Timetable booklets have been printed for 177 years as publications intended for passengers in railway, maritime and road transport. Their basic informative character on the movement of vehicles has over time been significantly extended to encompass different informative tourist contents. They offer various information limited by precise, but abstract representation of journey times. A journey through timetables presents possible journeys throughout the 20th century, which are equally real, as well as imaginary, and at the same time it shows types of timetables, contents and possible informative readings.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Europe was overcoming its distances by train and steamboat. Steam-powered vehicles had already revolutionized travel in the mid-19th century, by slowly replacing coaches and sailboats. Railway vehicles were becoming faster and faster, wagons more comfortable, and services provided to passengers more complete. Working timetables in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century tell a tale of possible journeys, offering a multitude of content, with scheduled arrival and departure times for trains and boats. Travel was marketed as a service provided by railway and steamboat companies, it was possible and probable, but at the same time imaginary, because timetables cannot tell us whether all possible journey really did take place. Railway line limits and defines the surface of train journey, and the timetable sets time limits. The working timetable from the beginning of the 20th century discloses much more due to a multitude of information printed in the timetable, which was intended for passengers to better manage and travel more comfortably. If a passenger wanted to depart on Friday, June 29, 1906, on the Day of St. Peter and Paul, precisely during the time of the young moon, from the city of Osijek to London, he had to arrive at Osijek station (called Eszék at the time), with all required passes and luggage in trunks and suitcases, and board a train, which was to depart at 8.48 am to Ujdombóvár, where he had to transfer to a train to Budapest, where he arrived at 7.55 pm. He had to wait two hours for the connection to Vienna across Marchegg, and was able to reach Vienna the next morning at 6.20 am. In Vienna he could have lunch at the Alt-Pilsenetzer brewery, located in the street IX. Währingerstrasse 1, where he could try a specialty marketed by the brewery – Gumpoldskirchner (high quality German wine). Had he been able to arrive a day earlier, he could have been on his way to Berlin, because a direct corridor wagon was operating from Berlin, on Friday at 11.40 am from the port of Hoek van Holland, where you have to board one of the steamships owned by the Great Eastern Railway, which was operating the Hoek van Holland – Harwich line: “The service was carried out by large and fast steamships with double drive propellers: ‘Berlin’, ‘Amsterdam’, ‘Vienna’ and ‘Dresden’, with electrical lighting and steam heating in the winter. They had a capacity of 1,800 tonnes and reached more than 500 horse powers”. Docking in Harwich, the passenger would arrive on time for a corridor train to London, which was composed of a buffet car with obligatory table reservations. Had he chosen to travel from Vienna via Innsbruck and Zurich to Ostende, he would have travelled by a fast train for 37 hours in order to sail from Ostende across to Dover by a steamship, where a connection for a train to London awaited.

Thanks to the planned development of the railway network in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the lines from Vienna and Budapest branched off towards other cities within the Monarchy, and Croatian cities were also located along this path. In 1862, the railway line which connected Zidani Most with Sisak via Zagreb was called the first Croatian railway line (“pèrva hèrvatska željeznica”) at the time, while today, this is what we call the line section State border – Čakovec – Kotoriba – State border, constructed two years earlier. The journey to Vienna started from Zidani Most via Maribor and Graz, and the inhabitants of Zagreb bragged that they will “drink their morning coffee at home, and have dinner in Vienna at 9 pm”. Vienna was at the time already connected by rail with Trieste, a large Austrian port, and the construction of a railway line to Rijeka was planned, and this soon became important to Hungary, which took over Rijeka after the Croatian–Hungarian Settlement in 1868. Following the completion of the Zákány railway line construction, in 1870, Zagreb was also connected to Budapest, and from 1873 with Rijeka too. In the first decade of the 20th century, the journey from Trieste and Rijeka continued by ships on regular lines across the Adriatic, and even much further, that is, to Istanbul, New York, Calcutta and Rio de Janeiro.

