Croatian armoured train

Croatian armoured train

Croatian national railway Hrvatske Željeznice and the Brodosplit Shipyard in Split converted two wagons and a diesel locomotive into an armoured train (oklopni vlak in Croatian) in 1991.1 The vehicles were sent to the shipyard in August 1991, and following conversion were displayed to officials on 31 January 1992.2

According to the Croatian Railway Museum in Zagreb, which now owns the train, the intention was that it would be used for “carrying out military operations against the aggressor’s forces.”3 However it was not used in combat.4

Front wagon

Croatian Railways’ rolling stock maintenance unit in Split completely rebuilt the wagons for the armoured train, retaining only the wheelsets, bogies and underframes.

The UIC Class G (covered van) four-axle wagons were originally 16.52 m and 16.79 m long, with loading surfaces of 39.60 and 40.30 m2 and a capacity of 90 and 92 m3 or 41.50 tons.5

The armour is formed from 6 mm steel outer plates and 8 mm steel inner plates encasing 30 to 50 mm of concrete. There are armoured turrets for 12.7 mm machine guns on the roof of the wagons.6 The bogies are protected with 10 mm steel.7

Croatian armoured train - front vehicle

Locomotive

Croatian Railways Class 2062 (ex-Yugoslavian Railways Class 664) Type G26 diesel-electric locomotive number 2062-045 was built by EMD in Canada in 1973, entering service with Yugoslavian Railways in August of that year. Before being armoured, it weighed 99 tons and was 17 m long.8

Croatian armoured train locomotive

Rear wagon

The buffers are a different shape on this wagon.

Croatian armoured train - rear vehicle

Location

In 2006 the Croatian Railway Museum loaned the armoured train to Brodosplit for exhibiting. It was later moved as part of an upgrading project in the shipyard.9 As of April 2015 the train was in the railway yard at Split Predgrađe where it was freely visible by going down Hercegovačka Ul. There is a station nearby and it was more-or-less walkable (albeit not a very inspiring walk) from the more touristy part of the centre.

This is where the armoured train was in April 2015.

However, in February 2017 the train was not visible on Google Maps dated 2017, suggesting that it had been moved elsewhere.

References

  1. Armoured vehicles used in Homeland war, Brodosplit
  2. Armoured Trains An Illustrated Encyclopaedia 1825-2016, Paul Malmassari
  3. Collection of railway vehicles and parts, Croatian Railway Museum
  4. Malmassari
  5. Croatian Railway Museum
  6. Surviving Croatian Improvised Armoured Fighting Vehicles, Rafał Białęcki, updated August 2016
  7. Malmassari
  8. Croatian Railway Museum
  9. E-mail from Brodosplit public relations department, 17 April 2015

Armoured train and railway-wrecker in Sarajevo

An armoured train vehicle and a rail-mounted hook for ripping up railway tracks were lurking behind a former museum building when I visited Sarajevo in July 2007.

Armoured train in Sarajevo

Armoured train in Sarajevo

Armoured train in Sarajevo

The railway vehicles were built for narrow gauge track. This would presumably be 2ft 6in/760 mm gauge, as Yugoslavia once had an extensive network to that gauge. Unfortunately I don’t know anything more about them.

There was also a tank, a big gun and a helicopter, all of which had seen better days, plus an abandoned statue of someone who had presumably fallen from favour and been hidden away behind the museum.

Armoured train

Armoured train

Armoured train in Sarajevo

Armoured train in Sarajevo

A website on pre-1946 tanks says “There was at least one armored train [in Croatia] which mounted French Somua S35 turrets”, and has a photograph of the train in service.

Rail-ripping hook

Railway wrecking hook

Called a Schienenwolf (rail wolf) in German, wrecking hooks like this would be pulled by a locomotive to destroy railway tracks behind a retreating army to prevent the line being used by the enemy.

Railway wrecking hook

Tank

Tank

Comparing it with pictures of tanks online, this might be a M3 light tank, a type which Yugoslav partisans used in the Second World War.

Helicopter

Derelict helicopter

This helicopter has seen better days. According to airliners.net, it is Bosnia-Herzegovina Air Force Mil Mi-8T number VF-3801.

Location

Museum building The ugly and box-like historical museum building was fairly easy to find, close to the national museum. Trams stop nearby, and though the museum appeared to be abandoned when I visited, the outdoor exhibits were freely accessible round the back.


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