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Industrial Railways in Romania


Many of Romania's Industrial Railways (formerly CFU and CFI) were narrow gauge operations
in rural areas serving mines and quarries


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Former Sodice Govora Resita locomotive 764.010
preserved in a Timisoara park (9 / 2004)
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Romania still has a variety of interesting narrow gauge industrial lines, some of which can provide special enthusiasts trains. However these lines are declining. A selection of those currently or recently operating as follows:

1. Brad - Criscior
2. Busteni
3. Fieni
4. Gavojdia - Nadrag
5. Govora
6. Hunedoara - Zlasa
7. Lonea
8. Rodna
9. Sotânga / Doicesti
10. Turda Cement


CFU Caile Ferate Uzinele = Factory Railways;
CFI Caile Ferate Industriale = Industrial Railways

A SUMMARY OF EACH LINE IS SHOWN BELOW
It should be noted that special permission is usually required to visit and sometimes to photograph these railways
EXPLOATAREA MINIERA BRAD

760mm; brown coal is transported in bogie hoppers from Brad to a power station at Criscior where the shed and workshops are also located. One daily return train was operating in summer 1998 and up to three inthe winter, all of them normally steam-hauled. Locomotives present were a pair of Resita 0-8-0Ts, a standard L45H and LD764.314, an unusual 23 August 0-8-0 diesel. However, the steam locomotives, have subsequently been bought for preservation - Brad 4 (resita 2590/57) has gone to the Waldviertelbahn in Austria, while Brad 8 (CFF 764.108, Resita 3055/1958) went to JHMB in the Czech republic as their U46.001 . Another Resita 0-8-0T, Criscior No.5, is preserved on the Steyrtalbahn in Austria.

Alas, as reported in the newspaper "Romania Libera" on 4 August 2000 the locomotives and rolling stock were sold off as scrap iron at US$ 23.00 per tonne to settle a debt incurred by the manager over a deal for water pipes for a reservoir which proved useless. The line fell into disuse and a some of the rails were stolen or lifted,

However, Austrian preservationists have worked to preserve the line and in December 2001 the former ÖAMG Donawitz locomotive 100.13 (Floridsdorf 1947) arrived at Criscior where it has seen service with two passenger coaches ioperating special tourist trains. However, it was only on loan and subsequently returned to the Weiz-Birkfeld line in Austria during Spring 2002. Still present at Criscior were a Volga drasine and U.23 AUG locomotive L45H.089. Current status unknown.

UPDATE 2014: Criscior has become the centre of operations of Georg Hocevar who is both an avid rail enthusiast and has a mine engineering operation. Her has a large collection of locomotoves here which is occasionally opened to enthusiasts groups. This includes several steam locomotives and numerous former CFI diesels. His preserved locomotives travel round the country to operate steam specials, especially on the lines at Moldovita and Covasna-Comandau where he is also involved in preseration projects. In 2012 a train was also operated from Abrud on the former CFR line from Turda to Abrud.



Two photos of E.M.Brad No.8, a standard Resita
0-8-0T en route to Criscior, June 1998
Ex.ÖAMG Donawitz loco 100.13 hauling a tourist train from Brad to Criscior 12/2001 (Photo: Siegfried Rott)

BUSTENI PAPER MILL

This 1km electrified line employs a pair of ancient AEG Bo-Bo steeple-cabs between the CFR exchange sidings and the paper mill. The locomotives are often seen crossing the main road between Sinaia and Brasov or from the train. Current status unknown but stull in situ.
CFU FIENI (ROMCIF S.A.)

760mm; formerly connected Fieni cement works, near Târgoviste, to a stone quarry. Recent reports suggest that it has been curtailed to a loading point some 7km distant. 330 tonne trains operate daily; four 23 August L45H Bo-Bos. Still operating.



INTEPRINDERA MINIERA SOTÂNGA

760mm; operating base beside Doicesti power station, to the north of Târgoviste. A 7km line connecting lignite mines with a transfer siding to the CFR and the Doicesti power station; 4 standard 23 August L45H Bo-Bos. It is unknown whether this line is still operating though a passenger carriage was being retained for potential tourist services. The northern branch traverses beautiful meadows and deciduous woodland to reach a Pioneer camp and a small guesthouse and restaurant.


INTEPRINDERA ELECTRICA DOICESTI (I.E.D.)

760mm; siding connecting Doicesti power station to Sotânga system; two L45H Bo-Bos.; Standard gauge siding from CFR with two 23 August LDE125’s and a former CFR class 64 “Alco”. Access may be denied.

Pre- First World War AEG electric locomotive at Busteni

EXTRACERAM S.A.: CHIZATAU - SANOVITA

600mm; 6km line running for much of its length as a roadside tramway formerly connected the village of Chizatau, between Lugoj and Timisoara, with extensive gravel pits at Sanovita. The track bed is still apparent. In addition to transporting road making materials there were paddy trains hauled by diminutive Unio LDM45N-type 4-wheel diesel locomotives; 3 Unios were dumped at Sanovita in 1998.



U.C. GAVOJDA - NADRAG

760mm; this line, near to Lugoj, linked a factory at Nadrag with the CFR at Gavojdia until recently; 1 L45H and a Resita 0-8-0T were dumped at Gavojdia in 1998 while a further four locomotives were reported as out of use at Nadrag.



