The International Steam Pages

Steam in Bosnia, February 2013

Andrej Hoffman writes of his visit to Bosnia:

Saturday 9th February

For entering Bosnia Herzegovina we used the last international train from Zagreb (dep. 09:07, INT 397) and transferred in Doboj to a DMU to Tuzla (2 trains per day). We arrived to Živinice near Tuzla in the evening - motel "Jet Star" - 1 person 15 € per night, bathroom included on double-bed rooms.

Sunday 10th February

In the morning we went to Dubrave loading point - we saw "German" 33-064 shunting with wagons and at 09:00 it took first loaded train in Ljubače during heavy snowfall. At 10.00 it went back. The second loaded train was at 15:00. Before that, we took a lot of pictures while shunting in Dubrave with nice sunshine. First day was very successful.

Monday 11th February

We travelled by bus to the crossing near Ljubače. After about 1/2 hour 33-064 went with empties from Ljubače to Dubrave - really amazing effects because freezing about -10 °C. Then we waited in Ljubače station, loaded train came at 14:00. At 15:00 we transferred to Šikulje loading point and were lucky with 33-503 shunting before sunset. Another successful day.

Tuesday 12th February

The weather forecast was for worse weather. During the morning the wind was blowing and more and more clouds came over the mountains. There was no traffic on Dubrave line in the morning, so we had a lot of time for walking around. We tramped up the hill and had a beautiful view on all the line and coal mine below us. Unfortunately 33-064 came at 14:00 when the weather was worse and the rain was starting - but I'm sending this picture too because I have never seen anything like it before.

Wednesday 13th February

Really bad weather, rain or wet snow fall, so we came to Banovići narrow gauge (760 mm) shed/office at noon - after paying for permission (15 € for one person) we visited the shed and than loading/sorting point in Oskova. 83-159 was shunting with wagons there. Although the weather was bad, we were satisfied with heavy-industrial background and 83-159 doing its work. In the evening we transferred by bus to Sarajevo (10 € per person) and stayed in Hostel Ami between Railway station and City Centre (10 € per night, rooms 4 or 5 beds).

Thursday 14th February

We took slow train from Sarajevo to Podlugovi, where the 3 km line to Breza loading point starts. The train dispatcher told us that steam engine is used for shunting in Breza only. Every night American diesel operates Breza from Podlugovi - train about 30 4-axle coal wagons. During daylight these wagons are loaded with American steam 62-020 (mostly afternoon, mornings some trucks are loaded instead). They have no rope so engine must pull wagons every few minutes and when five are loaded, it moves them on to another track. We were not allowed to enter the factory but Security told us that it is maybe possible to get permission from HQ. It was nice to see an archaic American steam engine working there. We met German guys and they said that in Zenica coal mine are two 62 serviceable, but there was no traffic because of overhaul of mine equipment. In coal mine Kakanj 62-366 cold outside shed, small diesel shunting with wagons.

Friday 15th February

We made a second journey to Breza and took pictures from hill on the left side.. but was quite foggy, so we returned to Sarajevo and enjoyed its streets (and interesting public transport service - old Czechoslovak trams "K2" still in service and many other vehicles from Western Europe). 

Saturday 16th February

On  morning Sarajevo streets and 11.17 a.m. departure with last existing fast train to Zagreb. 

We enjoyed Bosna a lot - good food and beverages for nice prices, mild people and of course experiences with regular steam service.

Rob Dickinson