hidden europe 44

The Talgo tale

by hidden europe


The story of the Talgo trains of Bosnia reveals a quite stunning waste of money. This is a country which invested in a new fleet of trains which are simply incompatible with its antiquated rail infrastructure.

The city of Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was once an important place in the moderately efficient rail network of Yugoslavia. Looking back to 1989, prior to the break-up of Yugoslavia, the main station in Sarajevo had a score of mainline departures each day, including eight trains to the Adriatic port of Ploče (then called Kardeljevo), half a dozen trains to Belgrade (of which the fastest took less than six hours) and an excellent choice of trains to Zagreb.

All of these trains, bar for a single slow train each day to Zagreb, have disappeared. That service to Zagreb, usually composed of just three carriages, is the only train to cross Bosnia’s borders. And in 2014 its journey time is longer than 50 years ago.

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