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Narrow Gauge Railways of Bosnia-Hercegovina, The

Keith Chester

By the time of the Great War a network of over 1,000km of 760mm gauge railways had been laid in Bosnia-Hercegovina. These were no sleepy branches, but a full-fledged and progressively managed main line system. The Bosniacks were conveyed around the province in comfortable modern bogie stock, hauled by locos incorporating the latest technical developments and often highly innovative: no railway made such use of Klose's unique form of radial axles. And all this among some of the most magnificent scenery in Europe, which took the railway through spectacular gorges or forced it to climb mountain passes by means of two rack sections.

Originally conceived in 1878 as a temporary field railway to supply an occupying army, the railway was quickly adapted to civilian use in what was de facto Austria-Hungary's only colony. A true network never developed due to political rivalries between Vienna and Budapest and then after 1918 within Yugoslavia itself. The interwar years were marked by stagnation and it was only after 1945 that the process of modernising Bosnia's railways finally got underway. This inevitably entailed the regauging and closure of the narrow gauge, with the final public railway disappearing in 1978, almost exactly 100 years after the first was opened.

This book, the product of over ten years of research, is the first in any language to deal comprehensively with the complex but fascinating history of the narrow gauge railways of Bosnia-Hercegovina. It is profusely illustrated with over 550 photographs, drawings and maps. 416 pages A4 (24 in colour), hardbound.
450kr / st.
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