In the timetable booklet entitled Der Conducteur from 1902, with special information for tourists Agram (Zagreb) was presented as the “capital of Croatia and Slavonia“. A short text mentions basic information on the city intended for passengers: “Inns: Grand Hotel (electric light), Kaiser, Lamm, Pruckner, Jägerhorn. The city is made up of the upper and lower part, and Kaptol, with several suburbia. In the Upper Town, there is the ban’s palace (palace of viceroys), several government buildings, a theatre and southern promenade with a lovely view onto the valley of Sava River. In the beautiful newly built lower town, modelled according to large cities, with palaces lining Zrinjevac park, there is a university, academy, paintings gallery, Greek Catholic and protestant church and a synagogue. The Academy square contains St. George’s horseman statue, and the square of ban Jelačić, a horseman statue of ban Jelačić; both sculptures made by Fernkorn. In Kaptol, there is the ancient bishop’s palace, cathedral and the Franciscan church. You can take a pleasant walk in archibishop’s park Maksimir, half an hour away, and there is also a restaurant. Excursions: to Šestine (Kraljičin zdenac-Queen’s well), Sljeme peak with a nice house for tourists. At the top, there is an observer’s pyramid with a beautiful view. The line branches off towards Zidani Most and Sisak on the River of Sava, where the steamboat across Brod operates to Zemun.” The Grand Hotel, once the Hungarian Crown Hotel, was especially advertised, and was located in Ilica 6. In 1902, passengers could reach the Grand Hotel from the South Station, today called the West Railway Station, using a horse-driven tram, or they could rent a carriage next to Zagreb State Railway Station, today’s Zagreb Main Railway Station. A decade later, an electrical tramway was already in operation. In the 1913 timetable, passengers are recommended to stay at the Hotel Royal (once called Hotel Prückner) in Ilica 44, because if offered all the amenities of that time: “the house of long-standing first class reputation, newly renovated to provide English conveniences; unconditional cleanliness, soothing peace and quiet with moderate prices, reading room, bathrooms, excellent cuisine, elegant coffeehouse, garden with shade, telephone No. 340, a possibility to rent a car in the house, omnibus for all trains”. The only restaurant, which was advertised in the 1913 timetable, was the Budejovice brewery in the
basement of the First Croatian Savings Bank (Prva hrvatska štedionica) palace (today’s Oktogon).

A journey from Zagreb to Vienna started at Zagreb South Railway Station, where a passenger could wait for a train at the station restaurant. No. 501 passenger train, which was composed of the first, second and third class wagons, departed at 8.30 am and reached Zidani Most at 10.32 am. Passengers could spend two hours waiting for a connection to Vienna at a station restaurant, more accurately until 12.57 pm, when the departure of the fast train No. 3 was announced. A passenger could have lunch at the restaurant car, which was a part of the train on the route Zidani Most – Vienna. The train reached Vienna South Railway Station at 8.50 pm, together with postal consignments from Zagreb, which were transported on this train within the regular postal service, in closed compartments for letters, railway post and tickets in the back. Among numerous Vienna inns and hotels, a passenger travelling in 1902 would maybe stay at one of the luxurious hotels (torn down in the bombing of Vienna in 1945), such as Continental Hotel, Metropole Hotel or Erzherzog Karl Hotel. A traveller in 1913 could stay at the newly opened Astoria Hotel, equipped with all hotel amenities of the time.

In 1873, Rijeka was connected not just with Vienna, but also with Budapest. In 1902, even four times a day. These trains from Budapest used to bring daily newspapers as well. The inhabitants of Rijeka, but also of Hungary, emigrated from Rijeka port because regular the lines of ocean liners were maintained from Rijeka at the beginning of the 20th century and until the dissolution of the Monarchy. The inhabitants of the regions of Primorje and Gorski kotar started their path as immigrants by trains, which transported them on the Karlovac-Rijeka line, via Zagreb, Budapest and Vienna to up to Atlantic ports.

