Steam in Bosnia 2010 - WWII locos in daily service (10 v.)


The video for this part:

On March 31 2010 I got up early for the departure of InterCity 285 "Zagreb". In order to arrive in style to the Farrail steam tour I decided to take the train to Zagreb, where I would spend the afternoon in the surroundings, and then move on by nighttrain to Sarajevo. I had taken this route from Vienna several times before, "Zagreb" is just leaving Vienna jointly with IC 553 up to Wiener Neustadt since the last timetable change. Already at Sopron a M41 takes over, so the formerly longer stop at Szombathely is now skipped. The line Sopron - Szombathely proved to be quite interesting, at nearly every station a larger amount of coal had been collected, and along the line I spotted a private former Romanian class 60 with coal wagons and a M62 with maintenance train. The latter had negative effects on my quickly formed plan to visit this line shortly after my return, as it is currently closed from April 1 to June 3, so I caught the last day of operation until summer. All passenger trains have been replaced by busses, "Zagreb" is now operating with GySEV-coaches on the Vienna - Sopron - Vienna section.

Train meeting at Zalaszentiván junction, which had been completely renewed since my visit in 2007 for the electrification of the line towards Zalaegerszeg and Slovenia.

The ride to the border went punctually, then of course we had to wait for IC 200 from Budapest via the Balaton south coast line. With a delay of 15 minutes we reached Zagreb, where leisure had to come after duty which consisted of depositing the luggage and buying tickets. There were no problems in this area, it just took a while to manually calculate the Railplus-reduction for every sub-section of the ride Zagreb - Sarajevo.

After a short GM-intermezzo (semi-fast 994 to Kotoriba), I wanted to visit the line to Koprivnica this time, especially catching "Zagreb" on the return trip. So, I entered Putnicki 2207 to Koprivnica, consisting of 1141 and several coaches which were definitely necessary. Suddenly, still while at Zagreb station, another GM chuggled past my window, something green with a long freight train! As I couldn't spontaneously identify it, I leaned out of the window and saw: a spotlessly renewed ZS 661 in old livery doing a full load trial, waiting at the starter signal! Since I still had a one train buffer until "Zagreb", I changed my plans on the spot and got out of the local train at the next station close to the big park with zoo Maksimir, where a nice line of trees in bloom could be found.
Only three minutes later the GM-thunder could already be heard between the houses, and soon afterwards ZS 661-243 came by, sadly the signal only changed to green when it already had gone past me, so I couldn't enjoy the sound from close by. Still, a very impressive sight, certainly the class 661 in the best state I have ever seen, almost looked unreal with its fresh green coat of paint. Overall a shocking continuation of my omnipresent travelling luck...

The panorama in higher resolution can be found here:

Meanwhile Maksimir stop got crowded, and it didn't get better inside the two-part class 7121 "Macosa" DMU which came to collect me as Pu 2305 towards Bjelovar, on the contrary: places to stand were scarce.

Luckily we had breaks to breathe, even if the time until "Zagreb" was running out. At Vrbovec a longer crossing halt took place to wait for B 702 from Osijek. At the time the express should have arrived a freight came along.

With a delay of 10 minutes the express reached Vrbovec, and we continued with the same, in the meantime "Zagreb" had already departed its namegiving city.

On my ride to Zagreb I already had scouted this nice, rural spot with several photo opportunities, Gradec, between Vrbovec and Krizevci. For my main goal I climbed the road overpass. Weather conditions were April-like with constantly changing cloud patterns, reminding me somehow of the British Isles. And my train won the weather lottery, IC 201 "Kvarner" Zagreb-Budapest as first part of the train, joined with IC 284 "Zagreb" Zagreb-Wien Meidling covered by the spectacular clouds of the last day in March 2010.

This time of the day interesting express trains from Zagreb come along about every half hour, sadly nothing from the other direction. For IC 590, the afternoon fast connection to Varazdin and Cakovec, I had slightly speculated with GM traction, but it wasn't supposed to be, locos were about to be changed at Koprivnica. Near a footpath from the stop into the village I found this spot with sheep behind a fence. The same flock of sheep was later obviously so shocked it jumped across the fence and started grazing freely next to the line.

On the way from the road overpass I had discovered these remnants of Partisan times, which of course had to be captured as well. I took the shot with Pu 2209 to Koprivnica, another longer, loco-hauled train.

Shortly afterwards IC 581 "Podravka" to Osijek, pulled by 1141-310 in new livery, passed the freed sheep.

During this season, as last year in Wales, many sweet Easter lambs could be spotted.

Now the passengers of my train back to the capital were already gathering, including the local drunkard who wanted to get his picture taken. Of course you have to make yourself pretty for such an opportunity:

After my arrival back to Zagreb inside a conveniently half-full class 7121 returning from Bjelovar as Pu 2306, this great mood emerged with the sun breaking through gaps between the clouds. In the distance a class 2044 GM shunted towards Pu 3016 to Kotoriba.

First row for enjoying the sunset.

Later, IC 311 from Villach came along.

Now I set out for dinner, last summer we had some good Banja Luka Cevapcici delivered, the delivering snack bar was in walking distance to the station. On the way I occasionally took some tram photos.

Even the oldest type, which I hadn't spotted in summer, appeared. Here a meeting of the oldest and newest generations took place.

With well-filled stomach I slowly returned to the station to get into B 399 to Sarajevo as early as possible.

