Bosnia-Hercegovina - General Information
Bosnia-Hercegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина).
The country is largely decentralized and comprises two autonomous entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (generally known as 'the Federation') and Republika Srpska, with a third region, the Brčko District, governed locally. The central government's power is highly limited, because the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is itself complex and consists of 10 cantons.
National Railway System
The Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia Hercegovina each has its own railway company. BHŽJK [Bosansko Hercegovačka Željeznička Javna Korporacija] is the umbrella organisation that co-ordinates the activities of the two railway companies. It has offices in Doboj.
National Railway Operators
- In the Republika Srpska: Željeznice Republike Srpske ŽRS.
- In the Federation: Željeznice Federacije Bosne i Hercegovine ŽFBH, formerly ŽBH).
The boundary stations between the two entities are as follows:
|Novi Grad - Martin Brod||Blatna ŽRS - Otoka Bosanska ŽFBH|
|Doboj - Sarajevo||Rječica ŽRS - Maglaj ŽFBH|
|Doboj - Kreka (- Tuzla)||Miričina ŽRS - Dobošnica ŽFBH|
|Brčko - Kreka (- Tuzla)||Brčko ŽRS - Bukovac ŽFBH|
|(Tuzla -) Bosanska Poljana - Zvornik Novi||Kalesija ŽFBH - Caparde ŽRS|
So far as passenger trains are concerned, ŽRS operates between Volinja (Croatia) and Doboj, plus local trains between Doboj and Maglaj. ŽFBH operates from Doboj to Tuzla, Sarajevo and Capljina. ŽFBH works freight south and east of Doboj, except that ŽRS runs between Zwornik Novi and Brasina (Serbia). ŽFBH also works any trains on the Martin Brod line, with transfer to/from ŽRS at Blatna or Novi Grad.
Bosnian, Croatian or Serbian according to area.
Konvertibilna Marka (Convertible Mark), symbol KM. 1 KM was set = 1 Deutsche Mark. Since introduction of the Euro in 2002, KM use the same fixed exchange rate to the Euro (1.95583) as the Deutsche Mark. Euro notes (not coins) are widely accepted.
- ŽFBH: numeric 50; alpha BIH
- ŽRS: numeric 44; alpha BIH
Originally, ŽFBH was allocated code 89. When ŽRS was later formed, the ŽFBH code was changed to 50. However, the alpha codes for both systems are apparently BIH.
- The ŽRS website provides a drop down list of stations, which gives both departures and arrivals at that station.
- The ŽFBH website provides a drop down list of stations, for which either 'departures' or 'arrivals' can be selected.
- A 2014-2015 downloadable timetable for ŽRS has been found and copied onto this site, but the source is not known.
Timetable booklets have been seen for both ŽRS and ŽFBH services, but these are not widely available. Passengers have to rely on departure sheets at stations, but these may not be correct.
- European Railway Atlas: Scandinavia and Eastern Europe by M.G. Ball (1993) (ISBN 0-7110-2072-4)
- European Railway Atlas by M.G. Ball (2008 onwards)
- Thorsten Büker's Map of Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Hercegovina.
- Maps and Plans - Bosnia-Hercegovina
It is believed there is no separate Infrastructure Authority in either Republika Srpska or the Muslim-Croat Federation.
- ŽFBH in Bosnian only and dated 2009, but it is unlikely much has changed.
- ZRS: none known
Rule of the road
Right, but there is very little double track.
- ŽFBH: in the appendices of the Network Statement
- ZRS: none known
Recent and future changes
All passenger trains south of Sarajevo were withdrawn from 5 October 2015, to allow for track renewals. Trains still appear in the ŽFBH timetable, but with a footnote saying that they do not run until the construction work is complete. No date is specified for this. As a result, the only lines with passenger train services in 2016 were Volinja (Croatia) to Sarajevo via Doboj and Doboj to Tuzla.
The daily pair from Doboj - Šamac was withdrawn from an unknown date in late 2014/early 2015.
The international train between Sarajevo and Ploče ceased at the December 2013 timetable change, withdrawing services over the Čapljina border crossing. From 1 December 2012 passenger trains ceased on the Novi Grad - Bihać and Tuzla - Brčko lines. The cross border line from Šamac ŽRS to Slavonski Šamac HŽ also closed and consequently services have ceased from Srpska-Kostajnica (the junction station north of Doboj) to Šamac ŽRS.
A passenger service was introduced on the Brčko - Gunja cross-border route into Croatia in the 2002/2003 timetable but was withdrawn by the end of the 2009/2010 timetable period.
A number of passenger services ceased during the war (1991 onwards): prospects for re-opening are slim though all (except Modriča - Gradačac and Martin Brod - Knin) carry freight traffic:
- Podlugovi - Vareš
- Modriča - Gradačac
- Tuzla - Živinice - Banovići
- Omarska - Tomašica
- Bihać - Martin Brod - Knin (Croatia)
A new route from Valjevo via Zvornik (in Serbia) to Tuzla (in Bosnia-Hercegovina) was started before the break-up of Yugoslavia. Completion of the Zvornik to Tuzla section was interrupted by the war in 1991 but has since been largely finished. The line carries no regular traffic but has seen occasional SFOR military traffic. Note that this line is shown wrongly, or not at all, on many maps, and actually runs from Rasputnica [= junction] Donja Borina, just south of Brasina on the line to Zvornik Grad, via a cross-border river bridge to Zvornik Novi (where there is a large works) then on to Caparde and Kalesija before ending at Živinice, which is on a freight line south from Tuzla. The Beograd - Banja Luka service was intended to run this way but runs instead via Šamac (see above), possibly because of the SFOR traffic and poor track condition on the ŽS (former JŽ) line between Ruma and Zvornik. Work on the Valjevo to Zvornik section was stopped - some construction work can be seen at the Valjevo end - but there are plans of a restart using EU finance.
There are optimistic plans by ŽRS to connect the isolated Bijeljina - Velino Selo - Sid ŽS (former JŽ) line to the Doboj - Šamac line, branching off just north of Milosevac on the Šamac line and running through Brčko to Bijeljina. This would provide a direct link to Serbia, to eliminate the need to cross into Croatia or the Muslim-Croat Federation, and would connect the western and southern parts of the Republika Srpska.
Under no circumstances should disused railway lines or installations be explored, because they may not have been cleared of mines.