Sunday, August 22, 2010

125th Anniversary of the Railroad in Serbia

Seems like there are a lot of 125th railway anniversaries around the world :)

This lovely FDC comes from Serbia, in order to commemorate their 125th railroad anniversary.

The first railways on the territory of Serbia were already built in the middle of the XIX century in Banat which was part of the Habsburg Monarchy at the time. Although the construction of the railway in the Principality of Serbia was already considered, the conditions for it were created just after the Congress of Berlin, in 1878, when the Principality got its complete independence. During this Congress, decisions were made to establish routes which would connect Europe (through Serbia and Bulgaria) with Turkey and Middle East. In accordance with those decisions, on 15th September 1884, Serbia opened its first public railroad route from Belgrade to Niš so that day represents the birthday of the Serbian Railroad. The first train had a steam locomotive CS No.1. This was one of the most important events in the newer history of the country. The railroad route from Belgrade to Niš was the biggest and most expensive project accomplished during the XIX century in Serbia. With the later construction of the railroad system this route had a great influence on the modernization and lifestyle in Serbia, its connecting with European countries, economic development and position in the scope of international relations. Even nowadays, this route as a segment of Corridor X represents one of the most important railways in Serbia and South-East Europe. It is an electrified railroad with modern electric locomotives.
The railroad route Belgrade-Niš is 243,5 km long and is constructed as a narrow-gage railroad with 23 stations. The biggest and most beautiful station buildings were at the time erected in Belgrade and Niš. The building of the Belgrade station has undergone many wars but preserved its beautiful original architecture. The original building of the station in Niš was so damaged, during the Anglo-American bombing in 1944, that it couldnt be renovated. After the many years of use of a provisory building, a new one was solemnly opened in 1973 as one of the biggest and most beautiful in Serbia.

Motifs on the stamps:
- stamp face value 22,00 dinars: the first steam locomotive CS No.1 of the Railroad of Serbia and in the background the building of the station in Belgrade;
- stamp face value 46,00 dinars: electric locomotive series JŽ 441, in the background is the building of the station in Niš.

Date of Issue: 8 September 2009
Stamps' Width: 30.0 mm
Stamps' Height: 37.5 mm
Layout/Format: sheet of 25
Perforations: 13.25 by 13.25

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