Bosnia, Serbia restart steam train line in bid to attract tourists, boost ties

VISEGRAD, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Bosnia and Serbia have restarted an old steam-powered train in an effort to increase tourism in a region that was devastated by war in the 1990s.

Thousands of people gathered in the eastern Bosnian town of Visegrad on Saturday to greet the train on century-old, narrow-gauge rails as it ended its 26-mile (42-kilometer) journey from Mokra Gora station in Serbia.

Bosnian and Serbian officials say the joint Serbia-Bosnia effort also is aimed at restoring the broken ties between the wartime foes.

The rail line once connected Belgrade with Sarajevo and Dubrovnik in Croatia, but was closed in 1974.

Bitter ethnic conflicts involving Serbs, Croats, Muslim Bosniacs and other groups in 1991-95 split Yugoslavia into several nations, including Bosnia and Serbia.