The International Steam Pages

Steam in Bosnia, April 2012

Richard Turkington (responsible for the photos) & Keith Strickland report from an April 2012 visit: I have since appended a short report from John Athersuch of a March 2012 visit (19th May 2012).


This short trip, organised by Dragan Jovanovich starting from Belgrade airport, and was planned to visit the remaining sites of active steam in Bosnia, an accessible but neglected location. We can recommend Dragan if you’re interested in an accompanied trip, Dragan opened the doors for us and arranged all the ‘special’ trains. He can be contacted at:

In total we saw 7 locos in action on both narrow and standard gauges, a number of which were specially steamed, and a further 6 under maintenance or repair. On the day we left England, we were able to see a class 33 ‘Kriegslok’ hauling loaded and empty coal trains. Go while you can as further decline is inevitable.

Locos seen in service were:

In action

Narrow gauge

  • 83 158

Standard gauge

  • 19 12 (specially steamed)
  • 33 248
  • 33 503
  • 33 504
  • 62 363 (specially steamed)
  • 62 633

Under maintenance/repair

Narrow gauge

  • 25 30
  • 55 99
  • 83 159

Standard gauge

  • 33 064
  • 33 236
  • 62 650

The following general information was obtained concerning current and former centres of active steam:

Kakanj: all locos stored out of use under the shelter

Kreka: it is still planned to purchase a second-hand ‘400 type’ diesel for use between Dubrave colliery and Ljubace

Zenica, Mittal steel: 2 class 62s sold to unknown buyers, the remainder scrapped

Our programme was as follows

22nd April, Weather - overcast

Kreka system

18.50-19.15: Kriegslok 33 503 arrived at Lukavac exchange sidings with a loaded train from Dubrave mine and departed with empty wagons.

23rd April, Weather – sunny with light cloud

Banovici narrow gauge

08.30: 83 158 in steam but rear of tender badly damaged after a collision the previous day

  • 83 159 in the workshop awaiting overhaul
  • 55 99 out of use in the yard for repair
  • 25 30 out of use in the yard for repair


  • 25 32
  • 25 33
  • 25 29
  • 83 181

Banovici standard gauge

10.30-14.00: Skoda 19 12 specially steamed for shunting and run pasts


  • 62 677 at rear of shed
  • 62 125 in the shed

Banovici narrow gauge

15.00-16.00: 83 158 with 83 159’s tender shunting and run past then working at Oskova washery

24th April, Weather - a.m. sunny/p.m. overcast

Zenica coal mine

08.20-11.30: 62 633 tripped loaded wagons to the state railway exchange sidings then returned three times with 7, 6 and 6 empty wagons, all weighed, then shunted into sidings. Magnificent clag.

  • 62 650 under repair in workshop


  • 62 003 (American)
  • 62 648

Breza coal mine

13.30-16.00: 62 363 specially steamed for shunting and run pasts

25th April, Weather - a.m. rain/p.m. clear

Kreka system - Bukinje workshops

08.20-10.40: 33 504 in steam, spare locomotive outside workshop 

  • 33 064 in workshop undergoing 3 yearly overhaul
  • 33 236 in workshop undergoing monthly maintenance

Stored at side of workshop

  • 33 216 with boiler of 33 504
  • 62 123
  • 62 368
  • 62 376
  • 62 368

11.30: 33 504 runs light engine to Sikulje mine

12.50-13.15: 33 503 and 504 in 4 double headed run pasts from Lukavac to Sikulje mine, made possible by the monthly change over between locomotives under maintenance. Magnificent steam effects

15.00. 33 248 arrives at Ljubace with loaded wagons from Dubrave mine then returns with empties

26th April, Weather - blue sky, 27 degrees C. Too hot for steam effects!

Kreka system

No production at Sikulje mine due to flooding and technical problems – 108 empty wagons waiting to be loaded!

08.30-10.40: 33 503 in steam, spare locomotive outside workshop 

13.30-14.15. 33 248 leaves with loaded wagons from Dubrave mine and returns from Ljubace with empties

14.45-15.00: 33 248 with 10 empty wagons makes 3 run pasts over the level crossing and bridge outside Dubrave mine in the direction of Ljubace

Banovici narrow gauge

15.15: 83 158 goes down to the washery light engine after a crew change, draws wagons through the washery

16.15 p.m. pushes them through for a diesel to take over. Returns light engine and immediately takes another loaded train down to the washery 

27th April

Return home

John Athersuch was in Bosnia during the last week of March 2012 which revealed four classes of steam locomotive still in regular service at five different locations.

At Dubrave 33-503 was busy shunting in the yard and hauling coal to the exchange sidings at Ljubace while 33-236 was engaged in similar operations between Sikulje and Lukavac.

this shows 33.503 at work between Dubrave and Ljubace:

This shows 33-236 at Lukavac:

At Zenica mine 62-633 was in steam and active while 62-650 was found OOU in a shed and 62-003 and 62-648 were derelict in the yard. A flying visit to Breza mine witnessed 62-363 in steam.

At the Bukinje depot 33-064, 33-248 and 33-504 were in for repair. The boiler, frames and wheels of another class 33 was in the yard. Four class 62s (62-123, 62-368, 62-376 and 62-637) were OOU in the yard. A permit was obtained for the ArcelorMittal Steel works in Zenica; 62-363 was plinthed at the factory entrance, 62-322, 62-380, 62-382, 62-383 and 62-520 were OOU in the yard while another class 62 said to have been cosmetically restored was locked in a shed nearby. At Kakanj depot 62-020 and 62-366 were OOU under a canopy. 62-677 was OOU outside a shed on the lower level at Oskova while Fives-Lille 144R 03 sat rusting away in the undergrowth nearby. At Vares 62-370 was plinthed in a yard, possibly the iron works, adjacent to the main thoroughfare.

On the narrow gauge line at Oskova 83-158 was hard at work hauling loaded wagons the short distance to the washery. It was replaced later in the week by 25-30 which had been seen previously at Banovici 
works along with 25-29, 25-32, 25-33 (all derelict), 55-99, 83-159 (OOU) and 83-181 (derelict and cannibalised). Plinthed locomotives were 25-31 near Banovici works, 25-26 in Tuzla town centre and Orenstein & Koppel 71-022 near the Rajlovac depot in Sarajevo.


Rob Dickinson