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European Railroad Discussion > Montenegro — Belgrade to Bar Railway

Date: 05/29/20 06:59
Montenegro — Belgrade to Bar Railway
Author: gobbl3gook

One of the most "mountainous" railways in the world, by any metric.  

It climbs from the Adriatic Sea at Bar, Montenegro through a couple hundred kilometres of mountains to Belgrade, Serbia, on the Danube River.  

I rode the day train from Belgrade to Podgorica.  The 2nd half was in the dark.  I would have detrained at dusk after crossing into Montenegro, but there was torrential rain in the forecast, and I didn't want to get stranded by track damage in the mountains.  

After 5 disappointing hours of travel after dark, I decided I'd risk getting stranded, and the next morning I took the early train back to the border, then back to Podgorica again.  

The rain put on a good show.  

We were delayed about an hour coming back, there were announcements on the PA system.  But none of the other passengers looked concerned, so I just napped in my compartment.  turned out to be a small tree across the tracks, as best I could assess once we were rolling again.  

November, 2019.  

Ted in UT

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Date: 05/29/20 19:04
Re: Montenegro — Belgrade to Bar Railway
Author: gaspeamtrak

Quite the railway !!! It's on my bucket list... :):):)
Thank you for sharing !!!:):):)

Date: 05/30/20 03:17
Re: Montenegro — Belgrade to Bar Railway
Author: andersonb109

We saw much of the line from the air flying into Montenegro from Vienna. Wish we had had time to do it. 

Date: 05/30/20 09:20
Re: Montenegro — Belgrade to Bar Railway
Author: 3rdboxcar

Quite the railway !!! It's on my bucket list... :):):)
Thank you for sharing !!!:):):)  The more I see the more it needs to be done. Alexander

Date: 05/30/20 12:38
Re: Montenegro — Belgrade to Bar Railway
Author: gobbl3gook

More on Belgrade to Bar -- 

254 tunnels, 435 bridges
Map here.  
Bijelo Polje is the northmost town in Montenegro.  

I rode the International train from Belgrade to Podgorica.  In November it got dark at about 5:00 pm, at the Serbia/Montenegro border.  

If you're going to do this at any time other than June/July, I'd suggest taking the international day train from Belgrade to Bijelo Polje, and staying the night there.  Then take the local train from there to Podgorica.  

Local trains are generally better for riding anyway.  They stop a lot more often.  The windows usually open.  You get to see locals clambering on and off with odd bits of luggage.  It's what I imagine life in the USA in 1920 was like.  And they cost less per mile to ride.  

Story in The Guardian

Note that the international train only costs 21 Euro each way, for the 11 hour ride.  So you can ride this route back and forth to your hearts content and it's not going to set you back very much.  

On Booking.com a hotel in Bijelo Polje is only $33/night.  Seems a little high, maybe it would be less in the off-season.  

Another account, from Lonely Planet

It's a pretty ride, a fun ride, and a spectacular ride. It's a more intimate ride than you could ever get on a passenger train in North America.  The track is more tightly tied into the landscape -- more tunnels, more bridges than in the US (where they'd blast cuts and fill ravines).  And the local trains stop a lot.  And the windows open.  And a lot more employees at the stations and along the Right Of Way, giving waves, smiles, frowns.  And the canyon running, in many different sections of the line, is equal to or mare dramatic than the North American routes like Donner Pass, BC Rail's Fraser Canyon, or the SP Cascade Pass line.  

I'll post photos after I figure out how to sync my iPhone with a computer.  

If the world opens up again, make sure you get out and see it!  The cost of vagabonding around Eastern Europe is about the same cost as living in the US.  If you can rent out your house/bedroom for a month or two, and poach a fare sale on a major airline, the trip will almost pay for itself.  

Ted in UT

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/30/20 12:50 by gobbl3gook.

Date: 06/01/20 12:35
Re: Montenegro — Belgrade to Bar Railway
Author: gobbl3gook

Test posting 2 other images here.  Grab shots from the ride.  

It was interesting being "in the mountains" in torrential rains.  I got a close up view of hundreds of rivulets running down the sides of the mountains.  

(I'm trying to get my computer and phone to talk with each other, after I get it working I'll post some better ones).  

Pic one is a corner of what was once the highest train bridge in the world.  Pic 2 is a grab shot of a rivulet in a draw.  

Ted in UT

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/20 12:37 by gobbl3gook.

Date: 06/08/20 12:55
Re: Montenegro — Belgrade to Bar Railway
Author: rbenko

There are several "cab ride" YouTube videos on this line - well worth a watch if you have time.  Here's one that shows locations, speed, length of tunnels, etc. (cut and paste URL):



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