Postcards from Slovenia #24: Most na Soči via the Bohinj Railway

‘Most na Soči’ means ‘Bridge on the Soča,’ the Soča being a fabulously turquoise green river which winds its way from the Alps to Italy via the Tolmin and Soča valleys. From the Julian Alps, the Bohinj railway provides a scenic and memorable route to this picturesque and idyllic destination.

History of the Bohinj Railway

The railway was built at the behest of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph. It was constructed in order to link the port of Trieste the heartlands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Work began on the railway in 1900 and it was completed in 1906. It is known as the ‘Transalpina ‘ in Italian and ‘Wocheiner Bahn‘ (Bohinj Railway) in German. It passes through some of Slovenia’s most stunning mountain scenery and represents a historic feat of railway engineering, with the 6km Bohinj tunnel passing under the mountain of Kobla to emerge on the Tolmin side of the valley.

The journey to Most na Soči

To appreciate the full drama of the route, begin your journey at Jesenice. Though itself an un-pretty industrial town, its setting is spectacular, close to the Karavanke mountains and the soaring heights of Kranjska Gora.

Normally during summer, steam trains operate charter journeys along the line. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, however, at present only the regular Slovenian Railway (SZ) service is available. The diesel trains may look a little dated and run down, but as the railway is still state-owned, the prices are very reasonable.

Relax and enjoy the ride as you pass above Vintgar gorge, snake around Lake Bled and plough through the heart of the Julian alps to follow the course of the Bača and Idrijca rivers to your destination.

Things to do in Most na Soči

Most na Soči is an ideal destination for easy hiking, swimming, stand-up paddling and boating, or taking a cruise on the reservoir formed by a dam built to power the Doblar hydroelectric plant below (see Featured Image). The Ladja Lucija boat cruise offers a dining service during summer, and the reservoir is also a great place to take a picnic. Fly fishing is possible in designated areas.

The town is an important archaeological site: over 7000 graves have been found in the area dating back to the Early Iron Age. There is also the remains of a Roman house which has been partially restored. To find out more, visit the Archaeological Museum.

Experience the full glory of the railway

Once the service is reinstated, it should be possible take a steam train trip from Jesenice all the way to Nova Gorica (2 hours each way). This route passes over the Solkan Bridge, which is the world’s largest stone arch railway bridge, at 85m. My son is a train enthusiast and we have pencilled this trip into the diary as soon as steam train journeys resume: I will be sure to update you then!

Visit my Instagram Page for more images of Most na Soči and the Bohinj Railway. Stay tuned for more Postcards from Slovenia!

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