A railway line from Podlugovi to Vareš in Bosnia and Herzegovina that closed in 1992 during the Bosnian war has resumed operations following months of renovations. The line will be used for transporting ore from nearby mines to the wider transport network.  

A ceremony was held to mark the reopening of the line with representatives from the country’s Ministry of Communications and Transport and the British Ambassador celebrating the achievement. 

Describing the event, Minister Edin Forto said: “It was both hilarious and emotional. I have seen a large number of older people and some younger people with tears in their eyes. 

“In this area, the railroad meant a connection to the world, job opportunities and a symbol of prosperity. Maybe it should be just that again.” 

A group of people cutting a ribbon in front of a building
Government and industry representatives officially reopened the railway line. Credit: Adriatic Metals

The clean-up efforts led by mining company Adriatic Metals began in June with manual and machine cleaning work, before it was handed over to the Railways of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina for maintenance and renovation work in August. 

Trains along the 24km line will run five times a week, transporting silver, zinc and lead ore from Vareš along the track before connecting to another railway continuing to the port of Ploče. 

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By GlobalData

A track between the two areas was originally built in the late 1800s as part of the narrow gauge Bosnia railway between Bosanski Brod and Sarajevo before being replaced by the standard gauge line in the mid-20th century. 

The line’s refurbishment is part of Adriatic Metals’ significant investment into mining operations in the country, with the company’s project making up a reported 25% of the total foreign investments in Bosnia and Herzegovina.