Bosnia-Hercegovina - General Information

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Country Name

Bosnia-Hercegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина)

National railway system

  • In the Republika Srpska: Željeznice Republike Srpske (ŽRS).
  • In the Muslim-Croat Federation: Željeznice Federacije Bosne i Hercegovine (ŽFBH, formerly ŽBH).

The boundary stations between the two entities are (in the order ŽRS - ŽFBH):

  • Blatna - Otoka Bosanska on the Novi Grad - Bihać line.
  • Rječica - Maglaj on the Doboj - Sarajevo line.
  • Brčko - Bukovac on the Drenovci - Tuzla line.
  • Petrovo Novo - Miričina on the Doboj - Tuzla line.
  • Modriča - Gradačac (no freight traffic).
  • Caparde - Kalesija on the Tuzla - Zvornik line (no passenger service).
  • Language: Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian according to area.

Official Website

Language

Bosnian, Croatian or Serbian according to area.

Currency

Konvertibilna Marka (Convertible Mark), symbol KM. 1 KM was set = 1 Deutsche Mark. Since replacement of the Mark by 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.

UIC code

  • 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.

Timetable

Journey Planner

Downloadable Timetable

  • No downloadable timetable appears to be available on the official ŽRS website, although a numerical list of trains can be found at www.zrs-rs.com/red_voznje.php, and clicking on a particular train gives a pop-up window giving detailed times.
  • No downloadable timetable appears to be available on the official ŽFBH website.

Printed Timetable

  • ŽRS publishes a timetable in booklet form "Red Voznje" that also includes many ŽFBH services, particularly around the ŽRS/ŽFBH border areas.
  • ŽFBH does not publish a timetable book, but schedules are posted in stations.

Engineering Information

None.

Maps

There is no published map, except that in M.G. Ball's "European Railway Atlas".

Gauge

Standard.

Electrification

25kV 50Hz.

Rule of the road

Right.

Other Railways

None.

Tourist Lines

None.

Metro

None.

Trams

Sarajevo.

Recent and future changes

BHŽJK [Bosansko Hercegovačka Željeznička Javna Korporacija] is the umbrella organisation that co-ordinates ŽRS and ŽFBH activities. It has offices in Doboj.

International services to Croatia and beyond have been introduced recently as follows:

  • via the Dobrljin - Volinja crossing: one daily train pair between between Ploče and Zagreb;
  • via the Šamac (formerly Bosanski Šamac) - Slavonski Šamac crossing: one daily train pair between Banja Luka and Beograd, and one daily train pair between Sarajevo and Budapest;
  • via the Brčko - Gunja crossing: one daily train pair between Tuzla and Drenovci, with connections to/from Vinkovci.

A number of passenger services ceased during the war (1991 onwards): prospects for re-opening are slim though all (except Modriča - Gradačac) 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.

Special Notes

Under no circumstances should disused railway lines or installations be explored, because they may not have been cleared of mines.

See also