Regional Rail Express - 61: Transilvania IV (50 p.) is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


Proud Earthling

To the previous part of the series:
Regional Rail Express - 60: Transilvania III (50 p. + 1 v.)

The video for this part:

Upon arrival, the landlady had asked me what animal the hill on the opposite side of the valley reminded me of... its official name is Vârful Măgurii - photo taken on May 1 2023.

Solution below the image. :0)


It is - a crocodile!

April 30 2023

I had planned the early morning photo session for next day with more sun but potential fog in the forecast. Transferoviar Călători RE 10033 Cluj - Oradea arrived punctually 9:09 Sunday morning at Șuncuiuș station. During our stay, these connections were operated by former Regiobahn (Ruhr area) Talent DMUs, in 2018 still spotted as ex-DB class 614 and ex-NS "Wadloper" (see report part 59).

It accelerated towards the "crocodile's eye" (the rock below the lamp).

Our star train IR 146 "Transilvania" Cluj - Vienna followed shortly after.

9:19 a.m. in Trrransylvaaaaaniaaaaa*... whoohoo!
The effect appeared naturally; I did not have to edit much. The sky has been exposed slightly darker.

* Actually Bihor, Crișana - but often counted as part of Transylvania. From a Wallachian geographic perspective, the rest of Europe is situated behind the woods anyway... ;-)

The star train consisted of two-thirds first class and a buffet car.

We did not need it, as the (not included) breakfast of Pensiunea Tarina was more than filling.
Alternatively, you can eat some grass along the banks of Crișul Repede.

We followed the hiking path into the gorge starting west of Șuncuiuș. Some young people had camped inside the loop of the river; official camping grounds were located on the other bank. Loud music could be heard across the valley - it is a holiday and weekend destination for tourists of all age groups.

An overview: we arrived from Șuncuiuș at the bottom right. The river loop is located at the bottom in the center where the hiking path avoids the rail tunnel through the "crocodile". Apart from that, the official path markings lead along the track bed of the railroad to Peștera (= "cave") halt. Trains are passing by whistling constantly, warning the crowds of hikers. Of course, some walked through the tunnel. The whole area is a joy for health-and-safety-enthusiasts...

On the "tunnel avoiding path".


I expected R 3073 north of the tunnel where the path rejoins the tracks.

I changed to the southern tunnel portal for InterRegional Călători RE 10504.1 Oradea - Cluj. The "avoiding path" branches off to the left, to the right you can almost climb to the summit of the "crocodile".


I awaited well-known IR 1831 Timișoara - Iași a little further back towards Șuncuiuș. From town you can walk along the river, to the tunnel you must change to the tracks.


Finally, we marched to Peștera halt accompanied by three stray dogs. Below the "rock nose" which can be reached as a panoramic spot.

A bridge crosses the river next to the station. The romantic hut houses a buffet for cold drinks and hot snacks plus a covered terrace to sit down and relax.
A cave can be visited on the other shore. The path further on was closed because...


That's why the crowds flocked along the railway even north of Peștera despite it not being an official hiking path. The next parking lot could be found half a mile downstream at Vadu Crişului, so most tourists came from that direction.

One main attraction: the waterfall. The mudslide did not seem to bother some people. To the right a memorial, don't know if by flood, train, fall, rockslide, ...?

At least some amateur rail photographers arose in that situation - IRC R 10680 Oradea - Bratca was the photo subject.

It stopped punctually to the minute at 12:54; not all local trains halted at Peștera.

Platform with snack bar.

628 551 returned as IRC R 10681 Bratca - Oradea at 1:22 p.m.

Below the "rock nose", you can spot some people on top.


The path to the "rock nose" branches off near the northern tunnel portal. Another possibility is a route straight up next to the halt, but it is so steep you have to cling to fixed ropes.

You walk quite conveniently uphill through the forest on this path.

Before reaching the rock outcrop, another sign prohibits continuing. Of course, many did not adhere to it. I did not go further than necessary for the view. I generally don't walk on cliffs where you can fall just by slipping. Some climbers offered to lead me ahead, but I declined with thanks. Many other people continued; a young lady even sat down with her book on that slanted rock with the precipice below like it was a meadow in a park.

IR 367 "Harghita" Budapest - Brașov we had taken the day before with a lot of virtual tree trimming.

The InterRegio was ten minutes delayed. I stayed for the next train it met at Șuncuiuș.

A father took his young boy to the outcrop. Upon return, the boy jumped over some stones, slipped and almost fell down the cliff just in front of me. Then the father arrived and took his hand. A little late, I would think... That was slightly too much health-and-safety negligence for my heart.

At least everything was well; IRC R 10653.1 Cluj - Oradea approached at 2:31 p.m. It had been nicely repainted by IRC, only diesel smoke had left a black trail on the roof.

A lovely valley view. You can spot groups of hikers, there is plenty of space to the side of the track ballast here.

Two iPhone panoramas stitched above each other are necessary on this spot.


Originally, I had thought another visit during the leafless time of year would be necessary, but the view down to the tracks was not blocked.
I just don't have any idea how they are supposed to renew the line here other than building a completely new tunnel through the "crocodile".

It was time for lunch, we sat down at Restaurant/Pension "La Maria" right across Șuncuiuș station. It was not bad, but quality-wise I would recommend Restaurant "Gradia" if you have the choice.

IR 366 "Harghita" Brașov - Budapest had departed Cluj punctually but was delayed 19 minutes while stopping at Aghireș. The delay was reduced to fifteen minutes as it passed in sunlight like all trains that day. The forecast had been worse, and you could always see clouds in the distance. But the sun stayed with us, I even got sunburned.

Old factory and track maintenance vehicle.

Passing the station with stylized writing.



As promised in sunlight.

R 3076 Oradea - Cluj took the passing loop at 5:12 p.m.

The "crocodile" had darkened.

The Desiro DMU met IR 1833 Iași - Timișoara also stopping here.


Welcome to Șuncuiuș, Bihor, Romania, EU! To the right the sports grounds / grounds for more aggressive stray dogs.

It was enough for the day - you don't have to push the weather luck. We are about to rise early on the first of May! :)
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