In its history Samobor has recorded its connections with Zagreb for centuries. They were once connected by a Roman road, then recently a concrete road was built across Podsused, and today the highway to Ljubljana, Samobor, is ideally connected to Zagreb. Roads have always been the lifeblood of the City of Samobor and have given it a historical stamp in the context of its development. He also left his lasting mark in the traffic connection between the two cities Samoborček.
Right on this day 120 years ago, the popular “Samoborček” began its journey. It brought the cities of Samobor and Zagreb closer and was an irreplaceable means of transport for Zagreb excursionists. For decades, he covered about twenty kilometers through a total of 25 stations, and his own he drove for the last time on December 31, 1979. years. The steam locomotive with wagons was replaced at one time by the most modern aluminum diesel electric train in the world, ie DEV. But even that technological advantage could not save him from fate. Samoborček was eventually declared unprofitable and abolished. There was no music on the last ride and there were no touching words of farewell. Thus, "Samoborček" drove forever into history, according to the portal Tourist stories.
Train transport is currently taking over the imperative as the best means of transport in the World, and thus in Europe. It is the European Commission that recently set one of the strategic goals of the current development of the railway network, which is, as we know, ideal for tourism. Croatia, on the other hand, has not invested in its railway network for years, and has slowly begun to rebuild it on the EC wave. Although, in my opinion, at this moment, given the state of the railways, Croatia should skip a few steps of development and set a high scale of reconstruction in order to be competitors. I want to say that it would be wise to immediately introduce current standards in line with the 21st century. Ok, we may not be able to be competitors like say Japan or China with trains exceeding 300 km / h, but we definitely need to keep up with current standards in the European Union.
It is a big investment and it is always better to catch up with others immediately, than to raise the quality step by step, when we are already so far behind.
Also, when we talk about tourism, we should definitely mention the legendary Orient Express train that passed through Croatia. Also, according to Agatha Christie's book "Murder in the Orient Express" from 1934, the train stopped in Vinkovci, and the murder happened 10-15 km from Vinkovci. Crazy and amazing tourist potential that is still waiting for its valorization. Also, the Esplanada Hotel in Zagreb was built in 1925 with the aim of providing accommodation to passengers of the legendary Orient Express, which operated on the Paris-Istanbul route. Another excellent link between Zagreb and Vinkovci (Slavonia) and the incredible tourist potential.
But let's go back to the story of Samoborček.
The beginning of the story about Samoborček begins a long time ago January 16, 1901, when the 19 - kilometer - long railway was opened to traffic. From Zagreb to Samobor there were four trains a day, and from Samobor to Zagreb three. The last train to Samobor was named immediately "theatrical" because it was intended for passengers who would like to visit the evening theater play in Zagreb and return home to Samobor by train at 22.45.
The time between the two world wars is one that the people of Zagreb and Samobor have always remembered with nostalgia when evoking memories of "Samoborček". This era was marked by an unforgettable film by director and screenwriter Krešo Golik "Who Sings Means No Harm".
SAMOBORČEK AS A DRIVER OF TOURISM
Thanks to Samoborček, Samobor became a tourist place and the main picnic area of Zagreb between the two wars. Driving at a speed of 15 to 20 kilometers per hour was especially attractive in the summer in open carriages, and it would last up to two hours with the song and laughter of the passengers. Given the speed of the train, a joke was circulating that ramps on the roads had been set up so that no one would run over the train.
Formerly “Vicinalna željeznica Zagreb-Samobor dd”, in 1950 it became the City Railway in Zagreb. Thus, this railway was the only one in Yugoslavia that operated independently outside JŽ. Simultaneously with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Zagreb-Samobor railway, in 1951. extended from Samobor to Bregana so now the total route of Samoborček was 23.300 meters long.
However, on 19 December 1979, the capacities of ZET and GŽZ were merged into one company. It was the beginning of the end of the Zagreb and Samoborček City Railways. On December 31, 1979, at 20.40 pm, the last train left for Samobor, thus symbolically marking the end of the train that brought people together and connected the destinies of the people and the two cities. To this day, the idea of its revitalization has remained just a dead letter on paper with no prospect of realization in the near future.
Popular "Iron" and one passenger car is today in the permanent exhibition of the Technical Museum of Nikola Tesla in Zagreb. The steam locomotive was manufactured in 1930 in Germany and was used on the Zagreb-Samobor line between 1930 and 1960. And it is the Technical Museum that is marking its 120th anniversary today with a special online lecture the establishment of the Zagreb-Samobor railway and the popular Samoborček.
However, the question arises as to why we have not developed our railway network more strongly and with better quality, as well as why the popular Samoborček has not been renewed. Samobor is still a popular weekend resort for many Zagreb residents, and Samobor cream puffs are a symbol of the city. On the other hand, if we look at the bigger picture through the development of tourism in the entire Zagreb County, the train is certainly an ideal means of transport. Not to mention the faster connection of Zagreb to Slavonia and Dalmatia or Istria.
Why wouldn't citizens or tourists from Zagreb come to Samobor for a specific event, theater play or exhibition? Tourism development? On the contrary, it is logical and natural. Zagreb County certainly has a lot to offer, both domestic and foreign tourists, and because of its green ring around Zagreb, it is an ideal weekend destination.
It was launched last year excellent cooperation between the Zagreb Tourist Board and the Zagreb County Tourist Board on the destination campaign - Around Zagreb, which aims to position the surroundings of Zagreb as an attractive tourist destination. This is the first time that these two tourist boards are cooperating in partnership by jointly promoting the capital and the Zagreb Green Ring through a unique destination campaign. Logically, smartly and I can say finally because this is a win-win for everyone. Both for the Zagreb Tourist Board and for the Zagreb County Tourist Board, and mostly for tourists and visitors, both domestic and foreign. So far, the Zagreb Green Ring has not managed to position itself towards the Zagreb market, which is a logical link, and so Zagreb did not realize the potential of a quality offer in its surroundings, only 30 minutes from the center of Zagreb. In addition to a better quality of life for the citizens of Zagreb, in the domain of daily or weekend visitors, all tourists who come to Zagreb would also have a more diverse and quality offer. Tourism knows no borders, especially foreign tourists do not know our invisible borders between cities, municipalities and counties.
"Romantic nature and greenery of the wide surroundings of Samobor, the mountain range of the Samobor mountains s attractive peaks of Okić, Plešivica, Oštrc and Japetić they lured thousands of Zagreb citizens in a campaign to Samobor by driving in Samoborček. Of course, one of the lures was the developed Samobor catering industry with a rich offer of quality food and wine…”States on the portal Tourist stories.
You can find out all the tourist stories from Zagreb County on our lifestyle tourist portal Tourist stories, which you can also use for social networks through your communication. We know that the motive for coming is not accommodation, but destination. Since last year, a gastronomic story about truffles has been built in Zagreb County, as well as truffle hunting, while Plešivica winemakers are very well known to wine lovers.
Can the whole story be revitalized and touristized?
He who sings or thinks loudly and constructively does not think evil. On the contrary. Let's get moving. The future of Samoborček depends only on us. One thing is for sure, it is certainly logical that the train, whatever its name, still connects Zagreb and Samobor. Both because of the development of the economy, better quality of life and because of the development of tourism.
Photo: Nikola Tesla Technical Museum