FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Steam to Višegrad

Posted in Bosnia, Dobrun, Vardište, Višegrad by folkestonejack on October 22, 2011

The scenery on the line from the border to Višegrad turned out to be much more striking than anything we had seen on the loops through the mountains yesterday. The wonderful mixture of karst gorge, bridges and monasteries were a photographer’s delight – or would have been had the weather co-operated!

83-173 emerges from a tunnel on the line between Vardište and Dobrun

83-173 crosses the road to Dobrun

In order to get the most out of this stretch of line we travelled partway by train then re-boarded our bus so that we could grab some impressive shots looking down from the road to the railway. Finally, we re-boarded our train for the final section of the line into Višegrad which we reached at around 4pm.

83-173 at the gates of the monastery at Dobrun

As our train was the first train since the inaugural run in September there was a fair degree of interest in the trip, with Serbian journalists/press photographers joining us and a welcoming committee of locals waiting for us at our final stop. Indeed, all along the route we had seen people coming out of their houses or waving from their back gardens which told us everything we needed to know about the relative rarity of a steam locomotive here.

The local welcoming committee consisted of some locals in regional dress offering schnapps and a cake to dip in salt. A number of stalls with local produce had been set up around the station though I suspect that we were the wrong group to pitch knitwear at. Hopefully that business will come their way in the near future once the railway starts operating to Višegrad on a regular basis.

Višegrad

The railway station certainly looked like it had seen better days, but it was at least still standing – unlike others on the line which had been completely razed. In fact, the place had a second life after being converted into a bus station so the transformation back to a railway station is quite remarkable. I can think of plenty of places in the UK where there has been no way back from the conversion of station buildings to a new purpose so at least they have a good basis to build from here.

Fire truck at Višegrad

An unexpected last photo opportunity of the day came from the vintage fire truck which turned up to supply 83-173 with water for her return trip. Finally, we re-boarded our coach at 4.50pm for the drive to Sarajevo.

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