Bero.pruzny is an email used by yet another railfan, Berislav Žilić, who posts photographs on railway enthusiasts’ forums. He is not fond of the word enthusiast, and prefers to describe himself as a railway aficionado.
Berislav Žilić was born 56 years ago in Sarajevo, he is an electrical engineer and economist by profession and works for the company Končar-Električna vozila within the Servicing department.
On his love for the railway, he said the following:
“I don’t like the word enthusiast. Enthusiasm does not last long and there are unrealistic expectations. I prefer the expression aficionado. The railway is my way of life, and I remember the first pictures of trains when I was five. Everything begins at Prenj station in the Neretva river canyon on the narrow-gauge Sarajevo – Ploče line, when I was travelling with my parents, who allowed me to stand on the heater beside an open compartment window. Then, at a train crossing, I had my first close encounter with trains. Since that time, I have enjoyed every train journey. As I was growing up, so the railway within me grew too. This passion for trains and railway lines has become a part of what I am known for, and has resulted in me doing what I love.“
Berislav says that the railway is multi-layered. It is not just about locomotives, wagons, railway lines, stations, bridges, tunnels. It is also a relation in space, in which the Earth and people complement each other in a noble way. It is also music, a nice word, photography, a picture, a model…The railway is specific people with a name and surname. Photography still takes first place, and with it words and music.
“When you walk and look for an ideal world, where you will record the most beautiful things and share them with others, you often listen to the music within you, which you incorporate into the photograph. Every day I post one of those on Facebook. When I first travelled to Ploče, Rijeka, Split, Koper, Bitola, Subotica,Vienna, and many other places, I wondered what railway lines and trains look like from the side and above. In these three and a half centuries, I’ve found many answers, but there are many I am still looking for.”
My favourite location is in Trebević, above Sarajevo, it is called Osmice. When I was 16, this is the place where I discussed with my friends what we would do in our lives. I wanted to construct new trains and trams back then, and it came true. How proud I was when I first came to Sarajevo on a new Končar-manufactured train for the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and later on passed by Prenj station, next to all those important places in which I grew up! It is not only once that I included a link to “Ode to Joy” together with photographs of these places on my Facebook page.