14 April 2006.
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. Armoured vehicles used in Homeland war, Brodosplit] The vehicles were sent to the shipyard in August 1991, and following conversion were displayed to officials on 31 January 1992.[1. Armoured Trains An Illustrated Encyclopaedia 1825-2016, Paul Malmassari]
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.”[1. Collection of railway vehicles and parts, Croatian Railway Museum] However it was not used in combat.[1. Malmassari]
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.[2. Croatian Railway Museum]
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.[1. Surviving Croatian Improvised Armoured Fighting Vehicles, Rafał Białęcki, updated August 2016] The bogies are protected with 10 mm steel.[2. Malmassari]
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.[3. Croatian Railway Museum]
The buffers are a different shape on this wagon.
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.[1. E-mail from Brodosplit public relations department, 17 April 2015] 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This helicopter has seen better days. According to airliners.net, it is Bosnia-Herzegovina Air Force Mil Mi-8T number VF-3801.
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.