|Town and municipality|
Location of the municipality of Lajkovac within Serbia
|Region||Šumadija and Western Serbia|
|• Mayor||Živorad Bojičić|
|• Municipality||186 km2 (72 sq mi)|
|Population (2011 census)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code||+381 14|
Lajkovac (Serbian Cyrillic: Лајковац) is a town and municipality located in the Kolubara District of the western Serbia, close to the town of Lazarevac. It has population of 3,203 inhabitants, while the municipality has 15,341 inhabitants. It is located in the Kolubara River valley and near to Ibar highway, the main route from Serbia to Montenegro.
The first railway line to pass through Lajkovac was a 760-millimeter (Bosnian gauge) line from Obrenovac to Valjevo which was completed in 1908. Two years later, Lajkovac got another line to Mladenovac. Just before the outbreak of World War I, the Serbian government started construction of line to Cacak, but the early war operations halted the development. In 1914, Dual Monarchy army stormed the city and destroyed much of the infrastructure; shortly afterwards, however the same force continued construction of a line to Cacak. After the end of the war in 1921, Cacak line was complete, connecting Lajkovac with Sarajevo and seaports of Dubrovnik and Herceg Novi. In 1928, the Obrenovac line was extended to Belgrade, which promoted the town into a railway hub of major importance. The decline of the Yugoslav Railways narrow-gauge network in 1960s led to a decision that all narrow-gauge lines should cease operation during the 1970s. At the same time, the Belgrade-Bar standard gauge line passed through Lajkovac. Much of the narrow-gauge infrastructure remains in the town today, such as a water tower, turntable, roundhouse and many rolling stock sheds. All that infrastructure except for the water tower still serves standard-gauge locomotive stock. There are plans to convert these facilities into a railway museum.
Unlike the past, when the railway was the leading employer in the area, most of Lajkovac inhabitants today work at surface pits of the Kolubara coal basin, that stretch on the municipal areas of Lajkovac, Lazarevac and Ub. Other major industries include agriculture (especially dairy and fruit production), electricity wiring metal constructions and textile manufacturing. Thanks to the surface mining, Lajkovac is usually among the municipalities with the highest average wage and employment figures in Serbia.
The traditional song Ide Mile Lajkovačkom prugom (Mile walks down the Lajkovac railway) is about the town; it is a staple of Serbian folk repertoire, with versions recorded by Tozovac, Lepa Lukić, Šaban Šaulić, Braća Bajić and many others.
- "Municipalities of Serbia, 2006". Statistical Office of Serbia. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
- "2011 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in the Republic of Serbia: Comparative Overview of the Number of Population in 1948, 1953, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2002 and 2011, Data by settlements" (PDF). Statistical Office of Republic Of Serbia, Belgrade. 2014. ISBN 978-86-6161-109-4. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
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