The hissing of steam locomotives shrouded in smoke and the clatter of wooden benches of passenger coaches are times gladly remembered by somewhat older citizens of Mostar whenever they pass the city center next to the old railway station in Mostar.
In a newspaper report, published in Mostar’s “New Herzegovinian Bosiljak” on the 30th of August, 1884, it read: “It is voted that the works on railways Mostar – Metković will start on the 8th of next month, and should be completely finished by the 30th of April, 1885″.
The news cheered up the many citizens of Mostar because it meant that the city would finally be connected to other modern destinations, reaching one step closer to globalization.
As the construction of the section began from two different directions – Mostar and Metković – on the 17th of February, 1885, the first locomotive departure from Mostar Station to the village Čekrk took place. During the first trip to Čekrk from Mostar, the railway was completely finished at this point, and on the 28th of February, the railway was built up until Jasenički Bridge, which amounted to about 10 km in length.
It didn’t take long for a construction project of this magnitude to finish. By the 18th of April, 1885, at around 8pm, the first train from Metković arrived in Mostar. However, it would still take another two months before the official grand opening of the railway occurred.
With huge enthusiasm, many citizens of Mostar attended the public arrival of the first official train from Metković at the train station in Mostar on the 13th of June, 1885, at around 10:30am. Following the opening ceremony, the train was sent off from Mostar with ringing bells and firing cannons.
The old train station in Mostar was known for having a waiting room with a cash register on the street side, and an exit to the platforms on the other side of the building.
On the same side as the tracks, there was a nice restaurant, or so-called “railway restoration”. Railway staff lived on the floor above in apartments.
Six years later, the first trains started to drive north to the city of Sarajevo. Before that, year after year, the railway section to the north was being finished along the Neretva valley to Konjic, and later along Bradina through the tunnel by Ivan.