A few days ago, I decided to brave the subzero Bulgarian winter to go and check out a nearby train station – abandoned and out of use for more than two decades now.
This particular town in the Balkans used to be part of a well-connected rail network – the Soviet Union used many of its smaller satellite states for providing cheap industry and labour, and Bulgaria was no different. In this town, there used to be a massive Soviet glass factory… the raw sand required was delivered by trains that ran straight from the Black Sea beaches. I wrote about the factory itself in an earlier report, here: http://talkurbex.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=9263
This all came to an end in 1989. In the last days of the Soviet Union, many of these state facilities began to crumble, and in Bulgaria the railway network was considerably downsized as the nation entered an economic crisis.
It was hard work getting to the train station in so much heavy snow, but once there getting inside was easy – the main foyer featured large glass windows on both sides, and there were several panes which had been smashed, or were missing altogether. A bigger concern was staying out of sight from the road once inside…
One end of the building featured the remains of a kitchen, and here the decay was most apparent – there was an amazing effect created by the paint peeling away from walls, so thick it almost looked like fur. Patches of moss growing on the ceiling brought in a rich shade of green, while the afternoon sun was at the perfect angle – reflecting across the snow outside, and casting long, dramatic shadows through the interior of the building.
There were three floors to explore here – the ground floor featured a series of glass-walled waiting halls and ticket booths, while a series of steps led down from the kitchen area to a basement level. This was mostly divided up into storerooms… and filled with bottles, crates and the chairs that had been stripped from the waiting room above.
At the opposite end of the building from the kitchen, the staff area of the rail station featured a series of offices and lounges. I reached this area by climbing under a broken glass panel, and it was amazing just how much had been left behind here – books, blueprints, telephones and switchboards, all left gathering dust for 23 years.
The first floor of the station was similarly cluttered with trinkets and personal effects, and looked as though it had served as residential quarters for the station master.
Heading out onto the station platform, I crossed over the snow-covered tracks. One of the lines ended in a loading bay, with two massive, rail-mounted gantry cranes. Naturally, I couldn’t resist climbing up to have a look…
The cranes were rusted so bad, that in places my foot went straight through the metal gantry! Pretty scary stuff, but well worth it for the views from the top platform.
I found this site truly beautiful to explore – so decayed, and yet without a touch of human interference. No vandalism, no litter, no graffiti, just the very natural effect of the years. I really hope I’ve managed to do it justice with my photos. If you want to see any more, check ‘em out here: http://www.thebohemianblog.com/2012/12/urban-exploration-end-of-line-bulgaria.html