The economic situation of the coal mines in
In Oskova (Banovići) the narrow gauge railway still sees shunting services with the class 83, the legendary 0-8-2s, typical for many narrow gauge lines in the Balkans. In addition, there is still the occasional use of the American war-time locomotive of class 62, the USATC class S 100, in the standard gauge section of the station. The 0-6-0 tank Škoda locomotive is also still operational.
We are visiting the last steam locomotives in genuine use, (i.e. the last non-tourist steam) in
We will see four different types of construction in operation:
The tour starts and ends at
We only run freight trains as specials. We will travel in a Gbs (two-axle, covered freight wagon).
The administration of the Kreka power plant (and some of the coal mines serving this power plant) is in
The workshop for heavy overhauls is in Bukinje. It is difficult to predict whether or not one of their locomotives will be under heavy overhaul when we visit the site. However, the chances are not bad, as an overhaul usually takes many months. This is because of the low number of maintenance staff available.
In Banovići, the coal mine still uses steam locomotives on the Bosnian 760 mm gauge to shunt trains at the lower terminus of the line in Oskova. The line service to the mines will be performed by diesel locomotives. On the standard gauge, they use steam only occasional. Usually a diesel does the work. We chartered a steam locomotive to replace the diesel for our visit. Besides their lass 62, the last serviceable in
Bosnia-Herzegovina is a civilised country with a hospitable population despite their difficult history. Perhaps, their mentality is different from the rest of
Taking photos of railway facilities, engines and rolling stock is sometimes still seen with some suspicion. We therefore have will apply for a permit for each location. As soon as you show up with an official permit, all the gates and doors usually open and you are warmly welcomed, allowed to take photos everywhere and there is even extra shunting possibilities once in a while!
Bosnia-Herzegovina was “ethnically” divided after the civil war, but we will hardly notice the border to the “
Citizens of the Schengen countries and
Charter buses, as on all our trips, apply to the local standard, which may differ from EU expectations, but they are always quite comfortable and safe.
You should allow for rain. Please bring clothing to cover bright blue skies and rain and temperatures in the range of plus ten to plus twenty five. You may choose to bring a tripod and remote shutter release as at some locations we hope to capture atmospheric night shots.
The trip is specially designed for photographers and videographers for whom a good picture is more important than a sumptuous meal in a top restaurant 50 km away. We have planned on half board, but we will hardly have time for lunch.
When we visit the scheduled operation, there are sometimes longer waiting times until a shunting movement takes place. The locomotives can stand much more than they move. However, we can always help things on a little. Since there is only one operational example of each of the 19 and 62 series, it cannot be ruled out that we may not see the very locomotive or even no steam locomotive at all. We will then try to find an adequate compensation. However, there can be no financial compensation for steam locomotives that do not run. We are in the age of fading steam activities; the risk of a total failure of steam at one place or another cannot be ruled out. But of course this is not our first trip to the Balkans, and so far it has always been very worthwhile. The only risk-free place is at home sitting on the sofa! Only that's not half as exciting!
Please note that hotels, buses and even the trains do not have to be EU-compliant. That is why we are travelling there. We will be travelling to a country where environmental and health and safety concerns are still not fully developed. It is important to point out the dangers of using and staying near the railways and other means of transport. It is recommended that you take out both accident and health insurance. The Kreka Mining Company, the Banovići Mining Administration, the local organiser nor FarRail Tours are liable in any circumstance for accidents, damage or inconvenience resulting from delays, etc.
At the moment, entries for persons vaccinated against Covid are not a problem. We will have to see what the rules are then shortly before the start of the trip. The Omicron wave should have passed over
|'Kriegsloks' in Mine & Line-Service||24 to 48 participants||£2,210|
|09.04.2022 16.04.2022||15 to 23 participants||£2,400|
|Single room surcharge||£220|
|Registration Deadline: 20.02.2021|
The price includes:
Not included are: