China steams to the rescue for Bulgaria's creaking railways

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Cherepish -"Granny Bear" has proved a big hit in Bulgaria since the 1930s steam train returned from retirement, chugging day-trippers through stunning scenery from Sofia to the Cherepish Monastery.

"She is super, the engine, I like it better than a modern one!" said an excited Dimitar Kirilov, 12, taking the trip on the "Baba Metsa" train with his grandparents.

A particular attraction is the luxury carriage used by Bulgaria's former king, Boris III (1918-1943). "So elegant and modest," gushed Rada Gancheva, 58.

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