The International Steam Pages
Static Preserved Steam in Croatia (and Bosnia) 2011
See also Fabrice Lanoue's report from 2011.
Clive Hepworth visited in May 2015 and endorses what is written below and vouches for Tamara's enthusiasm and helpfulness. Through her Clive gained permission to visit the huge HZ Infrastruktura depot and yard to the south of the city where there are 7 locomotives that have been dumped/stored? for many years....some now being consumed by vegetation!
The picture shows the line up; 7 locomotives headed by JZ 2-6-2T 51.141, the others are Kreigsloks 33.161, 33.327 33.098 and 33.042 plus 2 class 11s 4-8-0s 059 and 062.
At Sisak is the most likely candidate for a working locomotive if HZ were ever to relax its steam ban, 22.047: Also at the shed are 22.031 and 62.128 and 22.101 is plinthed at the station
These are two more of the museum exhibits, blue 4-8-0 11.015 and USA tank 62-054.
Finally, a request from Tamara. 62-054 was supposedly built in the USA in 1942 but she has heard that this particular locomotive may have been assembled in the UK from spares/components shipped across the Atlantic. Did such a thing happen? She would be grateful for any information that might shed some light on its origins. The museum's website is http://muzej.hzinfra.hr/.
James Waite writes of a successful trip to Zagreb:
Here's the Croatia and Bosnia report, plus a loco list for the SPZ which may be of interest. Unlike all of the neighbouring countries Croatia doesn't have any working steam locos and doesn't allow steam locos from other countries to run on its tracks and so has a somewhat low profile amongst enthusiasts. A shame as the locos in the two museums at Zagreb are attractive and well-maintained and many of the country's plinthed locos are unusual and mostly in remarkably complete condition. Until recently the high air fares charged by Croatian Airlines for their flights from London have made it a prohibitively expensive destination but this has changed now that EasyJet and Wizz Air have started to fly there.
At the time I planned this trip my main objective was to visit JZ no. 80-81, the extraordinary 0-12-0T built by Krauss Munich in 1939 (works no. 15722), one of three locos which survive from the Slavonska Podravska Zeljeznica ("SPZ"). This was an extensive system which had always been metre gauge, unusual in a country where the 76cm gauge was the norm. It served the eastern part of Slavonia, Croatia's most easterly province, around 200kms from Zagreb. Mostly this is flat country though there's a range of hills to the south of Orahovica, one of the principal towns served by the line. No. 80-81 appears originally to have been built for a feeder line and spent at least a part of its time at a quarry in the hills near Orahovica. The railway was taken over by the JZ in 1946. Its final section, between Belisce and Osijek, closed in 1970 though the railway at Orahovica had closed several years earlier and no. 80-81 took up residence on a plinth in the town soon after. There was considerable fighting in the district during the Yugoslav civil war in the 1990's and I'd wondered for a long time whether the loco has survived. Happily it did and in recent years a large shelter has been erected to protect it. No doubt this has helped to keep it in good shape though it's not at all photogenic.
My plane was four hours late arriving at Zagreb on account of a technical fault. Met up with Neil Edwards, who'd arrived by train from Ljubljana earlier in the day and checked in at the Hotel Dora, run by the railway's catering operation. It's located just to the south of the station and overlooks the railway museum - useful, this, as Helena Bunijevac and Tamara Štefanac, the two ever-helpful ladies who run the museum arrive for work at 7.00am and were very happy for us to visit then. Sadly my late arrival precluded supper at most of the local eateries and we had to settle for MacDonalds next to the station - after visiting 0-6-0 no. 125-052 (Budapest 653/1894) which is plinthed in the station forecourt.
We arrived punctually for our museum visit - the photographic opportunities are probably best then before the sun moves round to the southern side of the locos as several of them are parked hard up against a line of trees on their southern side. Currently there are seven standard gauge locos plus a 600mm gauge 0-6-0T (Đuro Đacovic 207/1949), one of a large series of delightfully antiquated-looking machines for this late date. They must be amongst the last locos built to use outside Stephenson valve gear. I haven't managed to find out anything about its history, a regular problem, this, with Croatian locos as nothing much has ever been published about them. Most of the standard gauge locos are kept in good condition and clearly are repainted regularly. Tamara explained that the museum isn't officially open to the public, largely because she and Helena are responsible not only for the museum but also for many of the locos plinthed throughout the country and so they aren't always there. It's therefore essential to contact them in advance if you want to visit. (However, the email addresses given here before no longer worked by 21st October 2013.)
For the rest of the day we were joined by Toma Bacic, a very knowledgeable Croatian enthusiast, and set off promptly along the motorway to the east. First stop was at the site of a WW2 concentration camp at Jasenovac, right on the Bosnian border. 2-6-0 no. 20-184 (Rheinmetall 527/1922) is preserved here with a train of vans as a part of a memorial to the camp's victims. Next stop was the station at Pozega (not the same place as the town with the narrow gauge museum which is in Serbia) which is home to 2-6-2T no. 51-016 (Budapest 4904/1926), formerly MAV no. 375.966, one of many of these locos preserved throughout the country as well as elsewhere in the old Yugoslavia. This one is another of Helena's and Tamara's charges and is kept in superb condition.
