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railway heritage of novi sad

By the beginning of the 20th century, Novi Sad became an important railway junction in southern Hungary. The city had five railway stations, two loading/unloading terminals, as well as the wagon and locomotive maintenance workshops. The stations were strategically located and connected to one another by railway. However, following a more intense development of the city during the period between the two World Wars, the railroads became an obstacle to urban development, especially as regards the expansion of the city to the Danube river shore.

The Second World War represented a turning point in the development of Novi Sad’s rail network since after the destruction of both bridges across the Danube the city was temporarily cut off from the southern parts of the country. After the end of the war, at the beginning of 1946, a temporary road railway bridge was built in place of the Prince Tomislav Bridge. Steam locomotives rumbled through the baroque downtown Petrovaradin till 1962 when the new railway bridge was completed, followed by the construction of the railway station building. (Pruge i vozovi u Vojvodini, 2002)

Reconstruction of the collapsed railway bridge was not done after the war, because there were already ideas about expanding and relocating the railway network, so as not to hinder the urban development of the city. More precisely, the tunnel under the fortress was one track wide, making the process of drilling another one quite complicated. (Holnapy, 1994)



The reception facility of the station was realized according to the standard project of the Hungarian State Railways. It was a one-story building of the first category with a veranda. (MÁV Zrt. Központi Irattár KR 10079) The station was comprised of the central lobby area with cash desks and waiting rooms for passengers, offices and a restaurant. The main building was flanked by warehouses, the customs service building and the railway mail service building. The station quickly became a favourite place not only for passengers but also for the citizens of Novi Sad.



The most interesting building of the complex, architectonically speaking, is the stokehold, a centrally located building with a semi-circular plan. The building was progressively flanked over the years by different facilities necessary in order to ensure the efficient functioning of the marshalling yard.

22 railway tracks radially extend from the central point of the internal plateau, where the vehicle guidance mechanism is located, towards the stokehold. Each track passes through a two-winged metal gate and, crossing the canal, brings a vehicle into the building. The interior of the semi-circular hall is dominated by a steel grating roof. The exterior wall surface is divided by shallow pilasters into 22 segments, each containing two large windows. An interesting detail of this simple architecture is a jagged roof cornice made of brick.



The building is characterized by a sawtooth roof, as a symbol of a typical Pannonian house roof. Another value of the building lies in its big hall without columns, with 17 types of carefully selected embedded marble blocks. The original functional scheme of the railway station is little known. The complex consists of four functional units:

wing A (ground floor and two floors with offices and exit hall), wing B (a two-level central hall, with a vestibule with ticket windows on the ground floor and a gallery with waiting rooms on the first floor, at the platform level), wing C (a restaurant, at the platform level, and express package warehouses and offices at the first level) and wing D (machine services offices, technical service office, police office, ambulatory, and other services).


The project RAILNS was financed by the City of Novi Sad.