The narrow track Višegrad – Vardište was part of the former “Eastern Strip” (the “Bosnische Ostbahn” or the “Sarajevo – Ostgrenze” line), which was built by Austro-Hungarians from 1903 to 1906. connecting East Bosnia with Sarajevo and the rest of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.
It was one of the most expensive trails in the world built up to that time. When all the construction costs were converted, the incredible cost of 1 kilograms of pure gold per meter was reached.
The construction of this track was motivated solely by strategic importance, since Višegrad was at the border between Austro-Hungary and Serbia.
The first “Ćiro” composition went through the vivid valley of the Rzav River on July 4, 1906 to Dobrun, and on the 1st of August of that same year part of the track was opened to Vardište. After the end of World War I, construction of the continuation of this line from Vardište to Užice in Serbia was started and this route was solemnly opened on 25 January 1925.
Since then, the railway was the pillar of the whole of this area and was an important rail link between Bosnia and Serbia for 49 years. Unfortunately, in 1974, under the pretext of the authorities that the line was unprofitable , they decided to abolish this track on the Užice – Višegrad route, and in 1978 the line from Višegrad to Sarajevo was abolished. Rails have been removed, and the path itself is left to oblivion.
Following the abolition of the narrow railway lines between Višegrad – Mokra Gora – Užice in the Belgrade daily newspaper “Politika” on March 3, 1974, the text on the abolition of the same was published. It is interesting to note that even in the text mentioned above it was proposed that part of this line should be transformed into a unique tourist attraction to be visited by tourists from all over the world. However, it took about thirty years to get this idea to become true.
At the initiative of the group of people from Mokra Gora in 2003, a part of the trail Mokra Gora – Vitasi, known as “Šarganska osmica”, was renewed for tourist purposes, and the same year Railways of Republic of Srpska decided to approach and reconstruct this line from Mokra Gora to Višegrad.
In the period from 2004 to 2006, the line from Vardište to Dobrun was completed, and by 2008 the railway was set up to the tunnel of Glogova, only 1.7 km from the railway station in Višegrad. Afterwards, the reconstruction works are temporarily suspended due to the necessary infrastructure works at the entrance to Višegrad.
During 2009 and 2010, the Višegrad Municipality financed extensive infrastructure works that were a precondition for completion of the reconstruction of the trail. After that, in August 2010, it started to set up the railway from Glogova tunnel to the Višegrad station building in length of 1700 meters. At the beginning of 2010, the Government of Republic of Srpska financed the purchase of the railway station building in Višegrad, after which it was returned to the ownership of the Railways of Republic of Srpska.
The first solemn “Ćiro” composition after the reconstruction of the track arrived from Mokra Gora to Višegrad on August 28, 2010.
However, in order to activate regular traffic for tourists, additional infrastructure works should be done. In the forthcoming period, complete reconstruction of the cellular building is planned, as well as the planning of the station plateau along with the turning place, stokeholds and other necessary facilities.