The International Steam Pages

Steam in Bosnia 2014

This page contains mainly reports from March 2014 as indicated with a May 2014 update. There is a another May 2014 report available from Jakob Stilling which points out that the flooding will have severly affected steam operation.

Trevor Maxted kicked off the reports with a visit between 13th and 21st March 2014, George Shields was here between 9th and 16th March 2014, Paul Jobber who met Trevor has supplied additional notes and photographs:

See also the March 2014 reports by Terry Andrews and Bill Jamieson.

George Shield's visit to Bosnia, 2nd to 7th May 2014.

"Arrived on May 1st to find a public holiday in force, which for some reason seemed to roll into the weekend as well. Certainly at Duprave I was certainly very lucky to see any movement in one week! Never did find out whether this was because of a week's holiday at the mine or problems at the mine. Certainly Sikulje Mine was a lot more consistent with loaded trains from the mine. The number of coal thieves on the loaded trains has to be seen to be believed only being lessened in numbers by torrential rain on the Friday./Sat. Certainly when the sun came out they certainly came out to play!! The picture show 83-158 in full black livery, ex-works in Banovici Workshops in 2014 and 33-236 ramping out of Sikulje Mine with coal thieves relieving wagons of their load. Standard Gauge steam shunting had just finished the day before I arrived and the diesel shunter was once again working. Durdevik Mine certainly you have to be very lucky to see working. Most coal leaves the railway by road but every now and again they can make a train up. There is very little notice to this happening. So it’s really like winning the lottery to get some action here. Bosnia is still a great place to go to witness steam hard at work in 2014."

Fri 2nd:

07-00hrs. Oskova Std Gauge 
Skoda 19-12 dead in yard

Sat. 3rd:

Oskova Std Gauge
Diesel shunted 19-12 to back of the shed, then shunted 62-125 to front. Dome cover off 62 -125 for inspection.
Durdevik Mine 07-30hrs. 
62-111 dead in yard, advised it will not work all week
Duprave Mine 09-15hrs. 
33-248 approaching mine on set of empties. L/e to yard office.
Nr. Lukavac Yard. 10-30hrs. 
33-236 pass on loaded wagons to Lukavac yard, return on empties to Sikulje Mine


08-30hrs. Oskova Yard
83-159 working unloading wagons
09-30hrs.Duprave Yard 
33-248 i/s in yard no work. No wagons loaded.
13-30hrs. Near Lukavac Yard 
33-236 pass on loaded to Lukavac Yard return to Sikulje mine on empties


08-00hrs. Banovici Workshops
83-158 in workshop, ex- works freshly painted in black livery Skoda 25-30 spare, Budapest 55-99 spare, rest of locos dumped as before 
10-30hrs. Duprave Mine Yard 33-248 throwing out fire no wagons loaded
12-30hrs. Lukavac Yard 
33-236 arr. On loaded train, return on empty wagons to Sikulje Mine
14-30hrs. Oskova Yard 83-159 working from Oskova yard to unloading shed kept busy all afternoon with unloading trains.

Wed. 7th:

10-30hrs.Duprave Yard
33-248 dead in yard no wagons loaded
13-00hrs. Lukavac on approach to Yard
33-236 pass on loaded to wagons to yard, return on empties to Sikulje Mine
14-00hrs. Bukinje Workshops 
33-503 dead in yard
62-123 plus the usual o.o.u. locos.
Drive to Zagreb.

