Monday, September 27, 1999 Published at 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Kosovo aid train gets through
During the crisis, the railways were used to expel Kosovo Albanians
A British train carrying 8,000 tonnes of aid has arrived in Kosovo after being delayed by the Macedonian authorities.
The charity organisers said the local authorities in Macedonia had demanded $8,000 before allowing the train to leave for Kosovo.
The train had been due to finish its journey on Saturday but has been hit by several delays long the way. On Friday, it suffered an eight-hour interruption at the border between Bulgaria and Greece because a local driver could not be found.
One of the organisers said the 15 British staff had received death threats from Serbs working for the Macedonian railways. He said they were running out of supplies and were exhausted by the ordeal.
The train is loaded with clothes, food, construction equipment, medicine and artificial limbs.
Aid workers are often forced to expend much of their energy trying to get goods across the border.
The aid is needed to repair thousands of homes destroyed during the Kosovo crisis into some sort of shape before the bitter Balkan winter.
But the biggest part of the donation could be the train itself, which will be drafted into service to help revive Kosovo's shattered railway system.
The scheme was organised by a former British Rail worker, Neil Howard, who was appalled at the sight of Kosovo refugees being forced on to trains at gunpoint during the conflict.