FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Kriegslok 33 087

Posted in Serbia by folkestonejack on October 18, 2011

The focus of our trip shifted to the Serbian steam locomotive JDŽ 33 087 today. The locomotive was built by Henschel at Kassel in 1944 and was one of around a thousand class 52 war locomotives (‘Kriegsloks’) constructed at this site alone. After the war the kriegsloks served in the railways of many Eastern European countries but the career of 33 087 lasted longer than most with a place in the Serbian Railways museum fleet.

Kriegslok 33 087 at Lapovo

The availability of the kriegslok to haul our train was no mean feat – the locomotive’s boiler certificates had expired and it was only under steam after negotiations secured a special permit to use it on the condition that a number of repairs were made.

33-087 was built in 1944

The repairs required included the replacement of half a square metre of boiler sheet metal as well as work on the pipes and the motion. The work on the boiler had to be completed twice as the first attempt was not sufficient. In the end the first successful test run took place just five days before our trip started. Now, that’s what I call a close shave…

33-087 in action

If that wasn’t enough, the plans to put together some suitable wagons for our freight train fell apart at the last minute. The wagons were due to be brought in from Bosnia (with the agreement of both Bosnian and Serbian Railways) but three days before our trip customs refused to allow the movement to take place. In the face of this blow our Serbian guide managed to scout out some suitable replacements in Serbia. It is at times like that you realise just how much effort went on behind the scenes to make our tour possible – and for that I am very grateful!

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