ASPECIAL TRAIN on January 26 marked the restoration of through rail services between Zagreb and Knin, along the Una river valley. Linking the Croatian capital to the Adriatic ports, the line had been closed since 1991 due to war damage. It now passes through the western part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, requiring border crossings at Voljina and Martin-Brod.

On board the inaugural train were Croatia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dr Goran Granic and Transport Minister Dr Alojz Tusek, plus Bosnian Communications Minister Tihomir Gligoric and Foreign Trade Minister Mirsad Kurtovic. Croatian Railways was represented by President Slavko Linic and Managing Director Marijan Drempetic. Faruk Curcic from Bosnia-Herzegovina Railway Corp, plus ZBH Director-General Hiadjet Serbo, ZRS Director General Marinko Biljanovic and ZHB General Manager Ivan Knezovic, represented the three local operators in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Following electrification throughout in 1988, the fastest journey time for the 327 km Zagreb - Knin trip was cut to 4h 30min. The reopening special took around 7h 15min. Electric operation is only possible between Zagreb and Volinja; elsewhere the equipment has been destroyed or stolen. HZ hopes to reinstate electric operation and upgrade the track from Martin Brod to Knin.

Initially, only freight will use the line. From the timetable change on May 27, HZ plans to restore passenger services from Zagreb to Knin and Split. n