Monday, July 26, 2004

Rail Trouble

Today was a great day for Croatian Railways. New (and until recently very controversial) "slope" trains have started carrying cargo and passenger on a track between Split and Zagreb, shortening that journey to tolerable six hours. In Autumn, after additional works on the rail tracks in Lika, the journey should be even shorter.

In the meantime, first day of "slope" trains almost ended in complete disaster. Second train to depart from Zagreb station has collided with huge piece of iron deliberately left on the track. Police acted very quickly and apprehended two suspects from Zagreb. According to first reports, the motive for their action is not terrorism. Apparently angry over being tossed out of train for disturbance, two young men – 17-year old inmate of Zagreb reform school and his 24-year old friend – decided to take their revenge in most spectacular way possible.

I'm convinced that recent and widely publicised train derailment in Turkey gave inspiration for their criminal plan.

Thankfully, although one of the trains got damaged, no injuries were reported. This disturbing incident, like so many other in the past, is most likely to be played down by Croatian media in the middle of tourist season.


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