Tuesday, April 28, 2015

the narrow gauge railway from Sarajevo to the Ostgrenze, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1906

The railway to the eastern borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina with Serbia and Turkey (the Ottoman Empire) rose from Sarajevo in the Miljačka valley to a watershed at the Karoline saddle and a 850-metre long summit tunnel at an altitude of 946 metres. From there the railway followed the course of the Praça to the Drina valley. At the mouth of the Lim river the mainline leading to the Turkish border left the Drina valley and climbed the Lim to the border in Uvac (according to a 2002 census, this village has a population today of 18 people; it may be a reference to the nearby Sjenica). Sarajevo - Uvac = 137.6 km.

The branch to the Serbian border led from the Lim confluence with the Drina down to Višegrad and then in a side valley to the border at Vardiste (31.5 km).

The whole railway line to the Ostgrenze (eastern borders) had quite the character of a mountain railway: more than 100 tunnels and galleries, a large number of high retaining walls and numerous bridges had to be built. It was built as a narrow gauge railway, but with the base of a standard gauge railway; the smallest radius was 200 metres; the maximum gradient 1.8 % and the weight of the rails 21.8 kg / metre.

In July 1906, the railway from Sarajevo to the Ostgrenze was handed over to public traffic.

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