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 current timetable can be found at 
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. For 2017/18 immediately below this is the link to the Timetable PDFs.
- The ŽFBH website provides a drop down list of stations, for which either 'departures' or 'arrivals' can be selected.
- ŽRS 2018-2019 PDF timetable
- None found for ŽFBH but a good unofficial timetable in German, Linien- und Tabellenfahrpläne has 2017/18 information that covers ŽFBH services but it should be verified against local information.
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. ZFBH infrastructure page [https://www.zfbh.ba/infrastruktura/ here}
- 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
Novi Grad - Blatna - Bihać reopened to passengers on 3 July 2018, following an inaugural train the previous day. Damaged electrification equipment between Blatna and Bihać has been reinstated. The one train each way is an extension of the Sarajevo - Banja Luka Talgo service, calling at Novi Grad.
All passenger trains south of Sarajevo were withdrawn from 5 October 2015 to allow for track renewals with a footnote in the ŽFBH timetable saying they would not run until the construction work was complete. A daily Talgo service to Čapljina resumed with effect from Thursday 8 June 2017 as per this notice, plus a summer only pair until 31 August. It had been hoped to resume a seasonal train to Ploče in April 2017 but there is no mention of this.
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 services ceased from Srpska-Kostajnica (the junction station north of Doboj) to Šamac ŽRS in late 2014/early 2015.
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) and prospects for re-opening are slim. All (except Modriča - Gradačac and Martin Brod - Knin) carry freight traffic, but in some cases this is very limited:
- Podlugovi - Vareš
- Modriča - Gradačac
- Tuzla - Živinice - Banovići
- Omarska - Tomašica
- Bihać - Martin Brod - Knin (Croatia)
With passenger services reduced to routes between the major cities, further withdrawals would seem unlikely. However, the railway uses outdated rolling stock to compete with modern coach services, mostly using air-conditioned vehicles, on improved roads. The planned introduction of Talgo trains between Sarajevo and Ploče is a first sign of improvement. The European Commission's West Balkans Investment Framework included provision for upgrading railways, including the border crossing from Croatia at Šamac to Ploče via Sarajevo, Novi Grad to Zwornik Novo and Brčko to Tuzla. The ŽFBH line through Bihać does not feature in the plans and, with only limited freight traffic, its future appeared to be in doubt. However, in May 2017 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia agreed to seek EU funding to reopen the line between Novi Grad (Bosanski Novi) and Knin.
Under no circumstances should disused railway lines or installations be explored, because they may not have been cleared of mines.