Previously in Yugoslavia, and today in Serbia, North Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina these locomotives are known as class 441. In Croatia they are class 1141. In Romania class 43 and 46. They are operated by Srbija Voz, TENT, MŽ, ŽFBH, ŽRS, HŽ, CFR and some private freight operators too. And the locomotives have an interesting Swedish, Austrian and Swiss heritage – more about that here.

However today – while these locomotives technically can still cross borders – de facto they do not, due to the lack of collaboration between railway companies in the region, and the lack of political will to overcome border railway problems. Travel in a summertime passenger train between Sarajevo (Bosnia) and Ploče (Croatia) and the ŽFBH 441 will be replaced with a HŽ 1141 at border station Čapljina. When passenger trains used to run Zagreb – Beograd the locomotive was switched at the border Tovarnik-Šid. When it used to be possible to go from Sarajevo to Banja Luka, a ŽFBH 441 was exchanged for a ŽRS 441 in Maglaj or Doboj. And where freight trains still run, it is the same story.

So when searching for a motif for the 2024 merchandise for #CrossBorderRail, it was this locomotive that had to feature, replacing the more sleek ICE from last year’s design. There are t-shirts, mugs, stickers, magnets with the new design, as well as all the motifs from previous years as well – in the merchandise shop run on Spreadshirt. And for those who like a beer on their train trips, there is even a beer mug!

Every merchandise purchase contributes a couple of Euro to the funding of #CrossBorderRail. Direct contributions for the South East Europe project are still very much welcome – at the moment the project is 78% financed. Getting it to 100% by the time I take to the rails at the end of May would be perfect.


Photo used in this post

ŽRS (former JŽ) class 441 with a regional train arriving at Doboj
Kabelleger – David Gubler
21 July 2009
GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

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