International passenger

trains in 20th Century Europe

International passenger trains in 20th Century Europe

A5: Beograd as a hub

Beograd: arrivals in 1939 Beograd arrivals 1977 Introducing the Orient routes

Beograd was a rail node of some significance in South Eastern Europe. Here the Orient and Simplon Orient spines merged. Rails from the north arrived via a new bridge over the river Sava in 1884 and these were extended down the Vardar valley to the Bulgarian frontier in the same year. Beograd was a crucial traffic centre for trains from North and North West Europe to Turkey and Greece. From the North West came the Simplon route traffic from Italy via Trieste and Ljubljana where it was joined by the Tauernbahn. From the north came the Orient route bearing Hungarian traffic from Budapest and beyond. A secondary route to Romania took an easterly direction whilst to the south was the main line to Niš where Istanbul traffic diverged to Sofia whilst Greek traffic continued to Thessaloniki and Athinai.

Beograd was a remarshalling point where portions of expresses from the north were re-assembled into Turkey-bound and Greek-bound trains for onward dispatch. Sometimes the Istanbul and Athenai portions were conveyed in the same train as far as Niš where they were then divided and sent forward. However, the two portions latterly became independent trains from Beograd.

Trains from Bucureşti were routed through Timişoara and Subotica until the opening of the Pančevo Bridge in 1935 when they  were redirected via Vršac . Even so, these trains terminated at Beograd(Dunav) station. The main station in Beograd required reversal of arriving trains which were going south. The new Centar station now under development will make through running possible without reversal. However Beograd lost its direct service to Bucuresti in 2012. Passengers to Bucureşti now use local trains and have to change at Vršac and Timişoara.   


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