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    Beli Manastir railyard and train station

    I would like to share some photos that I have taken in my hometown of Beli Manastir, Croatia. This is the town that I grew up in and first fell in love with the railroad. In the second part of the '80s and early '90s, my father used to work for Yugoslavia's national shipping company "Jugošped" which had its local branch in a building adjacent to the railyard. This was my first railfanning spot.

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    During the last 35 years, many things have changed. Croatia is now an independent country, "Jugošped" does not exist in Croatia anymore, and I moved far away from my hometown. In these days of age, I only spend two to three weeks a year in Beli Manastir, but every time I go there, I always visit the local train station and, now abandoned, "Jugošped" building.

    The smell of the tracks, especially on lazy, summer evenings, brings back memories of days long gone. One thing, however, that is still the same as it was 35 years ago, is a special visitor to the railyard, the Soviet-built diesel-electric locomotive M62 which belongs to the Hungarian State Railways. This was the first locomotive that I saw as a kid, and the Hungarians still use them and regularly visit Beli Manastir.

    Since Beli Manastir is located close to the Croatian-Hungarian border, the local railyard serves as an interchange point between the Croatian State Railways (Hrvatske željeznice, abbreviated as HŽ) and the Hungarian State Railways (Magyar Államvasutak, abbreviated as MÁV).

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    In the picture above, you can see the mainline which connects Hungary in the north and Croatia in the south. This is an important route for international transport. The part marked in yellow goes through Beli Manastir and our Baranja region. This is a single-track line with a medium-sized railyard in Beli Manastir. You can see all kinds of traffic running on this line, from intermodal cars and manifest trains to unit tank trains and, of course, passenger trains.

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    In the close-up picture of the railyard in Beli Manastir, you can see several points of interest. The passenger train station is important for people in my town, as it gives them access to a direct train line to the city of Osijek, situated some 30 km to the south. Osijek is the most important regional city with relatively developed industry and services, and is also a university city, so many young people travel to school or university on the local passenger train. The same passenger train station is also used for people who wish to travel north to Hungary, as the regional passenger train between Hungary and Croatia uses train station in Beli Manastir as its point of origin.

    The truck terminal used to be a lot busier back in the day, when frequent loading and unloading between freight cars and trucks took place here. Nowadays, it mostly serves as a parking spot for trucks, but it's also a good place to watch trains from.

    The abandoned "Jugošped" building is situated on the southernmost part of the railyard and nowadays serves as a reminder of once busy life in our town and the railyard.

    The defunct industrial siding once served the local grain mill. The tracks are still there, but it's not used anymore.
    Borislav
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    #2
    Freight trains from Hungary usually arrive once every day. The Hungarians use their powerful Soviet-built M62 locomotives nicknamed "Sergey" to pull their freight trains. These locomotives have a tremendous sound and you can feel the ground shaking as they pass by. It is also said that they come equipped with a barrel of engine oil and bricks to make a "bridge" over the spilt oil in the engine room, but I can't really confirm this

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    Here you can see a MAV freight train with M62-309 arriving at the local railyard on February 16th, 2022.
    Borislav
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      #3
      In the meantime, a HŽ unit tank train from Osijek had already arrived in Beli Manastir. HŽ 2062-017 (EMD G26) diesel-electric locomotive is on the lead.

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      Once there, both locomotives uncouple from their consists, switch tracks and places, and then couple onto the other consist.

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      Borislav
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        #4
        There is no turntable or wye of any kind at the Beli Manastir railyard, so the HŽ 2062-017 now couples onto its consist with cab first, meaning that it will now travel south with long hood forward. The Hungarians don't have problems like that, because M62 has a cab on both ends of the locomotive.

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        Borislav
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          #5
          Beli Manastir is a point of entry into Croatia when travelling by train from Hungary. This is a view south from the passenger station. You can see the HŽ 2062-017 idling in the distance and waiting for departure.

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          Borislav
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            #6
            A lone tank car in the consist of open gondolas that are to be pulled south to Osijek.

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            Borislav
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              #7
              These two photos were taken on February 1st, 2021 and show a MAV train with M62-215 on the lead waiting for departure. In the background of the first photo, you can see the local grain silo.

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              Borislav
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                #8
                Fantastic stuff, Borislav! We unite with interest for many of the same reasons. The sights, sounds, and smells, whether modern or of the past, are like magnets and keep the enjoyment alive and fresh.
                Always looking forward to the next time I am able to get out and watch some trains!

                Keep the pics coming
                Neil

                Chicago Railroading Fan

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by qballbandit View Post
                  Fantastic stuff, Borislav! We unite with interest for many of the same reasons. The sights, sounds, and smells, whether modern or of the past, are like magnets and keep the enjoyment alive and fresh.
                  Always looking forward to the next time I am able to get out and watch some trains!

                  Keep the pics coming
                  Thank you very much, Neil! We seem to be on the same track here I have yet to show the best catch, as on the last day of photo shooting I managed to shoot my favourite locomotive in Europe idling in Beli Manastir.
                  Borislav
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                    #10
                    February 18th was the last day of my railfanning in Beli Manastir. By the time I arrived at the station, the interchange had almost finished. I managed to catch my old Hungarian friend M62-215 backing into a consist.

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                    As the big Hungarian locomotive was slowly making its way toward the consist, I realized that on the far side of the railyard a locomotive had already coupled onto another consist. The sun was shining into my eyes, so it was a bit difficult to see, but I knew I hit the jackpot this time. I immediately rushed to the other side, hoping that my eyes were not deceiving me. And they weren't.

                    On this day, it was not an HŽ locomotive that came to pick up cars due south. This time, it was the locomotive I had been trying to shoot for quite some time - Rail Cargo Carrier 2062. This private operator operates only a handful of 2062 locomotives, but they are painted in simple, yet beautiful red livery. It immediately became my favourite locomotive in Europe the first time I saw it in a photo a few years ago, and I had been hoping to see it in person one day ever since. I did see it in Beli Manastir two days earlier, but I did not manage to catch it as it was already speeding up by the time I arrived at the railyard.

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                    Borislav
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                      #11
                      More shots of this beautiful locomotive.

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                      Borislav
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