Josip Broz Tito:  Revolutionary, partisan, president & statesman...

The charismatic Josip Broz Tito was a pre-war revolutionary and wartime partisan leader who became Yugoslavia's head of state from 1945 until his death in 1980.  A leading international statesman, he became much admired both within Yugoslavia and abroad, one of the few eastern European leaders who stood up to Stalin, who made Yugoslavia one of the most open and economically successful Communist states.  He is buried in a mausoleum just outside central Belgrade.  More about Tito on Wkipedia.  For an excellent account of fighting with Tito in the Serbian mountains in WW2, written by British soldier and diplomat Fitzroy Maclean, buy a copy of Eastern Approaches.  It's one of my favourite books.

Marshal Tito's private train...

Tito loved train travel and had his own private train built in 1959 which he used extensively until his death in 1980.  The train was used to entertain many famous guests when they visited Yugoslavia, from India's Jawaharlal Nehru to our own Queen Elizabeth II.  Since 1980, this beautiful train has languished in its shed just south of Topcider station outside Belgrade, kept in immaculate original condition by its dedicated railway staff, available for hire but little used.

 

Boarding Tito's train in Belgrade...

 

The mountains of Montenegro, seen from the train.

Charter operation from Belgrade to Montenegro...

In 2013, a holiday company called Explore Montenegro (www.montenegroholidays.com, 020 7118 1002) hired the train to run over the famous Belgrade-Bar Railway on 6 selected dates, increasing to 7 departures for 2014.  Tito's carriages were attached to the regular daytime train on the route, for details of that regular scheduled train see here.  Tito's train was primarily sold as part of a 6-day or 4-day holiday to the Montenegro coast, sold with or without flights so you could arrange train travel from the UK to Belgrade if you like, see the London to Belgrade page.  They sold train-only tickets including lunch and refreshments on board for 249 per person, subject to space being available.

Departures in 2015 & 2016:  Unfortunately, flooding damaged the Belgrade-Bar line in 2014 all 2014 & 2015 departures were cancelled.  It looks unlikely that Montenegro Holidays will resume their charter. 

The Man in Seat 61 says:  "The Belgrade to Bar line features world-class scenery, passing through the mountains of Montenegro at up to 1,032 metres above sea level.  To make this journey in the comfort of a superb deluxe train was a real treat, but this is no mere tourist train, this is a piece of twentieth century history in its own right.  I've been a Tito fan since first reading "Eastern Approaches" in my youth, and to travel on his private train is a rare privilege.  Either direction is wonderful, although you get more daylight at the most spectacular end if you make the northbound trip from Bar to Belgrade.  Although Tito's train no longer seems to be running at present, you can still make this journey on the regular daily train, see details of the regular scheduled trains here."

Watch the video:  Belgrade to Bar on Marshal Tito's private train...

Also recommended:  5 minute video documentary about the train.

A tour of the train...

Car 2-15:  Conference car...

On the Montenegro Holidays trips, you'll spend most of your time in the comfortable parlour area of the conference car, but can freely walk the whole train.  At the conference table, the chairs with arm rests in the centre are Tito's - he would always sit on the right-hand side of the train.

 

Car 2-20:  Bar-restaurant car

The bar-restaurant car contains the restaurant, kitchen, a tiny bar, and a small saloon seating area with table.  On the Montenegro Holidays trips, lunch is served in the restaurant, which can also be used as a 'club car' in the evening.

 

Car 2-16:  Tito's private car...

 

Tito's private salon...

 

Tito's office...

 

Tito's bedroom...

 

Tito's bathroom...

Car 2-13:  Staff sleeping-car...

This car has a series of sleeper compartments for Tito's staff, plus a small office and seating saloon area.  On the Montenegro Holidays trips, this is a place you can come for some privacy and a snooze!

 

Cars 2-10 & 2-11, generator cars.  Car 1-01, baggage...

 

Baggage car 1-01 is usually marshalled at one end of the train and features the conductor's office (above), baggage store and a smoking room...

 

At the other end of the train, main and backup generator cars 2-10 & 2-11 provide power for the trains lighting, heating and so on...

The journey...

Watch the video above for a tour of Tito's train and an account of the scenic journey from Belgrade to Bar, taken on Montenegro Holidays' inaugural trip.  You'll also find an account of the journey with photos and a video of the northbound journey from Bar to Belgrade on the London to Serbia page.  Map of Belgrade showing station.

Scenery between Kolasin and Podgorica

How to get to Belgrade or Montenegro...

There's no need to fly - it's easy to reach Belgrade by comfortable modern trains from the UK, leaving London by Eurostar in the morning of day 1, arriving Belgrade early evening on day 2, see the London to Serbia page.  You can also travel between Montenegro & London using Montenegro Lines ferry Bar-Bari, and trains between Italy & London, see the London to Montenegro section.  Why not make a circular trip?


 

 


Tito's mausoleum...

Tito's mausoleum is in Belgrade, a little way out of the centre.  There's also a museum there, with many of the gifts which Tito received during his lifetime, and a couple of his dress uniforms.  Map of Belgrade showing location.

Tito's mausoleum, Belgrade   Tito's tomb

Hotel Moskva Belgrade...

In Belgrade, the place to stay is the historic Hotel Moskva.  Opened in 1906, anyone who is anyone who has visited Belgrade has stayed here, from British author Graham Green to Ethiopian emperor Haile Salassie.  It served as Gestapo Headquarters in 1941-44, although fortunately no trace of these former occupants remains.  It's ideally located 10 minutes walk from the station (uphill, so you're better taking a taxi if you have luggage), right in the centre of Belgrade at the far end of the pedestrianised main street from Belgrade fortress.  Book the Hotel Moskva at Booking.com.

The Hotel Moskva, Belgrade   A double room at the Hotel Moskva, Belgrade

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