The VOJSKI DO stop was at 423.90 m above sea level, 18.6 km from Uskoplje and 281.9 km from Sarajevo. The stop building has been transformed into a Konavle tavern where numerous tourists come to taste excellent local meat and wine. The remains of the workers’ lodge are still visible today above the railway station. When the first motor train passed in 1938, people and children came out to see the miracle. To the right of the railway is a large Illyrian mound from which a stone was taken and taken to a wetland on the railway. When the strike from Uskoplje to Zelenika was lifted, people from the Konavle hills were sad because it was their fifth introduction to the world so therefore no more access.
It is a lookout point from the army from where you can see the railway stations Mihanići, Cavtat, Čilipi, Gruda, Komaj, Plocice and Nagumanac and the whole Konavle. A prehistoric Illyrian pile is situated on the lookout across the railway – the prince’s tomb.
A memorial was erected above the saddle to Mati Golubic, an officer of the Croatian Army who laid down his life for the freedom of his Konavle and Croatian homeland. From the main building, the railway entered a shallow mined pass (see the drone video on our blog) and twisted left across the hill to the east over the high walls and down the Sniježnica slopes above Drvenik and down towards Mihanići Station.
The line was fused with the shape of the terrain and therefore bent with frequent milder curves and shorter straight sections through difficult and particularly rough terrain. Because of this terrain, the workers on the railway construction were given higher pay per day.
A double daily subsistence wage was earned by a worker from Šilješki who, hanging and sitting in a pouch (wicker basket), used a steel pole and a length of rope to drill holes for explosives.
The railway line entered the Grand Tunnel L = 253.2 meters. The tunnel lining was stone masonry. It continued briefly to the wall that was mined at the beginning of the Patriotic War in front of the Small Tunnel L = 38,177 meters. It descended further and entered a slight drop to the turning tunnel in Mihanići.
The section of the railway from the Military Valley descends down the slope over the wall down Snežnica and through three tunnels, of which the “turning” and the longest are particularly interesting. The continuation of the railway from Mihanić to Cavtat is a monument to the builders and the narrow railway built a century ago. With a little effort this could become an exceptional tourist attraction.
The Mihanići water tank was built during the construction of the railway line and is located on the upper railway line between the smaller tunnel and Mihanići station. In the winter, it was filled with water from the Vranović waterfall and from the Vratnica river, and the water was transported by a canal about 100 meters long along a railway line in three segments about 12m long each. From the sediment tank, water was further discharged by a canal along the railroad and after about fifty meters it turned left through the culvert below the railroad into two buried tanks between the railway lines. Beside the tanks was a smaller culvert where water pressure was measured. As there was not enough water collected, the pools were filled in summer with water from three connected sources at the foot of Mihanic: Smoljanac, Sladun and Lisica. This water was pumped out by the steam pump into the rail tanks.
From a subsequent project in 1911, which was overseen by the Supervision Directorate for Dalmatian Railways in Trieste, we learned that an increase in the volume of the water basin was required from 70 cubic meters to 500 and the supply of surface water from a kilometer of 285 + 106. From these tanks, water had a station and a ‘grand’ locomotive at Mihanići station.
The upper line of the railway passed over a high wall with a culvert and entered a bend (R = 100) above the Mihanići station itself. It continued next to a bunker called Vaha, which was built by Austro-Hungary before the start of World War I to defend the railroad and tunnel, then a strategically very important object (there are more soldiers bunkers for guards on the lines from Zelenika and Dubrovnik). Some of them were built by the Italian army in World War II, the largest being in Glavska. There were guard houses at the entrance and exit of the tunnel.
The railroad continued and entered the longest turning tunnel on the L = 417.95 m line on the line from Gabela to Zelenika, as it stands crossed on the tunnel portal on either side.
When the tunnel was constructed the route hit some very hard bedrock and a message was sent to Emperor Francis in Vienna. – Can’t go on, expensive construction – Can a few tonnes of stone be moved to find gold? Emperor Francis would ask. Continue to blast, the train line must reach the bay of Kotor.