Keith Chester reports:
26 February 2004
Kostolac : The good news here is that the pit which is worked by steam locomotives during the winter season is expected to work for at least
another four years; in connection with this, two locomotives have recently been sent to Zrenjanin works for overhaul. The status of the five Davenport
0-8-0s on 26.2.04 was:
9 : repair Zrenjanin; 10 : stationary boiler; 12 : cold; 13 : repair Zrenjanin; 14 : working
29 February 2004
FEK Kolubaras, Vreoci : 62-117 & 62-127 working
2 March 2004
Vares Ironworks : producing again but at minimal levels and with little prospect of the internal railway system being used again; also the case of
the Breza - Vares railway line. Three class 62 here: 62-317, 320 & 370. 62-370 is steamed for visiting enthusiasts. 900mm gauge 0-4-0T no. 11-989
(Jung 11989/1953) is preserved here. (Could somebody please check the gauge on this - Jung list says 760mm, the Vares internal system was 900mm.)
Kakanj Coalmine : 62-020 working; loco recently returned from being loaned to
Zenica Coalmine : 62-633 working and 62-648 dumped; there are other 62s here not seen.
Zenica Steelworks : There has clearly been some cutting of 62s here. Noted in and around the shed/workshop area were 62-322, 382, 383, 680. 62-362 is
plinthed near the main gate. Three times a day, at 07.00, 15.00 & 19.00, a passenger train consisting of four 4-wheel coaches makes a
three-kilometre journey around the internal system of the steelworks to transport workers at
the end of shifts. On 2.3.04 it was worked by 62-520. With the increasing irregularity of the similar working at Jagodina in Serbia, this seems set to
being the last scheduled steam passenger working in Europe.
3 March 2004
Banovici : 760mm gauge - a class 720 diesel reportedly shunting at Grivice; 740-107 seen on line work and the washery at Oskova shunted by 83-159;
62-125 shunting standard gauge. The really good news here is that 83-158 is in the midst of a major overhaul, again suggesting ng steam has a future at
this site too.
The Mokra Gora scheme continues to make good progress. Having completed the laying of track between Sargan and Mokra
Gora, the next stage (planned for
spring 2004) is to restore the railway as far as the border with Republika
Srpska, which is a few hundred metres short of the old station at Vardiste; eventually it is hoped to re-open to
Visegrad. Technically there is no
problem about the latter, the trackbed is in good condition, but this is ultimately a political decision. 83-052 is expected shortly at Mokra Gora
following its overhaul at Zrenjanin; the next loco to be treated is UNRRA 0-8-0 no. 22. The motor unit of a 1938 760mm gauge Ganz railcar
801) has been discovered at Pale and should go to Mokra Gora; there are negotiations in hand for the return of a complete
Duro Dakovic railcar set (JZ class 802) from Portugal and also plans to obtain a Duro Dakovic class 740 BoBo diesel. The Serbs clearly have got the taste for preservation, as
feasibility studies are now being conducted into reviving part of the line between
Arandelovac for about 6-7km towards Mladenovac. This would use
redundant L45H diesels from Romania as motive power and possibly an 83.
Bosnia and Croatia : At Sarajevo I was told of a project to re-open the Bistrik - Pale line and of a major scheme to restore the old 760mm gauge
railway out of Dubrovnik, presumably to Uskoplje. There is a scheme to reopen part of the long closed 760mm gauge Trieste - Parente line.