From Curtea de Argeș via the Transfăgărășan route to Sibiu and Alba Iulia
1 A bust of Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave) in Curtea de Argeș.
2 The Princely Court, Curtea de Argeș.
3 A statue of Basarab I of Wallachia.
4 Biserica Domneasca, Curtea de Argeș.
5 One of the few English language description boards I came across whilst in Romania.
6 In the grounds of the Princely Court, Curtea de Argeș.
7 Curtea de Argeș' rather grand station building, now very much under used.
8 Curtea de Argeș station, waiting on a train....
9 At Curtea de Argeș station, looking south.
10 A church at the monastery in Curtea de Argeș.
11 Curtea de Argeș monastery.
12 Fantastic stone carved detail.
13 Further amazing stone work.
14 Texting God perhaps?
15 Inside the very ornate monastery.
16 Every inch is painted, even the ceiling.
17 The impressive interior of Curtea de Argeș monastery.
18 Plenty of gold on display….
19 Some of the amazing decoration inside the monastery.
20 Pretty impressive workmanship.
21 Looking up.
22 Inside the monastery.
23 Carved stone around the outside of Curtea de Argeș Monastery.
24 Curtea de Argeș monastery.
25 The craftsmanship which went into the monastery was first rate.
26 The ornate and impressive monastery at Curtea de Argeș.
27 It must have taken something to get the geometry right.
29 Against the light shot of Curtea de Argeș’s monastery made possible by the power of digital photography.
30 A feature of Romania was vending machines in unexpected places.
31 Looking towards the mountains at Oeștii Ungureni.
32 Traditional rural transport at Oeștii Ungureni.
33 The next destination, at the top of the hill, Poienari Castle.
34 Poienari Castle, high up in a commanding position.
35 There were dogs everywhere in Romania, reminding me of my time in Argentina. This one sensibly finds some shelter from the sun.
36 That way then…. And only 1480 steps to go!
37 Just some of those 1480 steps.
38 All about it…
39 Nearly there….
40 Poienari Castle gives great views of the surrounding rugged scenery. The road onward can be seen cut into the cliffs.
41 Looking down to where I had parked.
42 Poienari Castle.
43 Poienari Castle, nice on a nice day….
44 Rugged country on the fringes of the Carpathian Mountains.
45 Poienari Castle.
46 Mediaeval justice?
47 Another church and the small surrounding settlement somewhere to the north of Poienari Castle on the road into the mountains.
48 On route 7C, the famous Transfăgărășan (Transfiguration) route driven through the mountains under the direction of Romania’s Communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu.
49 The road starts to get interesting, now above the tree line and starting to loop around to gain some height.
50 Looking back to the tree line.
51 A series of hairpins in the mountains.
52 The mountains from the Transfăgărășan road.
53 A few minutes previous I was down there. It was starting to seem worth the effort!
54 Looking towards the summit of the road, the last section being through the mountains in a tunnel.
55 Mountain road through the Carpathians. It looks so innocent in warm early autumn conditions but is regularly shut in the winter.
56 The road winds up the mountains.
57 Into the light on the Transfăgărășan road.
58 Getting very near to the top now. The road reaches an altitude of 2034m (6673’).
59 Now on the north side of the mountain pass and the well-known view of the road winding down or up depending on your perspective.
60 In the Carpathians.
61 That’s the way down then.
62 Must be some good walks to do on those mountains.
63 Do I trust dodgy Communist era concrete?
64 Pretty impressive road.
65 Plenty of sheep enjoying the mountain grass.
66 Looking back up towards the summit.
67 A decent amount of concrete was used in the construction of the road.
68 A hazard on the roads of Romania I was to encounter more than once and they don’t get out of the way for anything!
69 The clouds toy with the tops of the mountains.
70 Looking down to the plains around the mountains.
71 Now out of the mountains, time for a view back.
72 The Carpathians, in this part of Romania and in many others, rapidly rise out of relatively flat lands.
73 Mountains and clouds.
74 Rural living.
75 Cartisoara church and graveyard.
76 The road through Cartisoara.
77 Mountains in the haze.
78 And so to the first proper appointment with a Romanian railway. This is Sibiu station with a loco hauled train in the station.
79 CFR 60 0928, a diesel electric Co-Co with a Sulzer 12LDA28 engine of a very similar type to those fitted to BR Class 47s in the UK.
80 Sorting out the paperwork at Sibiu.
81 CFR 60 0928 at Sibiu ready to head away to the south.
82 Sibiu was the terminus for a 760mm gauge line, the well-known Sibiu to Agnita railway. It closed in 2001 but is now subject to a preservation attempt. This is the site of the narrow gauge station in Sibiu where, under the weeds, are the rails awaiting their next train.
