In December 2009, the train between Sarajevo and Belgrade resumed service for the first time since the war began. Its last trip prior to this was in 1992. The tickets are handwritten. The train consists of 3 passenger coaches, one from Serbia, the Republika Srpska of Bosnia and Bosnia and Herzegovina respectively.
The siege of Sarajevo abruptly interrupted the connection with Belgrade and this journey was turned into a one-way trip to a future as a refugee. Progressively other railways, roads, connections and relations became extinct. People were forced to live in territories that were more and more confined, inside increasingly tight borders. Both physical and psychological contact came to a halt, although this schism was not complete until the isolation became a siege.
Now, after 18 years, this train once again connects the two capitals. The stops on the route have been rehabilitated: one is Sarajevo’s Central Station, which was severely damaged during the war.
The reactivation of the railway gave a strong incentive and a new reason for cohesion in a region where political divisions, ethnic and religious, are still extremely evident and tangible. On the same carriage, you can see Muslims, Orthodox, Catholics, Croats, Serbs, and Bosnians travelling. The forced isolation could be coming to an end.