Tag Archives: Zagreb

Croatian Railways Passenger Train West of Zagreb, August 16, 2003


Listening to the Sounds of a General Motors 645 diesel in Run 8.

On the afternoon of August 16, 2003, I was in suburban Zagreb making photos on Croatian Railways (Hrvatske Zeljeznice—properly spelled with a hooked accent over the ‘Z’, which I’m not using in order to avoid problems with text interpretation by different computers).

Croatian Railways
A Hrvatske Zeljeznice class 2044 diesel (General Motors export model GT22HW-2) works west of Zagreb. Exposed with an Nikon F3Ts with 105mm lens on Fujichrome slide film.

Some local passenger trains, and long distance trains working the non-electrified line to Varazdin were hauled with General Motors diesels (built locally under license by Duro Dakovic). Many were still wearing the older Yugoslavian green and gold, but a few such this one (2044-002) were in the newer and attractive HZ blue and silver livery.

I also caught a few freights with Swedish designed Rc electrics HZ class 1141, similar to Amtrak’s AEM-7s.

Zagreb is a beautiful city with some wonderful old architecture a tram system. It’s as old as memory goes too. There were people living there when the Romans arrived some 2000 years ago.

Incidentally, precisely 20 years earlier, on the afternoon of August 16, 1983, Bob Buck and I caught a Boston & Maine freight leaving the yard in Springfield, Massachusetts with a Canadian National GP9 in consist. The CN GP had come down on the Montrealer the night before, pinch-hitting for a failed F40PH. Somehow, it seems relevant to mention that, it really ties the blog posts together.

A Hrvatske Zeljeznice class 2044 diesel (General Motors export model GT22HW-2) works west of Zagreb. Exposed with an Nikon F3Ts with 105mm lens on Fujichrome slide film.

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Snapshot of Croatian Railways (Hrvatske Zeljeznice)

A View From the Train to Belgrade, 2003.

On August 17, 2003, I traveled by train from Zagreb, Croatia to Belgrade, Serbia. This was a six-hour journey. While the train departed on time, it took a diversionary route around Zagreb to avoid track work on the mainline. On the way out of town, I noted a variety of stored General Motors diesels and a pair of 2-10-0s in a goods yard. Before long the train was 27 minutes behind schedule.

Croatian Railways
Exposed southeast of Zagreb, Croatia with a Nikon F3T and Nikkor f2.8 24mm lens on Fujichrome Sensia 100 slide film.

I made a number of photos, including this one, looking out the back of the train. Generally, Croatian Railways (Hrvatske Zeljeznice) maintained their track to excellent standards. Some HZ mainlines, such as this one, are electrified at 25 kV at 50 Hz, others with high voltage DC overhead, while many other lines are worked with diesels.

Approaching the Serbia frontier, the train was reduced to a crawl. This area was still showing the ravages of war.  Passing Vinkovci, I noted a large yard full of derelict freight wagons, but also saw that line-renewal was under way.

Serbia had just eliminated visa restrictions for American and EU passport holders, so I had no difficulties with the border inspection. The heat, on the other hand, was memorable!

Belgrade was fascinating, but I’ll save that adventure for some future post. Two years later (to the day), I was back in Croatia again, and on that trip explored the line to Rijeka.


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