Steam in Bosnia 2010 - 15: Sikulje - No More Small Things! I (50 p.)

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Proud Earthling

To the previous part of the trip report:
Steam (and Diesel) in Bosnia 2010 - 14: State Railway Exchange (50 p.)

The video for this part:

We continue at 10 a.m. on April 9 2010, early morning had been fantastic (see next travelogue part), now we visited Sikulje, the open cast mine closest to Lukavac. Exchange took place about three times daily with 35+ car rakes which of course needed the traction power of a class 33. However, "daily" referred to the full 24 hours, until now all trains had been dispatched during nighttime. Only a few hundred Euros tip helped to move operational hours to daylight.

At the entrance to the loading facility, only question was: how were you supposed to move around without walking on tracks? ;-)

Some morning fog was still persisting, 33-503 (former DRB 52 1345 / DWM 812 / built 1944 / transferred from the USSR to Yugoslavia in 1964) waited for shunting duties. Part of the train stood full and ready for departure.

The other part of the rake was still loaded automatically (see video).

A mine worker collected samples from the wagons. On the way to Lukavac much more undesired passengers would enter the train: coal thieves throwing loads of coal down from the cars.

10 o'clock, always time for second breakfast in Bosnia.

I took a quick peek behind the loading facility at the open cast mine:

I came across this puppy, sadly not nearly as cared for as the Kakanj mine dogs.

Loading was finished.

33-503 shunted in front of the rake.

Movement in slow motion.

Parallel to the mine tracks you could find the state railway mainline to Doboj, ZRS 813-039 was just returning on its morning ride from Tuzla.

The class 33 had pulled its train to the end of the line, the class 813 had stopped at Puracic halt.

Shunting was over, 33-503 ready for line service!

Half an hour later she thundered towards Lukavac pulling 35 cars, sadly the semaphore signal of the connecting line didn't work anymore.

Voilà: the resolution of the question what else could disturb these nice people during lunch (see video from minute 2:15)!

Shunting at Lukavac station, midday heat already prevailed here in early April.

The signal guard waved his red flag as the single loco rolled back towards Sikulje.

Waiting next to Lukavac industry.

The wires to the distant semaphore signal had been severed.

Another dog at Lukavac...

At 15:00 33-503 returned from Sikulje to fetch empties causing a small canine drama with happy ending (see video 6:50).

Passing the home signals, to the left on the ground you can spot pieces of coal thrown from the train by thieves.

A skip to the last morning below sickle moon, April 10 2010.

Around Lukavac station fog was dominating, 33-503 approached at 7:45 a.m..

A working vehicle had just previously arrived (my average of one maintenance train encounter on the line per day for former Yugoslavia sadly dropped during this trip ;-) ), one of the signalbox guards was on the way back.

Arrival of the class 33.

View from the signalbox, the year 2010 manifested itself by a signalman's cell phone charger.

33-503 had shunted in front of a long empty rake.


For a short time images were spectacular, but the train only accelerated to 10 kph.

Inside the first car behind the loco a new conveyor belt was transported.

We jump back to the afternoon of April 9: An empty train at the home semaphore signals, to the left I could put together a nice digital collection of interesting road vehicles during waiting time.

The local Doboj - Tuzla at 16:30 showed that the mainline signal still was operational.

The stolen coals were bagged...

Industrial spring at Lukavac.

At six o'clock in the evening 33-503 made its last trip for the day passing the distant signals. I kept the modern cars in view as sign of regular steam traffic in the year 2010.

And the finale grande on the line Lukavac - Sikulje:

33-503 was rolling downhill towards the mine with 36 empty wagons in tow.

The Lukavac industry panorama and fully lit train.

You can find the large version of the panorama here:

In the next, final part we will visit the equally impressive operation at Dubrave, additionally with fantastic moods! :) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to