The International Steam Pages
Intra Express - Steam in the former Yugoslavia Tour 20-25 July 2003
Intra Express of Berlin recently operated steam hauled charter trains in Slovenia, Serbia and Bosnia. Starting at Jesenice in alpine northern Slovenia on Sunday 20 July, 2.8.0 25-026 (Florisdorf 1920) took a train of vintage 4-wheel coaching stock over the attractive 106km "Wocheinerbahn" line to Nova Gorica, meeting 2.10.0 33-037 (Henschel 1944) at Bohinjska Bistrica with the regular summer steam excursion from Nova Gorica. On the following day, it was the turn of 33-037 to take the tour south from Nova Gorica to Sezana, but this section was unfortunately delayed when 33-037 set fire to fields outside Stanjel.
25-026 and the 4-wheel stock returned on Tuesday 22 July for an intended run from Ljubljana to Kocevje over the freight only line from Grosuplje. However, steam haulage was abruptly cancelled at Grosuplje due to "higher authority" now perceiving the train as a fire risk.
Crossing into Serbia on 23 July, 2.6.2T 51-052 hauled a set of 4-wheel coaches over the relatively flat landscape from Zrenjanin to Belgrade via Orlovat and Pancevo. 2.6.2 01-088 in authentic dirty condition appeared on Thursday 24 July with bogie coaches for a full day run along the border with Bosnia from Ruma to Zvornik. With an enthusiastic crew and some lively running, this was undoubtedly the highlight of the trip for the standard gauge steam enthusiast.
At Loznica, two fireless locomotives were seen out of use at the Vizkoza factory. Numbered 53-46 and 53-47, both retain their maker's plates and were built by Societe de Lameuse, Liege being works numbers 5346/1956 and 5347/1956 respectively.
25 July found the tour party in Bosnia with a visit to the Kreka Mining Company at Tuzla, where 2.10.0 33-216 (DWM 1943) was operational hauling coal from the mine to the local power station. Unfortunately, this crew proved particularly uncooperative refusing to make any smoke until storming away from the group at the last photo' line-up. Also observed at Tuzla were 33-326 (under repair), 62-368 (in shed and in good condition), 62-123 (in shed and in good condition) and 33-504 (dumped).
In the afternoon, the party visited the Kreka Ugljen mine 6km south of Tuzla, where 2.10.0 33-503 (DWM 1944) was in ex-works condition. Travelling then to the narrow gauge colliery lines around Banovici, the group was entertained with run-pasts from 0.6.0 25-30 (Skoda 1949) and a line trip over the remains of the former 760mm Oskova - Grivice system with 0.8.2 83-159. The works area, which appeared to be named Zeljeznick Saobracaj Banovici Ordzavanje, contained 25-33 (under repair) together with 85-158, 25-31, 25-32, 25-29 & 83-181 (all dumped, but in reasonable condition). 62-125 was specially in steam in the standard gauge yards, unfortunately in appalling light.