The railway linking Belgrade with the resort of Bar, the town of olives, on the Adriatic was a project begun by the government of the former republic of Yugoslavia in 1966, extending a standard gauge route from Bar to Polgorica which had been completed in 1959. The only railways in Montenegro before the Second World War were local narrow gauge lines. The Belgrade – Bar route was completed in 1979 but it has been divided since the wars of the 1990s between the authorities in Serbia, responsible for 301 route km and Montenegro responsible for 175 route km. The railway passes through rugged terrain and goes through 254 tunnels, the longest of which is the Suzina tunnel which is 6.2 km long.
The outstanding engineering work is the Mala Rijeka Viaduct, 20 km north of Podgorica, and 10 km north of Bioce, the nearest town. The structure was designed by Ljubomir Jevtovic, and consists of steel trusses sustained by massive concrete pillars. It is 498.8 m long, rises 198 m above the Mala Rijeka (little river), and the longest span is 151 m. It is reckoned the tallest railway viaduct in the world although there is a taller arched bridge in China. The viaduct was begun in 1969 and completed in 1973 when the first electric trains ran across its single track.
The Belgrade – Bar railway was damaged during the wars of the 1990s and has yet to be fully restored. Trains from Bar to Belgrade which took 7 hours when the line was opened now require 10 hours to complete the journey. Only two passenger trains daily travel over the whole route although there are local services on particular sections within Serbia and Montenegro.