83 Sibiu is a town renowned across Romania for being historic and well worth a visit so I went to the railway museum at the depot instead… Unlike the UK no one bats and eyelid at anyone walking around looking at the locos at what is an open railway depot
84 At the entrance to the museum is CFR 40-004, a rack and adhesion tank loco used on the Caransebeș to Hațeg route, Romania’s only rack worked line.
85 2-8-2t rack and adhesion tank 40-004 at Sibiu railway museum.
86 Stuck behind a hedge is 0-6-2t 6845, built by Borsig in 1908.
87 CFR 389-001 is a 760mm gauge loco used on the Sibiu – Agnita line. It was built in 1885 at Wiener-Neustadt.
88 Cabside details.
89 Outside valvegear on 389-001.
90 Another 760mm gauge loco on display is 0-6-0t CFF 763.148.
91 A steam crane at Sibiu museum.
92 Three locos in a line, closest is 764.201, behind is 324.951 and behind that is 94.649.
93 Skoda built 2-6-0 130.503.
94 764.201, 324.951 and 94.649 at Sibiu Railway Museum.
95 Cabside plates on 130.503.
96 Rear three quarters view of 130.503.
97 Some of the locos at Sibiu museum at not well positioned for photography. On the left is industrial tank Sm 1 and on the right is CFR 2-6-2t 131.040.
98 CFR 131.040 was like many Romanian locos a coal fired machine but with the capacity to have an oil over coal firing system. The tanks for the oil are sat on top of the water tanks.
99 MAVAG (Budapest) built 2-6-2 324.951 and KPEV (Prussian) T16 0-10-0 94.469.
100 Looking into the cab of 324.951.
101 Many locos on Romanian Railways have their origin in Prussian and German technology. 94.649 is a Prussian T16 type. This loco came to Romania as a consequence of WWII.
102 Firebox and air pump detail on 324.951.
103 The CFR copied the DRG Class 50 2-10-0s as their Class 150. 150.1105, one not to feature a Kylchap exhaust, is displayed at Sibiu museum.
104 Prussian T16 (as was) 94.649, built in 1914 by Schwartzkopff.
105 Hungarian built 2-6-2 324.951 dates from 1917.
106 A tender looking for an engine.
107 CFR Class 60 diesel 60-1201 awaiting duty at Sibiu depot.
108 94.649 seen from alongside 150.1105.
109 764.201 in contrasty light.
110 764.201, an 0-8-0 760mm gauge loco.
111 Wheel detail on 324.951.
112 The good looking 324.951.
113 A rotary snowplough and 130.503 at Sibiu museum.
114 CFF 673.148. CFF indicates this locomotive was engaged in forestry railway work.
115 Dome and feedwater “purifier” detail on 2-6-2t 315.032.
116 2-6-2t 315.032 and 0-6-0 620 at Sibiu museum. 620 was built by Franco-Belge in 1890.
117 62 1011, 60 0832, 64 1219, 60 12?6 (number obscured by the raised coupling) and 65-0925 lined up around the turntable with nothing to do.
118 A fireless loco, 315.032, CFR 077 (Hanomog 7280 of 1915), 620 and 1493 at Sibiu museum.
119 Water column and multiple unit, which presumably doesn’t need the water on offer?
120 Another ancient 760mm gauge loco on display is 388.002, built at Weiner-Neustadt in 1896.
121 The turntable, museum locos and CFR service machines at Sibiu depot.
122 CFR diesels 60 0832, 64 129 and 60 12?6 around the ‘table at Sibiu depot.
123 It wasn’t going to take long before I found one of these Reşiţa 0-8-0t locos…. This one is CFR 764-106.
124 0-6-0t 077, unfortunately not well positioned for photos.
125 Diesels outside the roundhouse.
126 0-6-0 tender loco 620 and 1493 at Sibiu Museum. 0-6-0 1493 was built by Henschel in 1894 as works number 3820.
127 Don’t know anything about this loco other than it is a fireless.
128 Cabside of CFR 89 0498.
129 This CFR Class 64, 64 0927, is some way from its home depot at Târgu Mureș.
130 This sticker on the side of 64 0927 tells of the locomotive’s refurbishment.
131 CFR logo on the side of a unit.
132 A side view, over the hedge, of 389.001.
133 A pair of tagged units at Sibiu depot.
134 The view from the depot towards the Sibiu station.
135 A final view of 40.004.
136 A residential street near the depot.
137 Crossing a bridge paralleled by a pipeline bridge on the outskirts of Alba Iulia.
138 Once again didn’t really look around the renowned city of Alba Iulia. Other things took precedence, next time as it is meant to be worth a look!