Regular readers will know that one of my favourite train rides in the Balkans is the narrow-gauge railway from Septemvri to Bansko and Dobrinishte, in the mountains of southwestern Bulgaria. You can find a short description in my page about scenic railways in the Balkans.
I've just come across a much more detailed account of a journey on this line by Andrew Grantham, who did the trip in June 2006. It's a few years now since I was there myself, so I was glad to read that most things remain the same, including the women in brightly-patterned dresses who get on and off at some of the most remote halts.
I hadn't realised until reading this aricle that there was once another narrow-gauge railway connecting Rila monastery with the main Sofia-Thessaloniki line. Apparently it closed in the 1960s. As Andrew says, if it had survived it might now be a popular tourist route.
Some up to date information about the narrow gauge line Septemvri-Dobrinishte:
Thanks for that update - I have added a new blog post about the summer 2012 closure.
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