It's a fairly short drive through the hills from Pozega to Orahovica where we soon found no. 80-81 in a park close to the town centre. It's certainly an unusual-looking machine with its twelve driving wheels spread throughout its length. It's fitted with Krauss-Helmholtz axles which, I suppose, make it an articulated! Next stop was at an old factory at Đurđenovac which is home to a 762mm gauge Jung 0-8-0T (11931/1953). It's one of eight of these locos which were supplied to Yugoslavia in the early 1950's along with quite a number of 0-4-0T's. The other seven 0-8-0T's all went to Bosnia. Of these no. 11930 is preserved at Donji Vakuf. They may have formed part of a concerted effort on the part of the western powers to woo the country into the western camp with aid after its break with the Soviet Union in 1949 as the 30 Decauville 0-6-0T's of which some survive at Vreoci were supplied in the same year. Despite having apparently been plinthed for many years it's still remarkably complete. Even its pressure gauge is intact. It's fitted with a standard gauge buffer beam at its front in addition to the usual narrow gauge coupler.
We then set off to search for a narrow gauge railway which served fishponds to the north of Nasice, not far away, which Toma remembered from a visit 15 or so years ago when he was a child. He wasn't confident that he would remember the way there though in fact we found it with no difficulty and to our great delight the railway was still in operation. What looked like a home-made 4-wheeled diesel, the railway's no. 1, was under repair under a set of sheerlegs with its engine lifted out. The manager seemed distinctly wary of letting us look around and wanted to know if we were from "the ministry". He couldn't offer any info about train movements. During a brief look round we found what looks like a purpose-built station with a 4-wheeled coach at the platform. We were heading off back to the car when no. 3 appeared from round a corner, crossed a bridge over a stream and a level crossing over the public road before stopping in what seemed to be the main unloading shed so that its crew could go off for lunch. A truly delightful rustic narrow gauge operation - long may it continue.
Next stop was at a large factory site at Belišće, home of the Belišće d.d. business which had been started by one S.H. Gutmann in 1890 to manufacture timber products though in recent years it's branched out into making paper products. It was one of the SPZ's main customers. Mr. Gutmann was laos responsible for the construction of the first railways which later became the SPZ. Here a complete SPZ train is preserved in excellent condition headed by 0-8-0T no. 50-58 (Krauss Munich 6699/1913), a very pretty loco. The line between Belišće and the large city of Osijek had been the last part of the SPZ in use. The factory had a large internal system with at least one loco acquired second hand from the SPZ, no. 33 "Gabor" which has been meticulously restored and is now an exhibit at the Zagreb Technical Museum. No. 50-58 are located well beyond the factory gate and I think you may well be refused permission to enter if you haven't set up the visit in advance.
We'd gone almost as far east as it's possible to go in this part of Croatia and headed back to the main east-west motorway. Our next stop was at Slavonski Brod, home of the Đuro Đakovic factory. Plinthed on the grass at the front of the complex are four of the factory's products, a Zagreb tramcar, a steam roller with a 1960 builder's plate (which, if accurate, would make it the world's youngest recorded steam roller) and two locos, 762mm gauge 0-8-2 no. 83-176 (ĐĐ 132/1949) and standard gauge no.51-142 built when the plant was known as the Slavonski Brod factory, their no. 43/1942. The plant celebrated its 90th anniversary on 17th February 2011. All four exhibits were refurbished for the occasion and were looking very smart indeed. They're located next to the public road and so there's no special need to obtain permission to visit them. Toma left us here to return by train to Zagreb after we'd stopped for a late lunch break close to the station. On the way back over the footbridge (which must rival the one at Clapham Junction for length!) we spotted 2-6-2 no. 22-077 stored in the running shed. Some of its insides were spread out alongside it so maybe it's going to be restored to working order - a very welcome development if this is the case.
Slavonski Brod is one of the main crossing points into Bosnia and just about the closest one to the Tuzla and Banovici area and it was tempting just to head off there. However, we had an appointment at Banja Luka works the following morning and so we resisted this temptation and headed west, stopping the night at Prijedor.
