The European Commission said on Thursday that it has approved 293 million euro ($331 million) in Cohesion Fund financing for an upgrade of a 293-km railway connecting Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city, to Burgas, on the Black Sea coast."Thanks to this EU-funded project, Bulgarian people will enjoy shorter travel time and increased safety. Because this project promotes clean mobility in the country, they will also ultimately benefit from better air quality," Corina Cretu, commissioner for regional policy, said in a statement. The project will reduce travel time for both passenger and freight transport by 40 minutes, as trains will be able to reach speeds between 130 and 160 km/h. The project also envisages improvements to safety through new signalling and telecommunications systems, as well as the replacement of the existing level crossings by 29 overpasses, a pedestrian bridge and an underpass. The Plovdiv-Burgas railway section is part of the Orient/East Med corridor of the trans-European transport network, connecting Central and Southeast Europe.