Steam in Bosnia 2010 - 3: Kakanj II - Over Night (50 p.)

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Proud Earthling

To the previous part of the trip report:
Steam in Bosnia 2010 - 2: Kakanj I - Hadzi, Puppies and the American (50 p.)

We find ourselves on April 2 2010 in front of Catici coal mine and washery loco shed, where the dynamo had just been transferred from 62-020 to 62-366. The former was about to retreat into the shed while a class 411 EMU was passing by with local 2155 Zenica - Sarajevo.

Obviously not an easy task...

In the meantime the driver enjoyed early spring.

62-020 would soon run out of steam, but even purists agreed to an unauthentic double header in the presence of two locos under steam. So, the second loco was shunted out of the depot again and a train fetched to complete the ensemble.

Voilà: two class 62s, now we have seen it!

More shunting afterwards.

The American 62-020 finally retired, also time for us to catch a two-hour lunch break. Inofficial reason: "Hadzi" had to attend the mosque, it was Friday after all.

At the loading facility freshly fired up 62-366 was already expected for regular shunting duties.

There was plenty of steam for the old two-axled cars, during breaks I could chat some more with "Hadzi".

He told me, that they still had about 20 people with steam experience, but no more young apprentices were trained. Diesel was supposed to arrive in 2-3 years, at about this time he would retire. However, he already had his licence for driving diesel, so even if diesel would come the next day, he would operate it until retirement.

RMU is standing for "Rudnik Mrkog Uglja" (brown coal mine) Kakanj, which had been nationalised a few years ago to prevent economic breakdown, as all mines we were about to visit (apart from Banovici).

Not the facility was used for loading, but a Caterpillar.

For loaded wagons from other mines this modern unloading facility had been built, you can spot it on some photos as blue structure. Locos are only necessary here for moving the complete rake before and after all cars have been unloaded in this impressive fashion.

After finishing the shunting job another loaded train was waiting at the state railway station. The loco between new and old houses.

Backyard view.

Ten minutes later the train was steaming uphill across this meadow.

Bosnian old age life - if I am not mistaken you can still partly read the German word "Strasse" (street) on the stone wall...

And the highlight before dinner: 25+ empties heading for the state railway in a regular train, seen from the red house, the last wagon can be found behind the loco to the left!

For the night we moved into Hotel "Premium", not in its heyday, but alright. As a bonus we had a room with railway view, B 397 Zagreb - Sarajevo came by 30 minutes late. Behind the train you can spot a newly built, not unphotogenic mine line which is supposed to enter service with steam. However, most people are only believing that when they see it with their own eyes.

After the meal, served as always from now on in several courses, we returned to the mine for night shooting. Some participated on the trip with their private cars bringing lighting equipment with them.

Yet somehow the best pictures were often taken before and after the posed ones...

Towards the end of the session an intense rain shower poured down, causing water to evaporate after hitting the hot lamps. Luckily, we had a convenient roof for shelter.

Around 21:00 we headed home for a well-earned night rest, but I had set the alarm next morning, April 3, a little earlier than necessary. And it paid off, the morning fog was illuminated by the mosque on the hillside like a halo. Within a short period of time a freight train, the morning commuter to Sarajevo and the punctual night train from Zagreb, which is shown here in a time exposure shot, came by.

The fog had not dissolved yet when we arrived at the mine, so perfect steam mood!

I got to talk with the workers of the new shift.

The train crossed the Bosna river bridge a few times for us, here from an elevated spot.

Where you could find this narrow gauge mine railway, sadly not operating on a Saturday. Some colleagues had caught a train hauled by box-shaped new Italian-built diesels the day before.

The next ride across the relatively rapid stream, the sun was already battling its way through the fog.

Not long ago there must have been even more water, at some level a wall of plastic waste was hanging in the trees skirting the river!

I also chatted with these fishermen on their weekend leisure.

Now we had to wait again, there was not supposed to be any transfer from the state railway until 1 p.m. according to Bosnian information policy.

Five minutes later, shortly after 9 a.m., the loco departed for the station!

The fog was lifting exactly for the first loaded train of the day, the red house was also elegantly covered by smoke.

The massive concrete posts leading down the hill almost looked like remnants of a lost civilisation (which they are).

A quick walk downhill for shunting.

Take a break?

No! Off to the station for the second time within an hour...

More about this developing fantastic spring day next time, including the move to the next destination!


A trusty work horse
Those are some great views as always Roni. Seeing live steam in the 21st Century under those weather conditions makes me want to visit.

Keep up the good work, and I look forward to the next set.


Eastern Railfan

These photos are outstanding Roni. Your work transcends merely just rail photos. They are truly works of art. I do look forward to seeing more from you soon. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.