Exactly as the rake pulled along the platform at 20:50, rain began to pour. I chose the ex-DR ZRS coach, the best way to start the adventure! For impressions from the ride through the beautiful almost full-moon-lit night, see the video. Highlight was the crossing with B 398 at Celinac one station behind Banja Luka: the driver of the other train had no headlights on in the moonlight! The whole journey I was alone in my compartment, also hardly any people inside the coach. Apart from border control and conductors only a beggar took a quick peek into the compartment. As dawn was breaking in the Bosna river valley, there was even more to see. Also our first steam stop Kakanj, a town with dominating industrial plants, coal conveyor belts everywhere. As we turned towards Sarajevo, the sun came up behind still snow-covered peaks. At Rajlovac we passed the depot with a row of stabled ex-DB class V100 diesels. The terminal was reached on April 1 with a delay of about 20 minutes, a lot of it still dating from the departure in Zagreb.

The morning at Sarajevo was welcoming me in a very radiant way. Obviously it had rained until shortly before and the colours looked like fresh from the washing machine. As a special surprise a former Viennese tramway class E was waiting in front of the station, during my previous visits I only had seen them from a distance. That's why I decided to walk to my relatives, despite of pulling a trolley suitcase, and take some photos in the magnificent morning light.

One class E was leaving the station square - another one followed shortly later: even more lucky!

Already a little further, in front of the Holiday Inn, the first of the two trams crossed my path again.

The second one approached from the other direction.

The classic shot!

The wet road acted as a natural reflector, morning training is double the fun that way!

Along Miljacka river a great backlit mood could be found.

Morning rushhour took its course along the shore of Ban Kulin, in the meantime it was half past seven.

The original Sarajevo trams were still in service, although the pantographs had been moved from the back to the front.

Arrived at my relatives' appartment I caught up with some sleep and later went for a short running session, although you don't get far in this part of the city if you don't have ambitions as mountain runner. The short bit along the river Miljacka without car traffic was also getting boring fast, so I moved on to the next item on the agenda: the new B 450 to Belgrade, introduced during the last timetable change. After drawing out some Bosnian Marks I squeezed into a packed tram, as all of the city was bursting at the seams. One of the mine workers would tell me in the following days, the opinion of the rural population is rather that there certainly are a lot of traffic jams in Sarajevo, but only so everyone can get to his coffee. Which probably has an element of truth to it, if you know the Bosnians.
Relatively blindly I fought my way out of the tram at some station and surprisingly landed exactly were I was taking some photos with friends a few years ago. Then we stayed on a pedestrian overpass, this time I explored the line further into both directions. I took B 450 Sarajevo - Beograd pulled by 441-901 in TCDD-livery from a lower perspective, the peaceful coexistance of ZFBH- and ZS-coaches definitely is progress. At least until the ordered Talgo units arrive.

Theses vehicles don't need any "Auspuh"-service ("exhaust" - German word "Auspuff")!

Below my spot I came across some old shunting tracks, including old infrastructure.

A class 441 on a single loco move from the depot in front of the snow covered mountains, I was greeted by the drivers with a friendly sounding of the horn.

The only semaphore signal in Sarajevo known to me and the nostalgic single wire catenary of the shunting track.

Lokalni 2154 to Zenica with old green coaches was hauled by 441-307 seen before.

Actually I had speculated that it would be an EMU, as seen on this service in the following days.

Because the weather was so nice I waited another hour for Lok 2402 from Konjic with 441-907, only above my head a small photo cloud thriller took place, which of course was won again.

Now hunger urged towards the world's best Cevapcici in Bascarsija, so I returned to the tram. Here one of the renewed units.

Shortly before the Cevapi were served a muslim funeral cortege came by, a new experience for me, very interesting. After the excellent meal, although the restaurant had been renovated in a relatively modern, cold way, I slowly walked back through the centre to take another nap. My travelling group should be at the tram depot around four o'clock, so I left for the tram station with luggage at 3:15. As strategic move I took the tram two stations into the other direction around the Bascarsija first, it was the only way to get into the packed trams with a suitcase. By chance a Viennese was arriving first, but on the line to the station, so not for me.

I needed a tram of line #3 to Ilidza, and it was following next in the shape of a former Amsterdam GVB unit. I snatched the seat right behind the driver, with the skewed design of the front you practically have a view straight ahead out of the window. That way I could catch this perfect Viennese meeting at the perfect spot.

I reached the depot conveniently and waited in front of the entrance. After a short phone call to our guide Bernd Seiler I learned that the group would arrive shortly in a highly visible big blue bus, and that way it was. Next, a visit to the depot was planned. The Washington museum tram could be seen, but sadly it had been parked partly in the shadow of the workshop. More Viennese class Es as well as a colourful mix of other trams could be spotted.
A fire lane sign, parking prohibited, next to an old bus stop sign.

A Mount Everest of sand.

Trams arriving at the shed had to circle the whole area first.

The rear of the workshop, although this mechanic could very well work for a certain tire company...

A romantic, lonely tramway seat at the shore of river Miljacka with view of bridge and tram.

The pantograph collection.

A modern mosque in the background.

After the tour we went to Ilidza and checked into the relatively new business hotel "Hollywood", close to the tram loop. We got our dinner as a buffet, and it was interesting to taste Bosnian specialities not cooked personally by relatives but by gastronomy. The large part of the food, however, consisted of international kitchen, as the hotel is comfortable, but without any flair. Ideal for the first night, nothing more. A good night's sleep later I took a peek outside before breakfast(buffet) was served. An Amsterdam tram with "Grazer Wechselseitige" advertisement at the reversing loop Ilidza.

The highlight right next to it is the runway of the airport, some guiding approach lights are even placed on the road. During this short period I saw two take-offs, no problem to catch the planes with all the trams coming from the depot this time of day!

For all other parts we will drastically reduce the level of technology used - steam - see you then!