On the way to the Adriatic in 1902, the Viennese could enjoy more comfortable travels because of the direct first and second class sleepers on the train, which departed from Vienna at 8.25 pm, and reached Opatija (Abbazia-Mattuglie) on the next morning at 9.17 am. The Belgian International Sleeping-Car Company, better known as Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits, was the owner of sleepers. This timetable made it no longer necessary for passengers at Opatija-Matulji station to use rooms for accommodation, for which ads were published in the 1889 timetable: “In order to lessen inconveniences of night-time travel for passengers, who have to get up in the evening at 11:16 pm at Matulji-Opatija station, the Matulji station building offers suitably arranged comfortable rooms for hotel guests. After receiving information on the prices, the guests are asked to decide if they would like to use the room, let the conductor know during the ride, so that he can inform Matulji station of this by telegraph.“ Passengers, who arrived at Opatija- Matulji station could reach Opatija by coach, and from 1908 by electrical tramway as well. In Opatija, tourism started to develop in the mid-19th century, and a significant boost to this was provided by the railway line constructed in 1873 by the private railway company Austrian Southern Railway. The development of tourism intensified after Opatija acquired the title of a sea health resort, appreciated across the Monarchy. The most famous hotel in Opatija at the time was the luxurious Kvarner Hotel, also built using the capital of the Austrian Southern Railway, but the 1902 timetable also contained advertisements for several other hotels in Opatija: Grand hotel Zehentner (later Kontinental), S. Breinet Pension (Bed-and-breakfast) (Kristal Hotel), Hausner Pension (Bed-and-breakfast), Hotel-Pension Quitta (Hotel and Bedand-breakfast), Bellevue Hotel-Pension (Hotel and Bed-and-breakfast), Lederer Pension (Bedand-breakfast) and Schalk Pension (Bed-andbreakfast). Since the Hungarian-Croatian steamboat stock company maintained regular coastal lines, sea travel could be continued to Opatija. According to the 1902 timetable, fast lines that connected Opatija with Mali Lošinj island on Sundays, and with Pula on Thursdays, required four hours and fifteen minutes for the journey. On Wednesdays, you could also travel by a regular passenger line from Opatija to Pula, and further to Trieste. On Thursdays, passengers travelled by a Rijeka – Brač passenger line from Opatija to the island of Mali Lošinj, the cities of Zadar, Šibenik and Split, and over to the places Postira and Pučišća in the island of Brač. A special summer timetable was valid also for the Ika – Lovran – Opatija – Volosko – Rijeka line, which was operating on a working day, three times a day, and the last ride was at 6.00 pm only under favourable weather conditions. Several daily lines connected Opatija with Rijeka, which significantly facilitated travels for passengers who came late for one of four trains daily, which departed from Opatija- Matulji station to Rijeka.

