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Transilvania steam trainAt the heart of Romania, the Transylvanian Mocăniţa slowly carries you on a fascinating journey. Along its 35 kilometers, the small steam train unveils the beauty of wild nature, splendid rural landscapes, going through tunnels of rich vegetation, sweet-scented orchards or passing by the ruins of a Roman castrum.

The Story of Transylvania’s Steam Train

During the Austro-Hungarian period, the steam train was used to transport people and goods to Targu Mures. During the Second World War, the Magyar community wanted a road to connect this city to Budapest, and so they built a road section between the villages Viile Tecii and LechinÅ£a. The route was especially used to carry armaments in this area. In the years of the communist regime, commuters working at the two sugar factories in the region used to travel by mocanita. After nearly 20 years during which the locomotive’s whistling remained unheard, the Teaca-Râciu route became functional again and was prolonged to Lechinta.

The steam train consists of a Polish locomotive manufactured in 1949 and two railcars accommodating almost 100 passengers. Put in motion by the coals which heat up a large cauldron filled with water, this period train does not go over 35-40 km/h. On certain portions, the speed even decreases, allowing the tourists to fully enjoy nature’s spectacle.

Mures steam trainThe Joys of a Low Speed Journey

The narrow gauge railway travels through seven villages in the Mures County - Teaca, Comlod, Orosfaia, MilaÅŸ, CrăeÅŸti, Sânmartinu de Câmpie and Râciu. The route is truly impressive, as it goes across wild areas, populated by deer, rabbits, wild boars and pheasants. Along the 5 km between Valea Lupului and Comlod, the mocanita goes through a rich deciduous forest, where the abundant vegetation forms a mysterious tunnel almost taken out of a fairytale. The panorama also opens over the green paradise around the Cenan lakes, preferred by the enthusiastic fishermen and over the iron bridge crossing the Mures River. The scenery is soon replaced by the black pine trees at the SăuÅŸa Reservation, a unique specie in the world.

MocanitaTourists who are passionate about history will discover the MoreÅŸti archeological site, where the diggings revealed the ruins of an almost two millennium old Roman castrum. Through the steams of the old locomotive, one can see the Sântioana Hunting Reservation, Oroiului and Bandului hills as well as the cherry orchards at Păunet, a real visual and olfactory treat. Along the route, the engine driver can stop the train for a few minutes so you can admire the splendor of this area.  The children, probably the ones most thrilled with the journey can learn the secrets of the mechanisms which bring the noisy locomotive to life.

The tourist train at the heart of Transylvania offers you the chance of a unique, unforgettable experience. Rolled on the railway by the easeful mocanita, you will capture the picturesque beauty of Romanian villages and amazing landscapes.  

Trips are usually organized at the end of the week, and when the number of tourists is bigger, there are even two rides a day.

For details about Transylvania’s Mocanita, go to:

[An article written by Andreea Bertea]