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Proud Earthling

To the previous part of the series:
Regional Rail Express - 9: Valea lui Mihai (50 p.)

Videos for this part:

July 30 2018

I arrived from Baia Mare at Ulmeni Sălaj. 641 363 departed with IR 1746 Baia Mare - Bucharest punctually at 5:48 a.m. in slight morning fog.

R 4043 Jibou - Baia Mare was met here. The class 76 DMU - a modernized former German DB class 614 - departed punctually as well, at 5:51 a.m.


The sun rose above the layer of mist coming from Someș River. Ulmeni (German: Ulmendorf, Hungarian: Sülelmed) nowadays is part of Maramureș region - like Baia Mare - , but historically belongs to Sălaj district, in Hungarian: Szilágy.

I expected the departure of R 4045 Jibou - Baia Mare at 6:37: Sulzer 620 741 accelerated hauling three carriages (departure on video at minute 6:25).

Moon and wagon weighbridge were passed.


The herd of cattle sadly came by the level crossing two minutes too early.

I walked past lovely houses towards the Someș bridge.

At the level crossing of Strada Petre Dulfu, I finally caught some cows being led to graze alongside the road by a gentleman on folding bike.

The railway bridge to the right, to the left the road led to a car ferry currently being replaced by a new road bridge.

The ferrymen were busy in morning traffic - but will soon be jobless...

Pedestrians and cyclists chose the railway bridge anyway.
The first sleeper train was scheduled to arrive at 8:01, seasonal IRN 1945 from the Black Sea town of Mangalia to Baia Mare and Satu Mare. I placed the external microphone for video in a bag on the ground and waited for the train at the level crossing. Suddenly, two young German shepherds ran across the tracks and in a flash one had the strap of the microphone bag in its mouth. To the amusement of some locals in the distance, I quickly grabbed the video tripod and ran after them. Luckily, these were timid juvenile dogs and soon let the bag drop so everything could be recovered. I missed R 4042 to Jibou, then the IRN approached hauled by GM 65-1300 still sporting the old numbering scheme.



I picked up my thankfully still complete luggage and explored Ulmeni, including its church with wooden tower.

Daily IRN 1641 Bucharest - Baia Mare was supposed to arrive at 8:50 a.m. Why were the waiting passengers disappointed upon arrival of RE 4096 Baia Mare - Jibou at 9:30? Well: probably they did not have access to which would have told them that IRN 1641 was an hour late, the only connection to principal city Baia Mare until noon.

The question: would RE 4096 wait here? I had planned to take it to Jibou.

There was no passing loop for the next ten minutes before reaching Benesat. And really, we stayed put until 9:49 when the sleeper train finally arrived. In the meantime, I had taken a seat inside the Desiro DMU and found a creative perspective for the meeting.


After ten o'clock, we had arrived at Jibou junction (Audio pronounciation can be found here: ), now in Sălaj district with nearby capital Zalău.


Double Desiro IR 1545 arrived at 10:19 from Satu Mare. My train RE 4096 from Baia Mare was coupled to it and continued ten minutes later as triple composition to Dej and Cluj.

A former German class 628 in old livery was stabled at the depot, ex GDR "Ferkeltaxe" railbuses stood further to the back. R 4451 from Zalău Nord arrived as a Desiro - now I was of the opinion that the railbuses probably were not in scheduled service any more.

I purchased "Rom"-icecream and drinks at the nearby petrol station supermarket, then boarded the 11:55 R 4047 double Desiro towards Baia Mare. My destination: Benesat.

I planned a hike up the hill above the rocks in the background but could relax for two hours in the shade before that - better than running around in 90 degree heat.

At three o'clock, I had this view of the village with two churches - at least one brand new - and a freight train which just had arrived from Jibou.

Beautiful Romania: nature is often all around you.

Clouds were forming - showers had been predicted that afternoon - , but IRN 1944 Satu Mare - Mangalia arrived on time at 3:45 p.m. in sunlight.

The panorama: Someș River breaking through the hills at the Maramureș / Sălaj border to the left and flowing along the background. Lakes with sand or gravel pits in the centre, Benesat and the plain towards Jibou to the right.


The semaphore signal was set to clear, the IRN stopped as scheduled at 3:47.

Half an hour late - out of some reason the express had overtaken it at Ulmeni - R 4044 to Jibou returned as the loco-hauled composition at 3:59 p.m.

Lorries constantly went back and forth between the pits and the station.

I walked downhill past the cemetery.

And caught R 4092 to Jibou.

Back at the station in time, as showers came while the gravel train was loaded by a wheeled loader.

R 4046 arrived punctually from Baia Mare at 5:25 in sunlight as it rained in the background.

We waited to meet R 4097 to Baia Mare in the rain, then continued to Jibou with partially open doors.

A view at the DMU returning to the depot from the hazienda-like, large station building of Jibou.

The following images were taken by compact camera only, some are Ultra HD video screenshots.

My sleeper train was supposed to arrive at seven, but wait - a local train came shortly before: finally, a "Ferkeltaxe" at 6:50 p.m. as R 4423 from Dej Călători!

New UIC-number on a rusty front - at least the sides looked better.

Panoramic function of the compact camera.

The "Ferkeltaxe" accelerated towards the depot.

This required reversing twice.

My IR 1642 towards Bucharest approached at 7 o'clock sharp and provided the perfect video scene together with the railbus entering the depot.

Already 15 hours on the road, I was looking forward to a single sleeper compartment. Luckily all windows had been opened.

During the ride, the temperature was quite convenient, in the evening it became cooler.

We punctually awaited IR 1745 Bucharest - Baia Mare at the first station from Jibou towards Dej, Surduc Sălaj. All comfortably captured from my compartment.

We continued into the evening towards...

... Someș River, which we followed in daylight to Dej. After the change to electric engine, I soon went to sleep as it would be quite an early start again next day...
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