If you can judge by timetables of steamboat companies in 1902, people travelled from Rijeka across the world. Even though not all the journey took place, it is interesting to read that the steamboat company Österreichischer Lloyd Triest advertised journeys from Trieste via Rijeka to Venice, Marseille, Vathy, Istanbul, Bombay (Mumbai), Rio de Janeiro and Santos, Singapore and Kobe. More than 30 lines passed through the Rijeka port. So the Austrian Lloyd, which had the Trieste port as its origin, stated that on the so-called
Thessaloniki line B (Trieste – Istanbul and vice versa), which was kept every other week, a ship from Rijeka departed Fridays at 4.00 pm and arrived to Istanbul in almost two weeks, with an added comment that at the return to Rijeka, the ship was kept depending on urgent maintenance needs. On the line towards Brazil, which was scheduled to operate eight times in 1902, passengers travelled from Rijeka to Rio de Janeiro for 41 days, and the shipping company commented to the passengers that the ship will dock at ports on the way to unload coal. On the Trieste– Rijeka – Apulia – Ragusa – Trieste line, the steamboat company “Ragusea“ was operating. The ship of the Hungarian-Croatian steamboat company left the Port of Rijeka on Wednesdays at 6 pm, and via Trieste, Bari and Malta it sailed to Marseille, and in May 1902, two trips from Trieste via Rijeka to Morocco were advertised. Fast lines connected Rijeka with Venice and Ancona. Steamboats arriving from Venice and Ancona had a connection in Rijeka to fast trains for Budapest and Vienna, and the ones that came from Rijeka to Venice and Ancona, had a connection to fast trains to Rome, Naples, Bari, Bologna, Brindisi and Milan. A ticket and accommodation in a luxury cabin of a steamboat in the direction Rijeka – Venice or Ancona cost 16 crowns. A ticket for a first class fast train from Vienna to Rijeka was an additional 36.70 crowns. As a comparison, a ticket for the art exhibition building Kunstlerhaus in Vienna cost a crown, an overnight stay at the Bristol Hotel in Vienna five crowns, accommodation at the bed-and-breakfast S. Breiner Pension in Opatija between 10 and 12 crowns, an overnight stay at the Grand
Hotel in Zagreb from 1.40 to 10 crowns, and the timetable booklet in the Austrian part of the Monarchy could be ordered by post from a publisher for as little as 60 heller, and in the Hungarian part for a crown and 70 heller.

A trip on the Austrian Lloyd steamboat in 1902, Der Conducteur: fast line 541 Trieste – Kotor and back, passenger line 541a, passenger line 542 Trieste– Metković and 542a Pula – Zadar. All ships transport post as well. Line 541: Connection to the Dalmatian-Albanian line in Kotor in the direction of Bari. Connection to the new fast Vienna train in Trieste, which arrives at 7.10 am, and at arrival a connection to fast trains riding from Trieste at 5.30 am to Italy, Switzerland, etc. and at 6.35 am to Vienna. In Pula there is a train connection which reaches Vienna at 1 am. Line 541a: Connection to the line Pula – Zadar in Pula and to the Trieste – Kotor line in Split. Connection to Vienna train in Pula. During the journey in the first direction, arrival at the port of Drač is optional. Line 542a: Connection in the first direction to the line Trieste– Metković in Pula, and during departure to the Trieste – Kotor line.

ANTUN GUSTAV MATOŠ (Tovarnik, June 13, 1873 – Zagreb, March 17, 1914)


On September 13, 1988, on the Zagreb – Belgrade – Zagreb route, a new business train “A. G. Matoš” started its first run. Traffic controller on duty despatched the train from Zagreb Main Railway Station according to the timetable at 5.40 am. The train was composed of first class coaches and a buffet coach. It operated on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Without stopping. A reservation for the train ride was mandatory. Tickets were in high demand. The last run of “A. G. Matoš” business train on the Belgrade – Zagreb – Belgrade route was announced in the 1991/1992 timetable, issued by Yugoslav Railways. It departed from Belgrade at 5.40 am and arrived in Zagreb at 10.42 am as a P 120 train. Its only stop was Vinkovci. As a P 121 train, it departed Zagreb at 3.40 pm, and reached Belgrade at 7.42 pm. The journey lasted four hours and two minutes. “A. G. Matoš“ business train bore the name of its author proudly, about whom A. B. Šimić said: “I owe him special thanks because he taught me, already at an early age when I was reading his books, that literature is the art of words”.


MATO LOVRAK (Veliki Grđevac, March 8, 1899 – Zagreb, March 14, 1974)