S.C. U.S. GOVORA S.A. (U. SODICE GOVORA)

760mm; a steeply inclined railway (up to 1-in-30) connecting the substantial soda factory at Govora, a spa town south of Râmnicu Vâlcea in the Olt valley, with a limestone quarry 44km up the Govora valley. There were up to four daily return workings, each with as many as 12 bogie hopper wagons, along this scenic line at the end of the 1990s. Believed to be still acrive. Up to L45H Bo-Bos in use and based at a modern shed at Govora. There were also two dumped Resita steam locomotives but it is known that one of them (764.010) has been cosmetically restored and is now in Timisoara. Access to the shed usually denied by the 'Jobsworth' on the gate!
Standard U.23 August L45H diesels at Sotânga (top) and descending to Govora (above)

S.C. TALCC DOLOMITA S.A. : Zlasa - Hunedoara (formerly CFI UNEDOARA)

760mm; one of the better known Romanian 760mm industrial railways, opened in 1900 to transport chalk, limestone and talcum from quarries in the mountains around Ghelar and Teliuc to the steelworks at Hunedoara. It was cut back to Craciuneasa in 1970. Nevertheless, with two tunnels, one of them 747m, and eight bridges and viaducts this 13km line is very spectacular. The passenger service was suspended in 1990 and freight traffic had declined by 1998 from up to 12 daily trains to a level easily managed by three 23 August L45H diesel hydraulics. There were five L45Hs altogether as well as several locomotives clearly out of use, including an U.23August 0-6-0 diesel shunter, the prototype for a series of similar locomotives exported to Poland, and four Resita 0-8-0Ts, one of them mounted on bogies and latterly used as a heating boiler. A passenger train had been preserved for special trains but it is unknown if it still survives. The adjacent steelworks were privatised in 2002 and much was torn down. The railway appeared closed at late in 2002 though track had recently been balasted at Hunedoara and lathough the station had been abandoned to a family of gypsies and ferocious dogs, there were recently arrived hopper wagons at the Hunedoara. This truly spectacular line would be ideal for an sustainable tourism project in an area facing high unemploymeny. A visit may be combined with Corvinesti Castle - the most spectacular fortress in Romania - facing the main depot.

2014 UPDATE: although tracks have been lifted here there is still interest in setting up a tourist operation, mooted by Georg Hocevar ay Criscior.

L45H diesels on the dramatic Hunedoara system
L45H diesel arrives at a wayside halt with a special tourist train on the dramatic Hunedoara system
EXPLOATAREA MINIERA LONEA

790mm; a 5km steeply graded, double-tracked line connecting Lonea colliery with the Petrila preparation plant, near Petrosani in the Jiu Valley. Trains comprise six bogie hoppers, each carrying up to 22 tonnes of coal. 10 L45H Bo-Bos, most of them in service or in the workshops in 1998, in addition to a pair of the earlier L35H variant dumped beside the shed. This line is in the Jiu valley coal mining area and is dependent on collieries which could easily close down. However, the system is still operating.





EXPLOITAREA MINERALA RODNA

The first mineral mines on the south side of the Rodna mountains opened in 1873 at Valea Vinului. Those still operational at the present time are Valea Blaznei, opened in 1952, and Faget, opened in 1978.


Sector Faget

Non-ferrous mineral mines at 850m altitude in the Rodna Mountains above Valea Mare. 600mm system extending for a total of 13 km, mainly underground from 500V AC overhead supply. 7 x Unio LDM45 diesel & 8 x Unio electrics (types CT600 & LM-7) reported in 1999. The railway emerges from mines onto a narrow shelf comprising unloading hoppers, separation plant, mines offices, workshops, a loop with a siding for paddy trains, the main shed and a further siding with redundant locos which formerly extended along the mountainside to service a rubble tip. Paddy trains operate into the mines at times of shift changes.

L45H diesels on the dramatic Hunedoara system
L45H duesels with coal hoppers on the 790mm gauge, the double-tracked colliery line at Lonea

Sector Valea Blaznei

Non-ferrous mineral mines at Valea Blaznei; 1100m altitude above Sant, approximately 7 km east of Rodna. This 600mm gauge, 19km system is entirely underground and is reported to operate with just 6 x Unio LDM45 diesels.

A connection between Faget and the former mines at Valea Vinului (1100m altitude) above Rodna was apparently never completed due to flooding between Valea Mare and Valea Cobasel in the 1980s. However, the remains of this line may be observed where it emerged in the Cobasel Valley including a bridge across the Cobasel River and a turning triangle serving sidings to a rubble tip. The mines at Cobasel (1200m altitude) passed into the hands of a separate company and were recently closed as being uneconomic to operate. The 600mm gauge mine system was reported to be operated by a pair of Unio LDM45 diesels and a Unio battery locomotive in 1994. One or more of these are supposedly still stored inside the mine.


There are many more of these small mineral mining railways in the Carpathians - systems have been recorded in the Bistrita Aurie Valley (Suhard Mountains), Baile Borsa (Maramures Mountains, in the Aries Valley and near Baraolt (where narrow gauge steam locomotives were used at the coal mines until very recently)

Unio electric locomotives with paddy trains at Faget near Valea Mare (10 / 1998) / Unio petrol locomotive with a train high in the Rodna Mountains; Cobasel 1989


TURDA CEMENT
Another 760mm system connecting the chalk quarry at Sandulesti (10km) to the Cement works at Turda using a fleet of 10 standard U23Aug bo-bos (type L45H, some of them converted from type L35H in 1980). There is an additional 2km stretch to Argila. In addition there are several unusual AC electric locomotives converted from steam locomotives, which work at both Turda and in the quarry. Turda was also known to have used an experimental "Shay" type locomotive imported from the USA by Krauss for trial in the former Austro-Hungarian empire before the first world war. A rather derelict Turda cement Resita locomotive languished at the Ystwith Valley railway in Wales for some time, but has recently arrived at the Welshpool and LlanfairRailway. The line to Sandolesti Quarry closed in 2001 and it is assumed that the locomotives were scrapped or sold.



FURTHER READING

"Wälder und Dampf I & II" Hans Hufnagel
"East European Narrow Gauge" Keith Chester (Locomotives International)







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