A mouldered shed, old steam locos and a symphony in rust: while the heart of train lovers is either bleeding or beating faster, photographers can find a charming photography location at the old engine shed in Sombor.
On this spring day, fresh greenery already pops up with all might and forms a wonderful contrast to the colours of rust that shine here in all varieties. Bush shoots grow through an old carriage and some wheel sets on the rails look like they were just waiting to be built in.
However, at the old engine shed with its roundhouse nothing is moving anymore. This evidence of railway history is left to rot. Yet, who closes his or her eyes for a moment, may imagine how lively it was here, steam locos were fired, fitters struck the hammer and the gates of the shed opened. That’s all over. What remained are a small train graveyard and a good photography location.
The area is right next to the train station, which is located at the Ulica Karađorđeva in the North of the city. If you leave the city by car heading for Subotica and you cross the rails, look to the left. There you can see the railway area. In order that you would not have to pass the rails at the train station (and thus maybe having trouble with the station staff), pass the railway crossing by car and then drive left into the street Radoja Domanovića. Just before the street bends to the right, there is a trail at the left, which leads through the bushes to the old railway area.
At the old engine shed in Sombor, you can still find an old steam loco that is rusting away. According to my Internet research, it is a 51-129 tank engine of the former JŽ (Jugoslovenske Železnice, English: Yugoslav Railways). Apart from that, there are old diesel locomotives and railcars that are already quite salvaged.
In front of the roundhouse, you can recognize the old turntable. With its help, locomotives would be radiated on the right rails in order to get into the shed. The gates of the shed are open.
I don’t know if trespassing is legal, but I couldn’t find a sign saying it wasn’t. Look out for manholes and pits, which sometimes aren’t visible in the tall grass or which have rotten covers. On a ground like that, it is always safer to be in somebody’s company. Sturdy shoes with thick soles won’t do any harm.
For train lovers, the train station itself is worth a visit, too. There you can find the monument of another steam locomotive – in better shape than the one at the engine shed. It is one out of the rail class 30-196 of the Yugoslav Railways. The footplate is accessible though already quite salvaged.
Close behind you can see the old water tower. It used to serve as a water reservoir for refuelling the steam locomotives. Together they also provide a charming photo scene. The door to the water tower is open. Nevertheless, I’m not going to take a closer look at the building as long as the excited Rottweiler in the neighbour’s garden is unleashed. The garden fence seemed to be too low.
Train lovers can find a link with photos of rail cars at the Sombor train station here.
Marked in the Google map below, you can find the engine shed. But first of all, here are some impressions of the area.
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Translation: Aleksandra Davidović, Belgrade