Mato Lovrak, a schoolteacher and writer for children, born in Veliki Grđevac, wrote the novel “A Train in the Snow” in 1931. “Mato Lovrak“ fast train reached Zagreb Main Railway Station on December 13, 2010, for the first time. Its operation was published in HŽ Passenger Transport timetable for the period between December 12, 2010, until December 10, 2011. As a B 770/B 771 pair of trains, it operated on the Virovitica – Bjelovar – Zagreb Main Railway Station – Bjelovar – Virovitica route. It departed from Virovitica at 4.45 am, and reached Bjelovar at 5.45 am, and Zagreb at 7.18 am. It departed from Zagreb at 3.48 pm, arrived in Bjelovar at 5.11 pm, and Virovitica at 6.14. pm. The first train run was especially celebrated, and high representatives and guests were welcomed at Zagreb Main Railway Station. On that day, Damir Bajs took the train too, who was then the minister in the Government of the Republic of Croatian, and today the county prefect of Bjelovar-Bilogora county. A HŽ 7 121 series DMU, known as the “Macosa“ train, was operating most frequently as the “Mato Lovrak“ train, every day, other than on Sunday and on holidays. In the 2015/2016 timetable, there was no longer a direct link between Virovitica, Bjelovar and Zagreb, and in line with this, “Mato Lovrak” is no longer in operation.


ANTE TOPIĆ MIMARA (Korušce, April 7, 1898– Zagreb, January 30, 1987)


At the beginning of the 1990s, ”Mimara” EuroCity train (EC 10/EC 11) started its operation on the railway network of the ex-Yugoslav Railways. Its operation was announced first announced in the timetable issued by Yugoslav Railways (Belgrade, 1991) for the period from June 2, 1991, until May 30,1992. On June 2, 1991, at 8:10 am,“Mimara“ started its first ride on the Zagreb Main Railway Station – München Hbf – Zagreb Main Railway Station route. According to the timetable, the train arrived at München Hbf. at 4.36 pm. From München Hbf. station, the train departed daily at 1.25 pm, and reached Zagreb Main Railway Station at 9.50 pm. The train had first and second class air-conditioned coaches in its composition, without compartments, with a passage in the middle, as well as an announcement system, a buffet car, which offered several kinds of food and drink. “Mimara“ was an international train of the highest rank, which also meant a higher quality of service provided onboard (for ex. in the first class, passengers were served on the spot, i.e. passengers did not have to go to the buffet coach, and during the journey, passengers could be informed by announcements in the coach), as well as several additional services, which were provided before and after the ride (in coaches which made up the composition of “Mimara“ train, seat reservation was mandatory by selecting a specific seat on the train, while there were special carts for the transport of personal luggage from/to the train made available on the platform, and special ticket offices opened to reduce queuing for passengers).


VATROSLAV LISINSKI (Zagreb, July 8, 1819 – Zagreb, May 31, 1854)


Vatroslav Lisinski, the composer of the “The Song of Croats” reveille and the first Croatian opera “Love and Malice”, lived from 1819-1854, when railways did not exist in Croatia and when trains did not pass through Croatia. A Croatian Railways night train called “Lisinski“ operated on the Zagreb Main Railway Station – München Hbf. –Zagreb Main Railway Station route, with the number B 296/B 297 in the 1995/1996 timetable. It was composed of second class wagon coaches, a couchette wagon, a sleeper and luggage coach. Seats on the “Lisinski“ train had to be reserved along the entire route, but reservation was possible from the departure station. According to the 2015/2016 timetable, the ”Lisinski“ train still operates on the Zagreb Main Railway Station –München Hbf. – Zagreb Main Railway Station route, as an EN 498/EN 499 night train. The train leaves Zagreb at 9.22 pm, and arrives in Munich at 6.10 am. It is composed of an electrical locomotive, couchette wagon, berth wagon and a second class coach; the train departs from Munich at 11.36 pm, and arrives in Zagreb at 8.38 am.