Trevor Maxted reports on his visit between 13th and 21st March 2014:

Flights with Easyjet Gatwick to Zagreb and return were used and these were a very good option, hiring a car from Zagreb airport. It took just over 4 hours to drive from Zagreb Airport to Zenica where we stayed for one night at the Motel Almy, 25 euros each B&B in a twin room. The following morning (14/03) Zenica colliery was visited. I had a translation letter explaining what we wanted to do and we arrived at the gate and presented it to the staff on duty there. They took down passport details and within 10 minutes permission was granted and we were on the premises where 62.633, the only serviceable loco, was shunting and tripping to the interchange yard. Early mornings are easily the best time photographically for this location. 62.003 and 62.648 are stored/dumped on a headshunt. An English enthusiast told us later, while we were at Sikulje, that Breza colliery was now fully dieselised. After a couple of very enjoyable hours at Zenica we departed for the Tuzla area via Sikulje and Oskova. At Sikulje 33.504 was the loco in traffic but there was a mechanical problem at the mine so no trains were expected until after dark at the earliest. We then checked at Oskova where NG 83.159 was the washery trip loco. The hotel Zlaca was our base for the next seven nights, almost a holiday! KM70 for a twin room (KM35 or 17.5 euro pp per night B&B). On the 15/03 there was a train on the Durdevik branch, thought to be the first working for over a month. 62.111 ran light engine to Zivinice at 08.00 to pick up the empty wagons and was quickly on its way back. Not long after depositing the train at Durdevik colliery the loco ran back down the branch to work another portion of the train to the colliery. We were lucky to have noticed the loco returning light as we had no idea that it had only taken half the train on the first run. The whole loaded train worked back to Zivinice in the afternoon we were told but we were elsewhere. The following days were spent at Banovici/Oskova, Sikulje and Dubrave. 33.503 was the working loco at Dubrave and trips to Ljubace were seen on varying days at 12.00 and between 14.00 and 15.00 with one afternoon having two trips between 14.00 and 16.00. Sikulje was not as busy as Dubrave with generally only one train each afternoon. On every train seen at Sikulje loads of 'locals' leapt on the trains as they departed the mine throwing as much coal off as possible, some even filling sacks up while the train rolled along. 33.064 replaced 33.504 at Sikulje during our stay. It was also noted that at Sikulje the loaded trains were being marshalled prior to departure at the far end of the colliery instead of the Lukavac end. Both Sikulje and Dubrave are very much afternoon locations for photography. At Banovici the normal 15 Euro fee applied for a visit. 83.158 was in the works having a major overhaul and 83.159 the Oskova pilot for the whole of our visit. On the standard gauge 19.12 was being cleaned and prepared for work in the near future as the sole diesel shunter is scheduled for a major overhaul which will take at least four weeks.

After mid-day on 21/03 we departed for the drive to Zagreb, taking almost 4 hours though as we had lots of time did not rush. Crossing the Bosnia/Croatia border by road was very quick, not even any queues. The weather was very warm for mid March, reaching 25C some afternoons, not great for exhaust. The usual mix of helpfulness and hostility to photographers was experienced from railway staff though how much of the latter was down to trying to extract the odd pivo (beer) from the westerners we'll probably never know! Certainly, the crews appreciated the odd beer or packet of cigarettes as tokens of friendship. Fuel was around 1.2 euros per litre and available everywhere, there seems to be so many filling stations in Bosnia these days. Fruit was also in plentiful supply and food prices generally quite cheap, less than half that of here in the UK. Police road checks were very noticeable as usual and beware forward facing speed cameras that you cannot see until right on them. Allow time at banks to change money, queues can be long and having KM is better than relying on people taking Euros. A very enjoyable trip, the usual heavy dollop of patience waiting for some steam action being the norm for Bosnia, well worth the effort.

Zenica with 62.633 in action and 62.003 and 62.648 in store:

Durdevik with 62.111 running two trains:

33.503 at Dubrave:

33.064 at Sikulje:

Oskova with 19.12 being readied for duty and 83.159 at work:

George Shields' trip to Bosnia March 2014

Sunday 9th

Fly to Zagreb to Zagreb Main Rly Station
JZ 125-052 0-6-0 Budapest 1894 plinthed

Monday 10th

Zagreb Railway Museum 09-00hrs.
Gate Guard 207T 0-6-0 Duro Dakavica
JZ 11-015 2-8-2 Repainted in blue
JZ 51-148 2-6-2T 
JZ 62-054 0-6-0T Davenport/2611/44
JZ 33-089 2-10-0
JZ 116-037 2-6-2T Siegl 1904

