The International Steam Pages

Steam Relics in Macedonia 2008

James Waite reports on his November 2008 visit:

The three photos of the Feldbahn loco (JZ 99.4-053, Henschel 15079/1917) and train are at Kicevo in the west of Macedonia. They're relics of the old 600mm gauge Ohrid railway which originally ran for more than 200kms between Skopje and Ohrid, a town on a lake on the border with Albania, built by the German army during WW1. It was cut back later to Gostivar, about half way, after the standard gauge reached there and closed altogether in 1966. Judging by the spectacular mountain scenery through which the road to Kicevo runs this must have been one of the great scenic rides of Europe. Kicevo is now the terminus of the standard gauge line. One of the destinations on offer in the booking hall was Chicago, appropriate as this was the day of the US election!

There's a second ex-Ohrid railway Feldbahn loco preserved in Macedonia - 99.4.025 (Vulkan 3129/1917) which used to be preserved at Lisice depot. It moved some years ago to the site of the western station on the old Pioneer Railway, which only ran between 1948 and 1959, and which also worked by Feldbahn locos. However, it's no longer there and I didn't manage to find out where it is now.

Finally the woebegone 760mm gauge 83 class (missing its chimney) is in the grounds of what used to be a railway training school in the south eastern suburbs of Skopje, close to the main loco shed. It was a gift in the 1980's from Lajkovac depot near Vreoci, the last JZ depot in Yugoslavia operating the 83 class. There were never any 760mm gauge railways in Macedonia.

Rob Dickinson