Monday, 30 April 2012

Vaser Valley Railway, Romania - Part 1

Last of the Carpathian Forestry Railways

The Viseu de Sus forestry railway, located in the far north of Romania close to the border with the Ukraine, is an outstanding example of technical cultural heritage.  The line is known as the “Vaser Valley Railway” - "vaser" comes from the local German word for water, in the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  Travelling over a network of some 60 kilometers of narrow-gauge track, you will still find wood-burning steam locomotives running alongside several diesels and railcars.  CFF Viseu de Sus ("CFF" is the Romanian abbreviation for Caile Ferate Forestiere, meaning "Forestry Railway") is the last remaining forestry railway in Europe.

The track was laid at the gauge of 760 mm (the standard for narrow gauge lines within the Austro-Hungarian Empire). The line runs alongside the Vaser River with numerous curves, bridges and several tunnels, into a wild and romantic valley, high in the Carpathian Mountains.  The railway opens up a vast area of isolated forest and mountain, without roads or villages but with plenty bears and wolves instead! 

                                                                                                                             ................. cont Part 2

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