Tuesday 11th March

Banovici Workshops 09-15hrs
25-30 0-6-0T Skoda Spare
55-99 0-6-0T Budapest Spare
83-158 0-6-2 Duro Dakovica 1948 o/haul in W/shop
83-181 0-6-2 “ “ “ dpd in yard
25-29/32/33 Skodas dpd in yard

Duprave Mine 12-00hrs.
33-503 in mine yard shunting. On footplate.
13-30hrs. 33-503 dep. to Lubace and Return 
On footplate arrive 14-45hrs.

Banovici Oskova Yard 16-30hrs.
83-159 working unloading wagons to/from screen

Wednesday 12th March

Banovici Oskova Yard 08-00hrs.
83-159 shunting unloaded wagons.
Then gets in a shunt with diesel
To yard for service then l/e to screens

Standard Gauge Shed
62-677 oou back of shed
62-125 spare to Skoda 
19-12 Skoda repairing roads and piston packing
83-159 working on shunting.

Duprave Mine 11-00hrs.
33-503 in mine yard waiting for loading to finish

Pasci |Gorni Village by pond 13-30hrs.
33503 passon loaded wagons to Lubace

In Between road crossings 14-00hrs
33-503 up on empties to Duprave Mine

Lukavac 14-20-00hrs.
Station master reports 
15-00 to 16-00hrs. train will come from mine.

Sikulje Mine, By Road underbridg 17-00hrs.
33-504 pass on loaded to Lukavac
33-504 return on empties for the mine. 17-30

Thursday 13th March

 Duprave Mine Yard 08-00rhs.
33-503 shunting wagons for loading

Sikulje Mine 08-45hrs.
33-504 i/s waiting loading to finish 

Bukinje Workhops 09-15hrs.
62-123 dead in yard
62-376 oou in yard
62-637 oou in yard
62-368 oou in yard
33-064 cooling down in yard
33-248 dead in yard
33-236 o/haul in workshop.

Drive to Duprave 09-30hrs. 
33-503 in yard waiting loading.

10-30hrs Looking for locations to film

Pasci Gorni Village 12-30rs. 
33-503 pass on loaded to Lubace

Looking over Pasci Gorni Village from Conveyor 13-15
33-503 pass up on empties to Duprave Mine 

Sikulje Mine 15-oohrs. 
33-504 in yard waiting loading to finish

Banovici Oskova Yard 15-45hrs.
83-159 shunting wagons at the screens

Friday 14th

Banovici Oskova Yard 08-30hrs.
83-159 some shunting at screens

Drive over hills to Sikulje Mine 09-30hrs.
33-504 in yard in steam

Duprave Mine check out loading. 11-00hrs.

Road Crossing near Main Road 12-30hrs.
33-503 down on loaded train to Lubace

Climb up from Lubace 13-00hrs.
33-503 up on empties to Duprave Mine

Sikulje Mine 15-00hrs.
33-504 shunting. 
Not departing on loaded train till 20-00hrs.

Banovici Oskova Yard 16-00hrs.
83-159 at screens waiting orders

Saturday 15th

Durdevik Coal Mine 07-00hrs.
62-111 Yugo Tank in steam.
62-111 light engine to Zivenice dep. 07-30hrs.

Zivenice Interchange Yard 08-00hrs.
62-111 arr. On to 37 empty wagons
62111 dep yard to Durdevik 08-30hrs.

Durdevik Village 0845hrs.
62-111 pas with empties to mine

Durdevik Coal Mine 09-00hrs
62-111 arr. On empties

Drive to Duprave Mine 10-00hrs.
33-503 shunting in yard for loading.
Rudnik Duprave Mine Football Team Practice

Pasci Gorni Village 12-45hrs.
33-503 pass on loaded to Lubace

Road Crossing near main road crossing.
33-503 pass on empties to Duprave Mine

Durdevik Coal Mine 14-15 hrs.
62-111 shunts train of loaded together.
62-111 departs on loaded train to Zivenice

Durdevik Village 14-25hrs.
62-111 pass on loaded to Zivenice

Banovici Road Junction X-ing 15-10hrs
62-111 pass light engine to mine.

