Train of Josip Broz Tito defies Time and recalls the Glorious Past

November 6, 2018 1:30 PM

Tito’s train is proudly standing and recalling the heroic fight of Partisans against the Germans during the World War II at the locality of the mountain saddle Ostrelj, where the settlement of the same name is located, between Bosanski Petrovac and Drvar. The place where it is exhibited has been a favourite picnic place for drivers and travellers for decades now, and there are a motel and ski resort in its vicinity. The train used to transport wood from the forests of Grmec Mountain and Klekovaca Mountain.

The train transported wounded soldiers, weapons and other technical materials during the National Liberation War at the then free territory of Bihac republic, and the Supreme Commander of the Yugoslav Partisan Units, Josip Broz Tito, drove in it as well, according to historical data.

The locomotive was produced by the well-known German company “Kraus Mafe” in Munich back in 1904. It was purchased by the Otto von Steinbeis, after which it was delivered to BiH.

The main railway was 232 kilometer long and it went from Prijedor to Knin. Moreover, there were about 400 kilometers of forest trails and a total of 33 locomotives operated on it with about 500 freight and 60 passenger wagons.

The railway influenced the economic revitalization of the entire territory of north-western Bosnia and it marked the beginning of the process of industrialization and urbanization of surrounding towns and villages. It had a special importance during the Bihac republic, which was the name of the territory that was freed by Partisan units in early November 1941.

The locomotive was preserved even after the Partisans had to retreat from this territory, due to the offensive attacks of their enemies. After the World War II, it operated within the company “Yugoslav Railways”, and it was restored and protected as a monument of the anti-fascist fight in 1951, at the initiative of the General Smirnov.

The composition was almost completely devastated in the last war, but it was completely restored and its appearance was returned to its original form during the conservation works back in 2007. It was declared as a monument under the protection of state soon after that. From the Local Administration of Bosanski Petrovac noted that Tito’s train is a very important and valuable historical artefact and it makes an inseparable part of the rich tourist offer of this area, together with its natural beauty and wealth that include beautiful forests and clean air.

(Source: Radiosarajevo.ba)

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