Associated Press
A steam train enters the station in Visegrad, Bosnia, on Saturday as thousands greet it after its 26-mile journey from Mokra Gora, Serbia.

VISEGRAD, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Bosnia and Serbia restarted an old steam-powered train Saturday in an effort to increase tourism in a region that was devastated by war in the 1990s.

Thousands of people gathered in the eastern Bosnian town of Visegrad to greet the train on century-old, narrow-gauge rails as it ended its 26-mile journey from Mokra Gora station in Serbia.

Bosnian and Serbian officials said the joint Serbia-Bosnia effort also is aimed at restoring the broken ties between the wartime foes.

"I am very happy that we are restarting an old train, an old railway, to open new perspectives," said Serbia's President Boris Tadic, who traveled to Visegrad for the ceremony.

The narrow-gauge rail line once connected Belgrade with Sarajevo and Dubrovnik in Croatia, but was closed in 1974.

It was forgotten for many years until Serbia reconstructed a 9-mile-long section in scenic Sargan Mountain to promote its own tourism with the vintage train.

Bosnian authorities invested $6.4 million to extend the route the rest of the way to Visegrad.

Bitter ethnic conflicts involving Serbs, Croats, Muslim Bosniacs and other groups in 1991-95 split Yugoslavia into several nations, including Bosnia and Serbia. It was the worst fighting that Europe had seen since World War II.