Rail transport in Montenegro

Rail transport in Montenegro is operated by four separate companies, which independently handle railway infrastructure, passenger transport, cargo transport and maintenance of the rolling stock. The four companies were a part of public company Railways of Montenegro (Montenegrin: Željeznica Crne Gore / Жељезница Црне Горе (ŽCG)) until it was split up in 2008.

Montenegro is a member of the International Union of Railways (UIC). The UIC Country Code for Montenegro is 62.

Rail transport in Montenegro
01.10.13 Bar 6111.001 (10101137154)
EMU CAF train at the Bar Rail Station
Infrastructure companyŽICG
Major operatorsŽPCG, Montecargo
System length
Total250 km (155 mi)
Electrified225 km (140 mi)
Track gauge
Main1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (standard gauge)
Main25 kV, 50 Hz AC
No. tunnels121
Tunnel length58 km (36 mi)
Longest tunnelSozina (6,170 m)
No. bridges120
No. stations7 stations, 41 stops
Highest elevation1,032 m AMSL (at Kolašin)
Lowest elevation3 m AMSL (at Bar)
Railway map Montenegro

Railway Infrastructure of Montenegro

Railway Infrastructure of Montenegro (Montenegrin: Жељезничка Инфраструктура Црне Горе / Željeznička Infrastruktura Crne Gore (ŽICG)) is a joint-stock company that handles operation and maintenance of the railway infrastructure in Montenegro.


The first railway line within the territory which today belongs to Montenegro was a narrow-gauge (760 mm (2 ft 5 1516 in)) railway line Gabela - Zelenika, which opened in 1901. This railway line was built by Austria-Hungary, which governed the territory of Boka Kotorska at the time.

Narrow-Gauge-Railway Bar-Virpazar Station-Bar
Station Bar and the railway to Virpazar in around 1910

However, the works on the first Montenegrin railway, the Bar - Virpazar line, begun in 1905. This was a narrow-gauge (750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in)) railway line, 43,3 km long, which opened in 1908. The extension of this line from Virpazar to Cetinje was planned, but never came through, due to lack of funding, and the beginning of the First World War. This historic mountain railway line overcame a rise of 670m over an 18 km run on the Sutorman mountain, with a maximum grade of 40‰. Despite the steep gradient, the railway was not using rack technology, due to the innovative route design by Italian engineers. The operating speeds on the line were 18 km/h for passenger transport, and 12 km/h for freight movement. In 2008, on the 100th anniversary of the line opening, and at the same time the anniversary of Montenegrin railways as a whole, it was planned to transfer the steam locomotive Lovćen from Podgorica Rail Station to Virpazar. This locomotive, which operated on the line, should become a part of a Montenegrin railway museum in Virpazar, which, due to lack of funds, never came through.[1]

The railway network in Montenegro expanded during the period of Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In 1927, the Podgorica - Plavnica line (600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)) was opened, followed by Bileća - Nikšić line in 1938. At that time, the railway network of Montenegro measured 143 km in length, with 760 mm (2 ft 5 1516 in) narrow gauge as a most common standard. However, the railway network was not integrated, and 600 mm, 750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in) and 760 mm were present, additionally complicating the network operations. Multimodal transport was used for freight transport between Bar and Podgorica, as goods were transported by rail from Bar to Virpazar, then ferried across the Skadar Lake to Plavnica, followed by rail transport to Podgorica once again. Thus, it is fair to say that railway network in Montenegro was underdeveloped and unorganized prior to World War II.

Following the World War 2, the railway line Podgorica - Nikšić was completed (1948), with 760 mm (2 ft 5 1516 in) gauge. The first real advance towards modernisation of railway network was the start of construction of the Montenegrin section of Belgrade-Bar railway. The first section from Bar to Podgorica was completed in 1959, and this is the first section of standard gauge railway in Montenegro. At the same time, narrow gauge Podgorica - Plavnica and Bar - Virpazar lines were decommissioned.

