Map of the railway
|Track gauge||760 mm (2 ft 5 15⁄16 in)|
The Šargan Eight (Serbian: Шарганска осмица, Šarganska osmica) is a narrow-gauge heritage railway in Serbia, running from the village of Mokra Gora to Šargan Vitasi station. An extension to Višegrad in the Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, was finished on 28 August 2010. It was planned to extend the railway to the village of Kremna by the end of 2011, and in 2013 to extend to the city of Užice.
Construction began during World War I and the plan was to connect Serbia with Austro-Hungary, which occupied both Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time. Šargan was located 9 km (5.6 mi) away from the pre-war border. Austrians enlisted numerous Russian and Italian prisoners of war in order to speed up the construction. During the digging of the "Budim" tunnel, the ceiling collapsed killing the entire shift of workers. The works were halted and were only continued in 1921, in the newly formed Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The construction of the railway was completed in 1921. A descent of 300 m (980 ft) was surmounted with the tracks which curve in the shape of 8, hence the name. The track is 15.44 km (9.59 mi) long and due to the curvature, on some sections the train passes twice through the same points.
In total, there are 22 tunnels on the route. The entire area is abundant in water, which gave name to the village Mokra Gora ("Wet Mountain"). There are 365 known water springs along the route. The water is literally dripping down the tunnel walls.
The former East Bosnian railway with a gauge of 760 mm (2 ft 5 15⁄16 in) was an important part of the former narrow-gauge main line from Sarajevo to Belgrade and closed in 1974. Between 1999 and 2003 the section over the Šargan pass was rebuilt by the Serbian Ministry of Tourism and the Yugoslav state railway JŽ, now the Serbian railways (Železnice Srbije) with great help from Emir Kusturica, a famous film director who had the town of Drvengrad (near the Šargan Eight station on Mokra Gora) built for one of his movies.
As of 2017, the train popularly named "Ćira" but officially called "Nostalgia", still runs only on the route Mokra Gora-Šargan Vitasi-Mokra Gora, with occasionally running to Višegrad. During the snowy periods, it runs only from Mokra Gora to Jatare. In 2017 season it had 75,000 visitors, out of which 25,000 were foreign tourists. Attractions include the restaurant carved into the rock at Šargan and a rock named "crazy stone" (Serbian colloquialism for getting married) at Golubići, which "invokes love".
- Goran Volf (12 July 2019). Обнова пруге кроз једно село на три планине [Reconstruction of the railroad through one village on three mountains]. Politika (in Serbian). p. 13.
- Branko Pejović (31 October 2017), ""Ćira" na "osmici" ove sezone prevezao 75.000 putnika" ["Ćira" on "Šargan Eight" transported 75,000 travelers this season], Politika (in Serbian)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Šargan Eight.|
- Official information on Serbian Railways Site
- The 'Šargan Eight' Narrow Gauge Railroad Tour
- Šargan Eight gallery
- Šargan Photo Gallery
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