Banovici Oskova Yard. 15-45hrs.
83-159 in steam waiting orders
83-159 to screens to load 1645hrs.

Sunday 16th March

08-00hrs. Drive to Zagreb Airport

Paul Jobber adds:

I am the English enthusiast that Trevor Maxted mentioned in his report.

I can confirm that Breza is indeed now dieselised with the previously operational 62 dumped near to the level crossing. A small diesel shunter now handles two of the Eas-z wagons at a time under the loading chute. I visited that location during the early afternoon of Tuesday 18th March.

Bus timetables are available online which was a great help as I do not drive. (link dead by July 2020) covers Tuzla and (link dead 25th August 2015) covers Lukavac.

On Thursday 20th March, I saw the same working as Trevor at Sikulje/Lukavac. In the winter a view of the loco shunting can be found by walking past the gypsy camp although when the bushes come into leaf, the view would be much poorer. There was a decent amount of shunting, including an impressive fly-shunt manoeuvre.

I strongly suspect that I missed a 08.00 departure at Lukavac, although there was a Lignite smog from the power station which would have prevented good photography at the time.

The only hassle I received here was from one of the young kids from the camp when was going through his "obnoxious macho" phase. One of the gypsies kindly chased off a couple of stray dogs who were snapping at my heels at one point, so I think it is safe to consider them friendly in general.

After the 14.00 run I caught the 14.50 bus from Lukavac to Živinice to enquire about the Durdevik workings. This service takes a pleasant scenic route via Lake Modrac, taking about 55 minutes. The station office was closed, but I was able to get one of the roughly hourly buses from here to Dubrave. After a less than an hour's wait, 33-503 departed at 1645 in perfect late afternoon sun. It returned at twilight with empties. I returned to Tuzla on bus route 11 (the unmarked stop is at the junction near the level crossing outside the mine).

The class 83 was in steam at Oskova on Friday 21st March. The standard gauge was shunted by a class 732 diesel. A stop-off at Ljubace left me out of luck; according to the staff the next arrival would have been at about 20.30, well after dark.

On Saturday 22nd March, I caught an early bus to Živinice to try again. The stationmaster phoned Đurđevik who confirmed that there were no trains running that day. When asking in pigeon Bosnian, note that Durdevik is in fact Đurđevik ("Jurjevik"). Đurđevik is reachable from Živinice by catching a local bus towards Kladanj, although I did not attempt to do so.

I immediately returned by bus to the level crossing near Ljubace where shortly after I was awarded with an arrival from Dubrave at about 0930. By a stroke of luck a I met there a German enthusiast who spoke Bosnian. He was able to ask the crossing attendant about the schedule for the day. Another departure was expected that afternoon, but I had to be at Tuzla airport by 1430. The German enthusiast gave me a lift to Dubrave, pointing out a number of level crossing vantage points on the branch. We photographed the arrival of the empties. I then tried to get photos of the Kriegslok shunting but was waved away by the security man at the mine entrance. This worked to my favour as I found a public level crossing at the far end of the site just as the Kriegslok was running round the headshunt at the far end of the mine (at the opposite end to the spoil conveyor). It is an easy walk of about two miles to Tuzla airport from Dubrave.

Breza's small diesel with the dumped 62 in the siding alongside:

Some shunting at Sikulje on the morning of 20th March.

This shows the late afternoon departure from Dubrave on 20th March...

And its twilight return

 This shows the Dubrave loco on the branch near Ljubace on the 21st March.

This shows the loco running round on the headshunt at Dubrave on 21st March..

Rob Dickinson