The Forestry Narrow Gauge Steam Train
Mocanita (Romanian-“Mocăniţa“) is the Romanian forestry narrow gauge steam train that was born more than 100 years ago.
Unlike the standard gauge trains that run on 1435 mm gauge, mocanita track gauge is 760 mm for an easier access on the rocky valleys hidden in the century old forests.
Mocanita is that little steam train going up to the forest in the morning with empty wagons and bringing them back, loaded with heavy logs for the small home village. Through mountains and deep forests the train follows the valleys and the river banks to the delight of the tourists.
This steam train is not only a production transportation mode but an out of the ordinary curiosity. Generally the trains are big and massive machines that run with precision and speed, but mocanita is steaming around working hard on every slope out there in the wild.
Therefore mocanita is an invitation for an adventure in the wild Carpathians. An invitation for you to discover or to remember the wild nature landscapes, the fresh forest air and the taste of the forest fruits.
Two lines are the most interesting for steam photography in 2016
CFF Vișeu de Sus, Maramureș
This mocanita line is still the only forestry line working in Romania on daily bases in the Water Valley (Valea Vaserului). Several steam locomotives are still operating on this line and one of these (764-211, “Mariuta“) is over 100 years old! The locomotives are used for both passenger and log trains.
The line was constructed in 1933 by CAPS (Casa Autonomă a Pădurilor Statului) and has been operating daily ever since. During the decades the line had several branches to Valea Bolului, Izvorul Cailor, Gura Ștevioarei and ended at Izvorul Boului 42 kilometers away from Vișeu. CFF Vișeu de Sus had about 63 kilometers of lines in total. Today only about 45 km are opened for daily service depending on working conditions. Tourism trains on daily bases in season are going only to Paltin (21 km).
People in Viseu have been working on this line for several generations and steam locomotives represented their daily means of transport up to the forest and back home at night.
CFF Moldovița, Suceava County
This mocanita line was constructed in 1889 as an 800 mm narrow gauge line. From 1909 the Religionsfounds, owner of the lines complex in Moldovița, had the over all control of lines and rolling stock and changed the gauge to 760 mm. At that time there were about 52 kilometers of lines from Moldovița to Roșoșa, Radvan, Radvanel, Porcescu, Putna, Râșca, Dubul, Argel, Arsuri, Moroșanu. Since 1948 the line was part of the CFF system.
From time to time lines in Covasna, Comandău, Brad-Crișcior or Abrud-Câmpeni are open (on some sections) for tourism.