I went to the new Belgrade Central station to buy a ticket on the overnight train to Bar. I came here before in 2018, when the station had only just opened to the public. Back then the roof was all exposed with concrete beams, and the only entrance was through a small covered staircase leading down to the platforms.
They’ve got to be planning to put something on top of that big flat roof. I don’t believe this station is in its finished state yet.
Since then… nothing has changed, the roof of the station is still unfinished, and the north facing side is nothing more than an exposed concrete frame.
There’s variable water pressure in the sinks of the mens toilets. One of the taps didn’t work, another one gushed hard as soon as it was turned. In other plumbing issues, the roof leaks, enough that when it rains you see big puddles forming on the platforms. All minor problems, and it would all be understandable but for the fact that this complex has been under construction for over four years.
For comparison, I went past the old Belgrade railway station building, originally opened in 1884.
Train station opinions aside, I decided to get a first class ticket for this journey, travelling in luxury tonight!
I had a few hours to go before leaving and took a long detour through Tašmajdan Park before getting the bus back up to the station.1 Here’s the Church of St. Mark’s all lit up.
So, what does first class get you on the Belgrade-Bar overnight service?
A cabin to myself, with a large bed, mirror, purple velvet curtains.
A table, which can be flipped up to reveal a hidden sink.
Not much of a view from the train yet, that will come tomorrow.
I slept better than I normally would on an overnight train. The service is running two hours late, which I’m thankful for as it means I get to sleep in a little longer, and then see more of the Bjelasica mountains in daylight. This route is known for spectacular mountain scenery.
Here’s the first sight of mist-covered mountains some point after Selište.
It’s like a slideshow as the train emerges from each tunnel with a brief glimpse of a new landscape before plunging back into darkness.
Based on where we are I guess the village in the valley here is either Pelev Brijeg or Klopot.
Finally, we passed over the Mala Riejka viaduct. The track circled round enough to see it, unfortunately all I have are blurry photos so you’ll have to just imagine the view from the train.
Approaching Podgorica, the route comes down into the plains, then across Lake Skadar, not far to go before reaching Bar.
There’s a storm on the coast, rain tapping on the window. Not looking forward to leaving this warm cabin.
Once more attempted to buy a ticket on the bus and the driver just waved me on. That’s the third free journey I’ve had so far. ↩