The original railroad was operational between 1901 and 1976, officially opened on July 15th 1901 from Gabela (Bosnia) to Zelenika (port of Boka Kotorska, Montenegro) with branches between Uskoplje (Sarajevo) and Gruz (Dubrovnik’s old port) and Hum and Trebinje.
This line was part of the then, southern railway network of narrow gauge railroads which the Austro-Hungarian Empire began to build in the 19th century. These railways linked the Adriatic ports of Metkovic, Gruz (Dubrovnik), Zelenika (Boka Kotorska) and later Ploce, with cities and towns in the mountain terrain of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In the Seventies, the narrow gauge railway network in Bosnia and Herzegovina and southern Dalmatia was all but decommissioned aside from the then profitable routes, whereby the narrow gauge track was replaced with a standard gauge track. On June 1st 1976, traffic stopped operating on the track between Capljina and Dubrovnik. Consequently, Dubrovnik became a port city with no connecting rail links as the routes between Uskoplje, Herceg Novi and Zelenica had also been previously decommissioned in 1968.
Considering the railroad has been in this area since 1901, it is a noted part of the cultural and historical heritage through the entire region with huge potential as a tourist attraction. The purpose of the project is to renovate the existing railway line, create jobs, increasing tourism and entertainment options through the rebuilt railway and its attractions, facilities and businesses local to the track.