The International Steam Pages
Steam in Serbia, February 1998
Keith Chester has been on a trip to Serbia and this is his report. It would be sensible to read it in conjunction with the general list of active or nearly active Serbian steam.
18th February 1998
Industrijsko-energetisko Kombinat, Kostolac
Opencast brown coal mines are linked to the power station at Kostolac by a network of 900mm gauge lines. Most are electrified, but that to the pit at Klenovik is steam-worked using Davenport built ex UNRRA 0-8-0s, for which duty only one loco is required. The following locos were noted: 12 (working); 9 (in light steam on MPD); 13 & 14 (cold in MPD). No. 10 is at "Sinvoz" Zrenjanin for a major overhaul, due for completion in the summer of 1998.
62-047 & 62-115 stored for railway museum.
Industrija Kablova "Mose Pijada", Jagodina
An approximately 3km long branch connects this cable factory with the bus(!) station in Jagodina (formerly Svetozarevo), adjacent to the Beograd-Nis mainline. A free train service, using a remarkable assemblage of ancient four wheel carriages, is provided for the factory workers before and after each shift change (at 06.00, 14.00 & 22.00 hours) and can be either steam or diesel worked. If the former, then a 62 class 0-6-0T leaves the factory bunker first. As there is no loop at Jagodina, return trains are propelled the entire three km to the factory! Locos noted here were: 62-364, 62-377 & 62-642. 62-364 worked to Jagodina at approx. 13.30.
Resavice Coal Mine
Stored here are 120-019 & 126-014; the former is reportedly still serviceable, but clearly has not worked for some time. Attitudes to photography here remain traditionally hostile!
19th February 1998
85-045 - plinthed
Pozega Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
Ex industrials : "Rama" 0-4-0WT; "Milan No. 1" 0-4-2ST; "Kostolac" 0-4-4-0T Fairlie; 25-27 0-6-0T; 1121-19 0-4-0T.
Ex JZ : 73-002; 82-007; 83-037/062/173; 92-043.
85-005 - plinthed
Cacak Paper Factory
61-023, an ex SHS 0-6-0T still occasionally works here, but has seen little activity since last Autumn. This is the last true Serbian design still in service.
Industrijsko-energetisko Kombinat, Kolubara
A vast complex of electrified 900mm rails connect opencast brown coal mines with three power stations. At the Vreoci site, there are also some standard gauge sidings and these were being worked by 62-635 & 62-643; another two 62s are reported here. Most interesting is the survival of four 900mm 0-6-0Ts carrying "Decauville, Paris" plates; these were probably built by La Lilloise, a subsidiary of Decauville as part of a batch of 30(?) sent to Jugoslavia in 1952-54. 2 of these are at Vreoci (nos. 53-017 & 53-029) and 2 at Rudovci (53-018 & 53-028). 53-028 is patently dumped but the others are stored serviceable and still see some use (though unfortunately not on the day of my visit!!).
83-035 is stored in very poor condition for possible preservation.
20th February 1998
Beograd Railway Museum
99.4-084 - plinthed
An unidentified 01 & 38, plus 51-088, are stored in very poor condition for the museum. Inside the rapidly decaying shed are 01-088, 33-087 & 51-052, all serviceable for the "Romantika" train, plus 0-4-0T no. 44-004 (claimed to be the oldest loco in the Balkans) and 0-6-0T no. 151-012.
21st February 1998
01-070 - preserved
Industrial steam (not necessarily active) is reported at Vrbas, Crupija, Smederevo & Obilic. The latter is in Kosovo and nobody in their right mind would go and check it out!
There is no active steam in Montenegro or Macedonia.
An exciting and ambitious preservation project is the restoration of track to the spectacular Mokra Gora to Sargan 760mm gauge line, closed in 1974, and well-known for its multiple levels, spirals and tunnels. The trackbed and most engineering structures are in good condition. Work on restoring the station building at Mokra Gora has already begun.