The main line through Prijedor was built in Ottoman times, has always been standard gauge and is the oldest railway in the country. In 1914 it became the junction for the 762mm gauge Steinbeisbahn which wound its way southwards through the mountains of western Bosnia, a steeply graded route which included a reversing station. It was built principally as a logging railway though it also functioned as a common carrier. For much of its working life it was home to several Mallet tank locos. In 1949, soon after it was taken over by the JZ, six powerful-looking 0-10-0 tender locos were built for the line by Skoda, works no's. 1932-7. They carried the same running numbers in the usual Yugoslav way for locos with an industrial background. The design wasn't new as Skoda had built a series of similar locos for the Panevezys system in Lithuania as their P5 class in 1934 but these disappeared many years ago. It's long been known that three of them survived, no. 1932 which now runs on the Třemešná ve Slezsku - Osoblaha line in the Czech Republic, no. 1934 at Prijedor and no. 1937 at the HQ building of the Republika Srpska railway at Doboj. Recently no. 1933 was found at Drvar and was moved to Banja Luka works for assessment for restoration to working order with a view to its use on the Visegrad-Mokra Gora-Sargan line. The director of the works, Mr. Vukovic Veljko, had invited us to visit the works to see it so we were up early tbe following morning and this visit became a focal point of the trip. We'd sussed out no. 1934 the previous evening and it was clear that it would be out of the sun for most of the day so got up at sunrise to photograph it. Next stop was the centre of Banja Luka to find Steinbeisbahn 0-4-4-0 Mallet tank no. 2 (O&K 892/1901). It's generally reported as being at an army museum which was puzzling as I couldn't find any reference to this on the internet. In fact it lives on the grass beside the Museum of the Republika Srpska, close to the town's ruined castle. It looks too long at the back, something it had in common with several of the railway's Mallets. I guess that the rear bunker must have been extended at some point of its career.
Next we headed for the works where we were treated to a second breakfast as well as sharing some slivovice with the senior staff - I'd guessed we wouldn't get far in the country without this heady brew, very much Bosnia's national drink, putting in an appearance! No. 1933 was stored outside and we were told that its restoration should begin this May and completion is planned for the spring of 2012. The prospect of this large machine hard at work on the grade up the Sargan 8 is distinctly mouthwatering! The works' current narrow gauge project is the reconstruction of is a JZ class 801 railcar originally built by Ganz in 1938. It was in use until the late 1960's and was retrieved from use as a shed at Pale in 2004. It's been gutted and is receiving a very thorough rebuild for use as a bar car on the Visegrad line, a process which unfortunately has involved the removal of the old driving cab. Still, the work is clearly being carried out to a very high standard and it's good to see this old vehicle being given a new lease of life. The chief engineer was keen to stress that the works would welcome contract work from western preserved railways so, if this is relevant to you, please bear them in mind!
It was time to head back for Zagreb. First stop was at Samobor, a small town a few km to the north west of the city to which it used to be connected by a 762mm gauge railway. One of its locos, 0-6-0T no. 7 (OK11121/1930) is preserved at the Zagreb Technical Museum along with the ex-SPZ loco. Back at Samobor one of several of the German WW2 Feldbahn 0-6-0T's which found its way to Yugoslavia is preserved with a short train in the town centre. The loco (Jung 10129/1945) spent its working life at Teslic in Bosnia. Unfortunately it's covered in graffiti, the only loco we saw in Croatia which is not in good condition. We paid a quick visit to the Technical Museum to see the two locos there, the other railway exhibits being a coach perhaps from the Samobor line and a Dubrovnik tramcar and trailer. There also an elderly fire engine. A fast drive back to the airport saw us there in good time for the flight home.
I'm grateful to several people without whose help this trip would not have been possible. My thanks go especially to Helena and Tamara at the Zagreb railway museum who've been immensely helpful ever since I first looked into the possibility of visiting more than two years ago, Soraya Mesic who made us most welcome at Duro Dacovic and gave us much interesting info about the business and its history, Mr. Vukovic Veljko and his staff for welcoming us to Banja Luka works, the nameless gatekeeper who allowed us to park on the Technical Museum's forecourt when time was very tight and, most of all, to Toma Bacic for introducing us to places we didn't know existed, especially the delightful fishponds railway, for his work in setting up the Đurđenovac and Belišće visits and for his company in showing us around his beautiful country.
125-052 at Zagreb station
Đuro Đacovic 207 at the entrance to Zagreb railway museum
33-098 in the museum, looking very smart in its new coat of paint
20-184 at the concentration camp site at Jasenovac
51-016 at Pozega station
No. 80-81 shows off its twelve driving wheels at Orahovica
Jung 11931/1953 at Đurđenovac
No. 1 at the fishponds railway near Nasice
The unloading shed with no. 3.
Two views of no. 50-58 with its train at Belišće
83-176 and 51-142 show off their new coats of paint outside the Đuro Đakovic factory factory at Slavonski Brod
22-077 at Slavonski Brod shed
No. 1934 looks for all the world as if it's just rolled down to Prijedor after a hard working session in the hills though in fact it's been here since 1984
Steinbeisbahn no. 2 sitting in the morning sunshine outside the Museum of the Republika Srpska at Banja Luka
Two views of no. 1933 at Banja Luka works
The senior engineer and his colleague examining progress with the rebuilding of the Ganz 801 class railcar at Banja Luka works. The "peace" slogan perhaps resonates with particular immediacy in this city with its troubled history
Jung 10129/1945 looking rather the worse for wear at Samobor
SPZ 33 "Gabor" at Zagreb Technical Museum
Zagreb-Samobor Railway no. 7 at Zagreb Technical Museum
Belišće - Viljevo Kapelna 12th April 1890