Fascinating images have revealed the interior of the former Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito’s private luxury train, with which he entertained guests such as Queen Elizabeth II and Hollywood star Elizabeth Taylor.
The bespoke Blue Train, also known as the “Plavi Voz”, was built in 1959 for the communist revolutionary Tito and used exclusively for his diplomatic travels with political figures and foreign statesmen across the country and beyond.
The locomotive was used by more than 60 statesmen during its lifetime and traveled more than 300,000 miles across the country during Tito’s reign from 1945 to 1980.
It was also used to transport Tito’s coffin during his state burial in May 1980 from the Slovenian capital Ljubljana to his final resting place in Belgrade, Serbia.
Now, a series of photographs have revealed the well-preserved carriages and luxury coaches that were once visited by executives and celebrities from around the world.
The Blue Train was built in 1959 for the Yugoslav ruler Josip Broz Tito and used exclusively for his diplomatic trips with prominent personalities from all over the world
A series of pictures from inside the luxury locomotive shows the well-preserved wagons and luxury coaches in which the former Yugoslav ruler once lived
The luxury train, which consists of ten buses in the so-called “main train” and eight buses in the so-called “first train”, has bedrooms with a desk and bookshelf
The locomotive got its name after factory workers decided to paint it blue to distinguish it from other trains in Yugoslavia
A step into the luxury train, which consists of ten cars in the so-called main train and eight cars in the so-called first train, shows an Art Deco interior made of mahogany, pear and walnut wood.
The cars on the train also include a President Lounge, dining room, main kitchen, guest lounge, dining car, sleeping car, mid-century technology and a power distribution car.
In the meantime, the salons and corridors have been adorned with elaborate inlays, wool carpets, velvet and silk.
A Zodiac bar, guest apartment salon and a range of bathrooms are also available on the time capsule train.
Now open to the public and used as a museum, the locomotive got its name after factory workers decided in the 1950s that the blue paint scheme would allow it to be distinguished from other trains in Yugoslavia, which were generally painted green were.
During his reign, Tito welcomed a number of famous guests aboard his train, including Queen Elizabeth II. In 1972, French President François Mitterrand, Palestinian political leader Yasser Arafat, former French President Charles de Gaulle and former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie .
Actresses Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren were also invited to the luxury train during their visits to the country.
According to travel company Explore Montenegro, the train was hailed by Yugoslavs as “one of the most luxurious” in the world when it hit the rails.
The train was also used to transport Tito’s coffin through Yugoslavia to his final resting place in Belgrade, Serbia after his death in May 1980. Image: A portrait of Josip Broz Tito and his wife Jovanka in the Blue Train
The buses on the Blue Train have a stylish bar (left), a TV (right), an apartment salon for guests and a sleeping car
The train also has a spacious dining room (picture), a guest lounge, a dining car and a main kitchen for employees and guests
Photos from the luxury train that transported Tito on his travels across the country show an Art Deco interior made of mahogany, pear and walnut
The train also features a number of stylish bathroom units that were once used by Tito and his guests while touring the country
The time capsule train now serves as a museum and occasionally brings travelers to the coastal town of Bar in Montenegro’s main port
Josip Broz Tito, known to many as Tito, was born in 1892 in Kumrovec, which is now in Croatia.
After graduating from high school, Tito worked on his parents’ family farm before leaving the village to travel south to Sisak, where his cousin Jurica Broz served in the army.
Tito’s cousin helped him find a job in a restaurant, but Tito soon got tired of it and decided to enroll in a three-year apprenticeship with Czech locksmith Nikola Karas at the age of 15.
At the age of 18, Tito took part in his first labor protest and also joined the Social Democratic Party of Croatia and Slavonia, founded in Budapest in 1890.
In May 1913, Tito was drafted into the Austro-Hungarian Army and served in the 25th Croatian Home Guard before becoming the army’s youngest sergeant major in 1914.
After the outbreak of World War I, however, he was sent to Serbia in 1915, where he was captured by the Russians and taken to a POW camp. Here he was converted to Bolshevism and learned Russian fluently.
In 1917, Tito took part in some of the events Russian Revolution and the civil war that followed before returning to Croatia in 1920.
He joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY) before the Yugoslav government immediately banned all communist activities and forced the party to be driven underground.
Later in 1923, Tito re-contacted the now underground CPY and quickly rose through the ranks, taking on the role of party official and later organizational secretary.
But, be Success in resuscitating the CPY was cut short when he was arrested in August 1928 for his illegal communist activities, which included allegations that police found bombs in his home and sentenced to five years in prison.
After his release from prison, Tito went to the USSR in 1934 to work with the Comintern before assuming the role of Secretary General of the CPY in 1939.
After the outbreak of the war in Eastern Europe, Tito organized the so-called “most effective partisan movement against the Nazi occupation in Europe” and made a significant contribution to supporting the Jewish people before the Nazi war.
However he did became increasingly disaffected with the USSR, which in 1948 led to a split with the ruler of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin – who soon began sending assassins to Tito.
During his reign, Tito welcomed a number of famous guests on board his train, including Queen Elizabeth II. Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II. Leaving the “Blue Train” during her visit to Yugoslavia in 1972
His guests also included American actress Elizabeth Taylor (pictured meeting President Josip Broz Tito with her husband Richard Burton at his summer residence on Brioni Island in Yugoslavia in 1971).
Pictured: Former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru (left), Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito (center) and Egyptian President Gamal Nasser (right)
When the Russian leader died on March 5, 1953, a letter written by Tito was found in his office.
Tito’s letter read: “Stop sending people to kill me. We’ve already captured five of them, one with a bomb and one with a rifle … If you don’t stop sending murderers, I’ll send one to Moscow and I won’t have to send a second. ‘
In 1953 Tito was elected President of Yugoslavia and was repeatedly re-elected to the role until 1963.
During his reign, Tito, who originally modeled his country on the Soviet Union, was widely praised for developing a unique brand of socialism in Yugoslavia and transforming it beyond recognition.
He created a society that was more open than that of its communist neighbors and allowed citizens to travel freely to the West, either for work or for vacation.
After his death in 1980, the state began to fall apart and disagreements increased as the republics began to seek greater powers for themselves.