In 1965, the Podgorica - Nikšić corridor was upgraded to standard gauge, thus standardizing the entire connection from Bar to Nikšić via Podgorica. The section from Nikšić to Bileća was decommissioned at the time, as well as the Gabela - Zelenika line. The Montenegrin section of colossal Belgrade-Bar railway project (from Bar to Vrbnica, border with Serbia) was completed in 1976, connecting Bar and Podgorica with the northern Montenegro, Serbia, and European rail network. At that time, the length of Montenegrin railway network was 225 km, with transition to standard gauge complete.

The latest addition to the Montenegrin railways was Podgorica–Shkodër line, which opened in 1986. This was a freight-only line since its opening.

Railway infrastructure of Montenegro
Željeznička infrastruktura Crne Gore
Жељезничка Инфраструктура Црне Горе
IndustryRail Transport
ServicesRail Transport


The total network is 250 kilometres long and is 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (standard gauge) for its entire length, with 225 of them electrified at 25 kV, 50 Hz AC. Almost 58 km of lines are situated in 121 tunnels. There are also 120 bridges, 9 galleries and 440 culverts. The network consists of three railway lines that converge in Podgorica, making it a junction of Montenegrin X-shaped rail network.[2]

  • Belgrade-Bar railway is the backbone of the Montenegrin railway system. It opened in 1976, and then was a state-of-the art railway, with features such as Mala Rijeka viaduct (highest railway viaduct in Europe) and the 6.2 km long Sozina tunnel. About one-third of the Montenegrin part of the railway is in a tunnel or on a viaduct. It is the first railway corridor in Montenegro that was fully electrified. The railway has suffered from chronic underfunding in the 1990s, resulting in it deteriorating and becoming unsafe. This culminated in the 2006 Bioče train disaster, when a passenger train derailed, killing 47 passengers. Efforts are being made to thoroughly reconstruct this railway, with northern section of the railway already being completely overhauled.
  • The Nikšić-Podgorica railway (56,6 km long) was built in 1948 as narrow gauge railway, and upgraded to normal gauge in 1965. Since 1992, it has been used solely for freight traffic, particularly bauxite from the Nikšić mine to the Podgorica Aluminium Plant, with maximum speed on the railway reduced to 30 km/h. The railway was thoroughly reconstructed and electrified in 2006-2012 period, with passenger service reintroduced. Operating speeds on this railway are now in 75 km/h (47 mph) - 100 km/h (62 mph) range.
  • The Podgorica–Shkodër railway, which extends to Tirana, has been used exclusively for freight traffic since its opening. Parts in Albania were damaged in 1997, but the connection was restored in 2002. There are plans to reconstruct the railway and introduce passenger traffic, as it is important for interests of both Montenegro and Albania.

Rail links with adjacent countries

Montenegro only has passenger railway links with Serbia. The link with Albania is only in use for freight. There are currently no railway connections with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.

Railway transport of Montenegro

Railway transport of Montenegro
Željeznički prevoz Crne Gore
Жељезнички превоз Црне Горе
IndustryRail Transport
ServicesRail Transport, Services

Railway transport of Montenegro (Montenegrin: Жељезнички превоз Црне Горе / Željeznički prevoz Crne Gore (ŽPCG)) is a joint-stock company that handles passenger transport within Montenegro, as well as operation of the Montenegrin rolling stock.

ZCG461 Virpazar

Former JŽ class 461 passing through Virpazar on the Belgrade-Bar line.

01.10.13 Bar 6111.001 (10101137154)

CAF Civity class 6111 EMU at Bar station.

01.10.13 Podgorica 6111.101 & 461.040 (10101220063)

New CAF Civity next to passenger train hauled by older former JŽ class 461.

ZCG 412-050 Podgorica

412/416 EMU of ŽPCG in new livery in Podgorica station.


IndustryFreight rail transport
ServicesFreight rail transport
Revenue10 million EUR (2010)
1,5 million EUR (2010)
Number of employees
MONTECARGO 644 Podgorica
MONTECARGO 644-015 shunting at Podgorica station.

Montecargo (Montenegrin: Montecargo) is a company that handles freight transport within Montenegro, as well as operation of the Montenegrin goods wagons and freight locomotives.

Rolling stock of Montecargo consists of 17 locomotives (15 active) and 713 freight wagons:

  • 8 locomotives of class 461
  • 3 locomotives of class 661
  • 4 locomotives of class 644
  • 2 locomotives of class 744 (none of them is active)

Rolling stock maintenance

Rolling stock maintenance
Održavanje željezničkih voznih sredstava
Одржавање жељезничких возних средстава
IndustryRail Transport
ServicesRail Transport, Services

Rolling stock maintenance (Montenegrin: Održavanje željezničkih voznih sredstava / Одржавање желјезничких возних средстава (OŽVS)) is a joint-stock company that handles maintenance of the Montenegrin passenger and freight rolling stock. It was a part of Railway transport of Montenegro company, but was split into separate company in 2011.

Railways of Montenegro in fiction

James Bond travels on Railways of Montenegro in Casino Royale. The actual train seen in the movie is the Pendolino tilting train of Czech Railways.

See also


  1. ^ ""Lovćen" se vraća kući". Pobjeda. 2008-01-06. Retrieved 2011-01-19.
  2. ^ "ŽICG Network Statement 2010" (PDF).

External links

Belgrade–Bar railway

The Belgrade–Bar railway (Serbian: Пруга Београд–Бар or Pruga Beograd–Bar) is a railway connecting the Serbian capital of Belgrade with the town of Bar, a major seaport in Montenegro.

Nikšić–Podgorica railway

The Nikšić–Podgorica railway is a railway connecting Montenegro's capital Podgorica and the country's second largest city, Nikšić. The line connects to the Belgrade–Bar railway and the Podgorica–Shkodër railway at Podgorica. It is operated by ŽICG.

Outline of Montenegro

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Montenegro:

Montenegro – sovereign country located on the Balkan Peninsula in Southern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south and borders Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia and Kosovo to the northeast, Albania to the southeast. Its capital and largest city is Podgorica, while Cetinje is designated as the Prijestonica (meaning the old royal capital or former seat of the throne).

The thousand-year history of the Montenegrin state begins in the 9th century with the emergence of Duklja, a vassal state of Byzantium. In those formative years, Duklja was ruled by the Vojislavljevic dynasty. In 1042, at the end of his 25-year rule, King Vojislav won a decisive battle near Bar against Byzantium, and Duklja became independent. Duklja's power and prosperity reached their zenith under King Vojislav's son, King Mihailo (1046–81), and his son King Bodin (1081–1101). From the 11th century, it started to be referred to as Zeta. It ended with its incorporation into Raska, and beginning with the Crnojevic dynasty, Zeta was more often referred to as Crna Gora or by the Venetian term monte negro. A sovereign principality since the Late Middle Ages, Montenegro saw its independence from the Ottoman Empire formally recognized in 1878. From 1918, it was a part of various incarnations of Yugoslavia. On the basis of a referendum held on 21 May 2006, Montenegro declared independence on 3 June. On 28 June 2006, it became the 192nd member state of the United Nations, and on 11 May 2007 the 47th member state of the Council of Europe. On 15 December 2008, Montenegro presented its official application to the European Union, with the hopes of gaining EU candidate status by 2009.

Željeznički prevoz Crne Gore

Željeznički prevoz Crne Gore (ŽPCG) (Cyrillic: Жељезнички превоз Црне Горе; English: Railway transport of Montenegro) is a joint-stock company that handles passenger transport within Montenegro, as well as operation of the Montenegrin rolling stock.

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