately, the condition of railway stations does not hold water: everything is shabby, old and needs repair. However, some tourists believe it looks atmospheric. Wagons haven't any soundproofing, so the journey is quite noisy. Usually there aren't many people: some peaceful gypsies and Bulgarian «babushkas» with bagful.

The train moves at a snail's speed, so you'll have enough time to take a close look on the landscapes and photograph everything. There is a toilet, by the way, but no buffet or any opportunity to buy food, so take some in advance. The seats are soft, covered with fabric. Conductors, tired of endless journey, demonstrating some basic English.

If you are planning to travel till the final station «Dobrinishte», we would recomend you stay and visit hot mineral pool. Big local SPA complex «Аlpha» (Алфа) is open all year long, from 9.00 to 19.00, while the price is only 10 BGN (4,59 GBP) per person for the whole day.

So, we wish you a pleasant trip and hope to see you comments soon.

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