Beginnings in the 1878

After a British proposal the 1878 Berlin Congress permitted Austria-Hungary to occupy and govern Bosnia-Herzegovina instead of Turkey.Railways were built primarily as strategic military facilities and they were connecting southern Adriatic ports with cities in the hinterland and with Central Europe.


The 190 km long Brod–Zenica military railway was built to support manoeuvres and supply troops. It was completed in 1879, using the 760 mm.


Dubrovnik requests to connect Gruž (Dalmatian and Zelenika railway) with the railway track Sarajevo-Metković (Narenta railway).


The Zenica–Sarajevo extension opened in 1882, with a loading gauge the same as that used on 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) gauge railways, which was thought to be sufficient for general traffic including passenger services. The Brod–Zenica–Sarajevo (Bosna railway) Bosna Bahn provided the basis for the narrow-gauge railway network which was later established in Bosnia-Herzegovina.


Southern Line, and the first section of that railway from Metković-Mostar (Narenta railway), in the length of 42.4 km, was opened for traffic on 13 June, 1885. The swiss engineer Heinrich Klose started with the construction of special gear locomotives to handle the big slopes (Bradina-Podorosac) in direction Konjic-Sarajevo.


Mostar-Ostrožac (65,4km) track in direction Jablanica (Narenta railway), Sarajevo opened on 22.08.1988.


Track Ostrožac-Konjic (Narenta railway) was opened on 10.11.1889.
Austria-Hungary accepts the inquiry for the track extension to Dubrovnik and Boka-Kotorska (Igalo, Herceg Novi, Zelenika) which was requested 1880.


The complete track between Sarajevo-Metkovic (Narenta railway) is finished (134,7km).


Measurements and environment preparation starts on the track Gabela-Dubrovnik (Dalmatian and Zelenika railway).


Star building the railvay section Gabela-Dubrovnik-Zelenika (Dalmatian and Zelenika railway)


15. i 16. July 1901. the track from Gabela-Dubrovnik-Zelenika (Dalmatian and Zelenika railway) was opened.


The end of BosnianGauge starts at 1966 where section Čapljina-Mostar-Sarajevo was closed. The last sections (East Bosnian) were closed at 1978.

BosnianGauge Tracks

Bosna railway

Bosnabahn (BHStB);
355.2 km, built 1872-1898

  • Bosanski Brod–Doboj–Zavidovići–Zenica–Lašva, Podlugovi–Vogošća–Sarajevo; 268.2 km, built 1879–1882,
    connection to the Spalato Railway at Lašva, as well as the East Bosnian railway and the Narenta railway at Sarajevo.
  • Branch: Doboj–Karanovac–Simin Han, 66.7 km, built 1886;
    Branch KaranovacGračanica, 6.0 km, built 1898.
  • Branch: ZavidovićiOlovo
  • Branch: PodlugoviVareš, 24,5 km; ČevljanovićIvančići, 1.9 km
  • Branch: VogošćaČevljanovići; 20.3 km built 1885.

East Bosnian railway

Bosnische Ostbahn (Bosanska istočna pruga)
166.4 km, built 1906.

  • Sarajevo–Pale–Ustiprača–Međeđa–Uvac 137,6 km (Serbian border);
    Uvac-Priboj, Serbia, built 1929.
    This line is connected to the Bosna railway and the Narenta railway at Sarajevo.
  • Međeđa–Višegrad–Dobrun 21,5 km;
    DobrunVardište 7.3 km (Serbian border);
    Vardište–Mokra Gora–Šargan Vitasi–Užice, built 1925;
    UžiceČačak, built 1912;
    ČačakGornji Milanovac, built 1920;
    Gornji Milanovac-Lajkovac, built 1922;
    LajkovacObrenovac, built 1908;
    ObrenovacBelgrade, built 1928.
  • Ustiprača–Foča–Miljevina 56 km, built 1939
In the 1960s, plans were made to regauge the lines to standard gauge. However, this was not realised. On 28 May 1978 the line was closed for commercial traffic. The track bed is currently quite well visible in the landscape, with several stations, tunnels still visible. A small part of the track is still in service as a heritage railway rebuilt between 1999 and 2003, Šargan Eight.

Narenta railway

Narentabahn (Neretvanska pruga);
178.4 km, constructed 1885 – 1891.

