The International Steam Pages

Steam and Floods in Bosnia 2014

As well as a brief report, Jakob Stilling points out that the extensive flooding in May 2014 could have important knock on effects for steam operation. On the spot updates would be greatly appreciated...

Jens Ingemann travelled with Jakob and has added some extra notes.

The only other recent report (from George Shields) covered the same period as that below.

Spent 4 delightful days in Bosnia from 6-10th May 2014.

Visited Zenica, with a permit, and a lot of shunting by the 62 in the morning.

Dubrave and Sikulje working as usual with one cl. 33 each and 2-3 trains to the mainline every day 

Two class 33 being serviced/overhauled in Bukije works

Class 83 shunting Oskova, a photo special was arranged with the class 83 on the NG with very good photographic possibilities.

However, it must be noted, that the heavy floods in the following week meant that the state railway line between Zivinice and Ljubace was washed away for at least 1-2 kms (live footage of the destroyed line are on U-tube), and that no trains will run here for a considerable time. A full rebuilding, possibly also of bridges on most of the Zivinice-Ljubace section is needed. This means that Banovice is effectively cut off from the power plant in Bukinje and that the mines will only be able to use lorries to get the coal out, probably forcing them to close down or operate at very low output for months.

Same situation applies to Sikulje, where the yard turned into a waterfall, and some of the mining machinery was destroyed and the open cast mine filled with overflowing water from the river. Also here, the main line must be washed away. It is unknown when workings open again. There are shocking pictures in the Kreka mines webpage.

Also Dubrave was affected by the floods, probably the line here was also damaged.

It is not known if the main line from the power plant to Sikulje is in working order, but as Lukavac town was flooded, damage to the main line is very likely.

Bosanka Poljana (the big junction of the state railway lines by the power plant) was under about 40 cm of water at some stage.

This will be a severe and long term blow to the Tuzla steam operations.

There are heavy destructions of roads and villages in the area from the floods and mud slides from the hills and tips.

It is advised to get up to date information before travelling, and I would expect that day to day operations are not resumed for some time – however, as there are no other ways of feeding the power plant with fuel, rebuilding of the lines and pits must be a first priority.

The pictures show Bukinje and Dubrave on Saturday 10th May 2014, 96 hours before the rain started.

Jens Ingemann was with Jakob and adds:

We flew in with a very convenient Wizz Air flight (3-times a week from Malmö Sturup airport, one hour in shuttlebus from central Copenhagen to/from the airport). A number of car rentals are available at Tuzla airport. We left Copenhagen at 12.30 on 6th May, and at 18.00 we were at Sikulje mine.

Zenica 7.5.: 62-633 was the active loco, 62-003 and 62-648 were dumped and 62-650 cold in the shed. The morning shunting began around 07.30, 62-633 pushed some wagons down to the state railway interchange at 08.03 and returned at 08.37 with 4 empty wagons (see picture below). Around 09.15 the action was over and staff said that nothing would happen for several hours. The mine is an easy walk from downtown Zenica (and can easily be located with Google Earth).

Oskova/Banovici: 83-159 was active with shunting in Oskova (see picture below), and on 8th May it headed a special for local tourists from Banovici to Turija. 83-159 and 25-30 are the active locos, and replace each other every month. 25-30 was cold at Banovici workshop, where 83-158 was in the final stages of a major overhaul and has been painted black. It was expected to be back in service in June or July. 

Tuzla area: 33-236 was in Sikulje, and 33-248 in Dubrave. 33-248 was replaced by 33-503 on Friday 9th May. 33-504 was undergoing heavy overhaul in Bukinje workshop, and 33-064 was having minor repairs.  Trains to/from Sikulje and Dubrave were very unpredictable with 2-3 pairs of trains every 24 hours.

Durdevik: Trains were scheduled to run in the last week of May, so we did not see any action at this mine. However, due to the severe flooding and the following destruction of the state railway line north of Zivinice the trains in late May are not likely to have run, though I have no confirmation of this.

Rob Dickinson