The International Steam Pages

Preserved Steam In Montenegro

James Waite writes after his September 2008 visit:

Here are a few pics of the two locos in Montenegro, the only steam locos in the country. They both come from the 750mm gauge Bar-Virpazar line, the only railway in Montenegro built while it was an independent country. The country's recent history is that it derives from a group of mountain dwellers whom the Ottoman Empire never succeeded in conquering. They got organised in the mid-1800's under one of their more far-sighted rulers and were recognised as an independent state in the 1878 Congress of Berlin, the same international conflab that allowed the Austrians to occupy Bosnia in place of the Ottomans. The capital was at Cetinje, a town in the mountains which was (and still is) a small place. In WW1 Montenegro joined in to support the Serbians. This didn't prevent the Serbian army from invading the country in January 1919 and forcibly incorporating it into Yugoslavia. It regained its independence in May 2006. The capital is now at Podgorica (ex-Titograd) which has left Cetinje as quite an intriguing backwater. Many of the buildings are single storey affairs, even in the town centre. Planted amongst them are the royal palace, one or two other old government buildings and several more or less grandiose old embassies. The pic of the Mini is at the British embassy, unused as such since WW1. You may just be able to make out the British coat of arms on the wall. It's now a music school. 

The 2-4-4-0 Mallet tank is "Sutorman", Borsig 7610/1910 and is at Bar station, the terminus on the coast of the long line south from Belgrade. It carries a brass plate saying that it was overhauled/restored at Zrenjanin works in July 2002. The 0-8-0T is "Lovcen", OK 4115/1910 at Podgorica station. The Bar-Virpazar railway was built by Italian interests in the early 1900's to connect the coast with Lake Skadar, a route through the coastal mountains. It closed in 1958. There were four similar OK 0-8-0T's, one of which, "Zeta", was converted to 760mm gauge to run on the Bosnian system and so outlasted its sisters. There were two of the Mallet tanks, the other having been moved to an industrial plant on the Vorarlberg in WW2 and it never returned. It was scrapped in 1957. There were also two 0-4-0T's and three steam railmotors whose loco portions were later converted to 2-4-0T's. The locos were never numbered and the names, carried in Cyrillic script only, were of towns and geographical features in Montenegro.

Finally on a nostalgic note for British readers, while visiting James found a red painted "Green Goddess", a 1950s Fire Appliance used in public emergencies for years in the UK many of which were finally donated to developing countries, especially in Africa. See for more information:

Rob Dickinson