  • Metković–Gabela–Čapljina-Mostar; 42.4 km, 1885
    (Gabela is a junction with the Dalmatian railway)
  • MostarOstrožac; 65.9 km, 1888
  • OstrožacKonjic; 13.0 km, 1889
  • Konjic–Ivan pass–Ilidža–Sarajevo; 55.8 km, 1891
    (including 30.3 km of Abt rack railway over the Ivan mountain pass, replaced with a tunnel in 1931, having a standard-gauge railway structure gauge). Connecting with the Ostbahn and the Bosna railway at Sarajevo.
  • Branch: Gabela–Metković–Ploče; 1942 extension to a planned sea harbour in Ploče.
  • Branch: IlidžaBanja Ilidža; 1.3 km, built 1892.
It permanently stopped operating on 05. November, 1966.

More details!

Dalmatian and Zelenika railway

Dalmatiner Bahn (Dalmatinska pruga);
188,6 km, built 1901.

  • Gabela−Hum–Uskoplje–Herceg Novi (Montenegro)–Zelenika; 155,5 km
    (Gabela Junction–Narenta railway (Sarajevo))
  • HumTrebinje, 17 km, built in 1901 and extended to Bileća in 1931 (37 km), Nikšić (Montenegro) in 1938 (71 km) and further to Podgorica in 1948 (56 km).
  • Branch: UskopljeDubrovnik; 16,5 km
It permanently stopped operating on 31 May, 1976, when railway Čapljina - Dubrovnik in Croatia and Hum - Nikšić in Montenegro was abolished.

More Details!


Trebinje - Bileća
37 km, constructed 1930 – 1832.

  • Trebinje-Lastva; 11.9 km, 1930
  • LastvaBileća ; 25 km, 1931
It permanently stopped operating on 26. May, 1976.

More Details!

Who is Ćiro?

The narrow-gauge railways were served by the steam engine called “Ćiro“. This were several locomotives which was build in the 19th and at begining of 20th century. Here are some presented:

Source: www.pospichal.net/lokstatistik/25036-jdz176.htm

JDŽ 176

Used in the flat section Metković–Mostar with a train weight of 16,8 t. Hauled load 163 t.

Source: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/BHStB_IIIa4

JDŽ 189

On the curvaceous section between Mostar-Konjic with a gradient up to 10 thousandth the JDŽ 189 (IIIa4) is used. Hauled load was 175 t. Thanks to their Klose steering axles, the tracks with the tight corners were sparing

Source: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/BHStB_IIIb4

JDŽ 195

Between Konjic and Sarajevo tender machines IIIb4 (JDŽ 195) with combined adhesion and gear drive was used. On the actual Raštelica-Konjic mountain track, trains with a wagon weight of more than 60 tonnes to the load of 110 tonnes were carried by a train and a sliding locomotive or the train was splited in two.

Source: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/BHStB_IIIc5_701%E2%80%93721

JDŽ 97

A newer version of JDŽ 195 (IIIc5) was delivered between 1894 bis 1919. The machines had in contrast to their predecessors two instead of one wheel shaft.

Source: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/BHStB_IVa5

JDŽ 83

Since 1903 (1903–1949) delivered by Krauss Linz was a tender locomotive.

Source: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/JD%C5%BD_85

JDŽ 85

Advanced version of JDŽ 83 locomtive. This loco was constructed by the machine factory from Budapest (Hungary).

Source: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/JD%C5%BD_488

JDŽ 488

It was the first generation of a diesel train introduced in 1938. Builded by Ganz from Budapest and machine factory Slawonski Brod.

Source: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C5%BD-Baureihe_802

JŽ 802

The second version of the diesel train. In use between 1963-1969. Build in the Jugoslavian manufacturer "Ðuro Ðaković"

Source: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/BHStB_IIIb5

JŽ 73

Build between 1907–1913 by Krauss Linz, MÁVAG. One exemplar is a museum piece in Jablanica within the WW2 Monument for the "Battle of Neretva"

Info: www.muzej-jablanica.com

Source: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/SD%C5%BD_500

JDŽ 91

Used for the East Bosnian railway, over the Šargan-Gebirge (Šarganska osmica - Šarganska eight). Build in 1913 and the 2nd series in 1916. They were able to carry 350 tons at a gradient of 15 ‰ and a trailer load of 28 ‰ 180 tons at an average speed of 15 km / h.

Source: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/BHStB_IIIa5

JDŽ 185

The JDŽ 185 (IIIa5) was mostly used for the Dalmatian and Zelenika railway track. In years 1900 und 1901, 45 peaces was delivered. The second series was the JDŽ 186. Max speed was 45 km/h.

Source: search.archives.un.org/yugoslavia-one-of-five-unrra-locomotives-on-ss-john-eaton-swings-ashore-at-dubrovnik-yugoslavia


5 peaces of UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration) locomotives arrived Jugoslavija after WW2 as an help package from US. The locomotives used on the Dalmatian and Zelenika railway track. Because of a bad impact to the railway track they were not used for long time.

BosnianGauge track map!

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Map of BosnianGauge track!

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