FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Cross border steam

Posted in Bosnia, Serbia, Vardište by folkestonejack on October 22, 2011

The narrow gauge line between Mokra Gora and Višegrad holds the distinction of being the world’s only international preserved railway line, crossing the border from Serbia into Bosnia. At the time of our visit there had only been one passenger train to make this trip – the inaugural train in September 2011 – so there was still plenty of novelty to the appearance of a steam locomotive on the line.

Our non-stop run to the border with 83-173 departed from Mokra Gora at 12.30pm and we were all reminded to have our passports to hand for the border crossing. The road runs parallel to the railway line at the border so the plan seemed to be that the officials would walk out from their post to the line to check our passports as we left Serbia, but in the event we were waved through.

After this point the train ran through a tunnel (complete with a sculpture of a Serbian soldier atop the exit) and we emerged at the Vardište border point at around 1pm. A border patrol van and police car (a yugo!) had been parked up by the lineside and the Bosnian border officials were waiting to board our train. It was a slightly surreal experience to be on a narrow gauge steam train with border officials wandering through the carriage checking passports. If it was strange to us, it must have been even stranger for the officials used to dealing with border traffic with fewer wheels!

The border scene

Cross-border steam

The officials and drivers heading up the road to the border were also ever so slightly bemused by the sudden appeal of their vintage police car (parked up alongside the loco) but it was an irresistible photo opportunity for most of us.

Heritage appeal - Steam locomotive and Yugo

Once all the formalities were complete we resumed our journey towards Višegrad with the intention of making a few photostops along the way – in spite of the fairly miserable conditions.

2 Responses

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  1. Neale Alexander Watson said, on July 23, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Wow that looks great. Me and a friend will be visiting Mokra Gora in a months time. We are arriving from Bosnia and were wondeirng if there are any places nearby to get dinars as Mokra Gora is our only stop into Serbia? Is there a cash machine or exchange at the Bosnian-Serbian border?

    • folkestonejack said, on July 23, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      I don’t know what’s at the border proper but when I visited there was a foreign exchange kiosk on the platform at Mokra Gora. However, that was six years ago so I don’t know if it is still there. Hope you have a good trip!

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