The Bulgarian National Railway – the BDZ, has announced that they intend to launch a public tender for the supply of new railcars this autumn. Currently, a team of experts, including university consultants and specialists from the BDZ, are defining the technical parameters of the railcars to be purchased.

The award of the contract is expected one year after the start of the tender and the lead-time for manufacturing and supply of the railcars is estimated to be 24 months.

Under the new Public Procurement Act of Bulgaria, contracting authorities are now formally allowed to conduct prior market consultations. The BDZ has not announced such intentions, but the proper time for market consultations with potential suppliers is now. Pre-tender market consultations are a legitimate tool that should help contracting authorities prepare their tender and provide accurate technical requirements, avoid technical mistakes and unreasonable tender/contractual requirements, and mitigate the risk of unnecessary delays and appeals.