NIKOLA TESLA (Smiljan, July 10, 1856– New York, January 7, 1943)


„Nikola Tesla“ train started its operation according to the Croatian Railways’ timetable on December 10, 2006, with a pair of trains B 412/B 413. The “Nikola Tesla“ train operated on the Belgrade – Zagreb Main Railway Station – Belgrade route, and it had connections and through coaches running from Split (1822) and Zadar (1920), and from and to Rijeka (1984/1901) from June until September, but also to the station of Venice S.L. and from it (240/241) during the entire year. The train was composed of first and second class coaches with seats, a buffet coach or a minibar onboard, dining car (restaurant coach) and a couchette. Seat reservation was not mandatory, but it was possible from the departure station. The train was ranked as a fast train. It departed from Belgrade at 3.45 pm, and arrived in Zagreb at 10.34 pm. As a B 413 train, it departed from Zagreb at 6.05 am, and arrived in Belgrade 12.16 am. The train operated for the last time according to HŽ Passenger Transport timetable for the period of December 11, 2011, until December 8, 2012, when the train had first and second class coaches with seats within its composition, a dining coach and a couchette, and it was connected (440/441) with Venice S.L. station, and from it to (1822) Split by a second class coach during the summer season. In the 2012/2013 timetable, “Nikola Tesla” train was no longer in operation.

Until the end of the 19th century, Bradshaw’s publications of timetables, besides showing trains movements, also included the maps of railway lines, information on stations and cities, where trains stopped, and other useful tourist information for passengers, such as advertisements for hotels and restaurants in cities mentioned in the timetable. They contained information on steamship and postal traffic and the possibilities of journeys across the ocean. Der Conducteur timetable booklet, printed in Vienna in 1902, provided an abundance of information: a list of Austrian-Hungarian and Bosnian-Herzegovinian railways, steamboat companies
and foreign connecting railways. Newly introduced railway lines and changes in train traffic at the time were mentioned. Railway stations, steamboat docks, and postal offices were mentioned in an alphabetical order and next to every place, a timetable number was provided. Railway traffic were especially elaborated and the prices of steamboat travel, prices of tickets for cruises, as well as special benefits. The timetable on a specific line showed all passenger, fast and mixed trains, and on the basis of a pictogram, one could find out information about train composition, possibilities of postal transport and connections to other trains, but steamboats as well. Every timetable booklet had a detailed explanation on its cover or front pages, where the “timetable key”, i.e. the clarification on how to read train movements and explanation of used pictograms. The part for advertisements was at the end of the booklet and included advertisements for hotels and restaurants across Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, as well as short tourist guides for major cities. The inside covers had an attached railway line map as well. Other timetable booklet issues also contained calendars, instructions on special terms of entry into other countries (visas) and customs procedures intended for passengers and rules of behaviour onboard. An Austrian timetable issued in 1918 in Vienna prohibited taking up too much space in the coach, wearing hat pins which are not secured, and spitting in the coach. If a passenger was caught without a valid ticked, he had to pay a fine four times the price of a ticket, which was at least 20 crowns, but if a passenger told the conductor himself that he didn’t have a valid ticket, he had to pay for the ticket plus 2 crowns maximum. Timetable booklets were issued twice a year, during the timetable change. They were printed on low-quality paper, and could be damaged easily. In order to prevent this, publishers and bookstores sold protection cases with a cover (Viennese publisher Waldheim & Eberle advertised its olive green cover). The price of a 1913 timetable booklet was 2 crowns, and the price of a protective case up to 70 heller.

After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, and with the development of bus transport, timetable booklets were included in bus schedules, and later on plane schedules. Pocket-size timetable booklets, published by Aleksandar M. Tomić from Zagreb, also contained a map of Zagreb and the “most recent yellow pages of all Zagreb streets and squares”, with old and new names of streets and squares. Timetable booklet issues at the time of Yugoslav Railways were regulated by instructions, which prescribed chapter contents, i.e. information, which the passenger timetable, the “courier”, had to contain. The “courier” contained the information part, an international timetable, timetable of direct trains, timetable of trains in local transport and a schematic overview of the network of railway lines with numbers. As time went by, the part dedicated to advertisements took up less and less space in the timetable, and the scope of information connected with tariffs and benefits increased.

Organized by: Croatian Railway Museum, 2018
Authors: Tamara Štefanac, Janka Fučić, Renata Veličan
Translated by: Elena Lalić
Web design: Goran Arbanas
Designed by: Matilda Müller