The city of Niš is situated in the valley of the Nišava river. It is situated at the 43°19' latitude north and 21°54' longitude east. The central city area is at 194 m altitude above sea level. The climate of the Niš area is moderate, continental. Niš is one of the oldest cities in the Balkans. It is the third largest city in our country and has 260.000 inhabitants. Placed at the crossroads, Niš connects Europe to the Near East. Niš occupies the crossroads of the most important Balkan and European traffic lines. These roads have been widely known from ancient times, because they represented the beaten tracks along which peoples, goods and armies moved, known as 'Via Militaris' in Roman and Byzantine periods, or 'Constantinople road' in Middle Ages and the period of Ottoman Empire.
Nowadays, Niš belongs to developed cities in Serbia and it is an industrial, university and tourist center of national importance. As a transportation hub of major European roads and rail routes, with an airport, it is easily accessible from all directions. With the University founded in 1965 and consisting of 14 faculties and 25.000 students, Niš is at the same time natural, social, economic, educational, medical, cultural and sport center of southeast Serbia.
Niš is one of the oldest European cities, as testified by numerous prehistoric finds on the territory of the city and the birthplace of the famous Roman emperor Constantine the Great who issued the Edict of Milan in 313 embracing Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire. Besides numerous national and international cultural and sport manifestations, many scientific and expert conferences being organized from different fields have already become as a part of Niš tradition.
Tradition of Railway industry in Niš began in year 1884 when railroad connected Belgrade and Niš as a part of rail connection between middle Europe and Near East. Railway workshop for the maintenance and repair of rolling stock was founded as a part of interstate agreements from second part of nineteen century. Railway workshop was strategically situated in Niš while it was railway hub where trains from middle Europe goes to Near East or to South Balkan. Railway workshop had great expansion on the end of nineteen and began of twenties century.
In 1890 it has 20 machines, foundary and around 100 workers of which some of them were French workers. For repair of single locomotive, they needed around two and half months while in 1907 repair time was reduced to only one month. In 1911 workshop had 180 workers and monthly capacity was service of 120 wagons and two locomotives. Further expansion of mechanical industry result in foundation of Mechanical Industry Niš after Second world war.
Parallelly with industry expansion, state was investing in education and in 1923 open secondary school for education of railway staff. In 1960s was open Technical Faculty that grew into Faculty of Mechanical Engineering for education among others and engineers of railway engineering.