Just in time for the start of March, the new edition of the Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable arrived with today’s post. This monthly compendium of rail timetables from across Europe is always an invitation to start planning new journeys. And the book is so full of entertaining diversions. For example, a quick glance at this latest issue shows that the train service from Kikinda to Jimbolia has been suspended. For those not intimately familiar with the rail map of Europe, Kikinda is in the Vojvodina region of northeast Serbia and Jimbolia is just a few kilometres away on the other side of the border in Romania. Both towns are part of the region known historically as Banat.
Now it was only a few weeks ago that we received a press release from a government agency in Serbia announcing a series of initiatives in the Banat region. Funding has been allocated for improving border crossings between Serbia and Romania, and there is to be a new cultural exchange programme between Jimbolia and Kikinda. Scrapping the rail service between the two towns does not seem quite the right place to start.
Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries