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SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), September 23 (SeeNews) – The railway operator of Bosnia's Muslim-Croat Federation, Zeljeznice FBiH, said its high speed Talgo trains will start running from the capital Sarajevo to the municipality of Doboj on Monday.
Zeljeznice FBiH procured the trains from Spanish rolling stock manufacturer Talgo back in 2005 for just over 130 million marka ($74.6 million/66.5 million euro). They were delivered in 2010 but have since been parked on the premises of Zeljeznice FBiH, apparently due to technical issues.
After the successful completion of preparatory activities and test runs, Talgo trains will begin operating on September 26, the Federation's railway company announced on Thursday.
The capacity of the trains is 237 passengers, while travel time is expected to be drastically reduced, the company said.
Following the launch of the Sarajevo-Doboj link, Talgo trains are planned to connect a wider network of cities in Bosnia as soon as infrastructural barriers are removed.
Zeljeznice FBiH is also currently engaged in negotiations with Croatian railways to introduce high-speed Talgo trains on the line between Sarajevo and Zagreb, and plans to link Sarajevo to Croatia's seaport of Ploce as soon as passenger transport by train is restored on this route.
Last year, local media reported that Zeljeznice FBiH owed the Spanish company 132.3 million marka for the nine trains it had purchased with the help of a commodity loan granted by the Spanish government.
The warranty period for the supplied trains ran out in 2013, following which Talgo withdrew its staff from Bosnia but without receiving a single marka for the sale of its products, daily newspaper Avaz reported at the time. According to Avaz, the trains never left the garage because the necessary conditions for their integration into the railway systems in Bosnia and the region were never met.
The Federation is one of two entities that make up Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other is the Serb Republic.
(1 euro=1.95583 Bosnian marka)