FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Steam on the Šargan Eight

Posted in Mokra Gora, Serbia, Šargan by folkestonejack on October 21, 2011

After a week of beautiful weather it was quite a shock to see the miserable mix of rain and grey skies that awaited us this morning, even though we knew it was coming.

A wet morning in Mokra Gora

Our charter train, hauled by 83-173, left Mokra Gora at 9am and made for the border. The idea was that the train would work back to Mokra Gora with numerous photostops along the way. The weather conditions were not at all promising – no light, low hanging mist, grey skies and persistant rain. As with any charter you have to work with what you are given so we still trooped out to take the shots, though Bernd was probably quite right when he described these as “Pictures the world doesn’t need!”

The first photo-stop of the morning on the line between the border and Mokra Gora

Morning mist on the line to Mokra Gora

At 11.30am we stopped for a leisurely lunch (a tasty and hot bowl of soup from the restaurant at Mokra Gora was the perfect prescription!) before resuming at 1.30pm. In the afternoon we took the line from Mokra Gora to Šargan, again making numerous photostops until reaching Šargan about 4pmish. It was quite a disorientating journey once you started on the figure of eight – I easily found myself losing all sense of direction, though to be fair my sense of direction is woeful under normal circumstances!

83-173 emerges from a short tunnel on the line to Mokra Gora

83-173 crosses a bridge en-route to Šargan

The journey along the line had impressed upon us the scale of construction around the line which presents a rather disneyfied version of the Serbian countryside, particularly around each of the stations. I’m sure that is a necessary evil for the future survival of the line as a tourist attraction. An authentic but dead railway isn’t much use to anyone…

Šargan

Šargan Station

Although the day was fairly dismal it had been surprisingly enjoyable, which was in no small part down to the company of Andy and Charles throughout the trip. Terrible jokes and a shared sense of the madness of photography in such conditions certainly have their part to play in staying sane on a trip like this!

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