Romania 2015 - 12: April Weather along Cibin River (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:
Romania 2015 - 11: Per Daciam Cibinium (50 p.)

Link to the video:

April 2 2015

At 7 a.m. I walked the first of several times that Thursday through Talmaciu, past a relatively new Orthodox church and its cemetery.

A renewed ex German class 614 as R 2512 Sibiu - Fagaras passed the town in the first sunrays, I had taken this train in winter. In the meantime an Orthodox priest was walking by.

I was not certain as both trains usually meet near Talmaciu, but everything worked as planned: international daytime express IR 74 "Transilvania" Brasov - Budapest approached across Cibin River Bridge: blue livery in blue mood.

65-0943 hauled its three-coach-rake past the backdrop of the Fagaras Mountains aided by atmospheric towering clouds.

Next I planted myself on the road bridge across Cibin River.

Another reason for rising early: R 2068 Sibiu - Râmnicu Vâlcea (pronounce: "Rmnicu Vltsha") as classic cutter-hauled train in best morning light.

While the majority of the town had been improved by the village renovation society, Roma people live on the margins - in every respect.

The section between Talmaciu and Podu Olt follows Cibin River framed by lovely trees and meadows trimmed by herds of sheep. In the background a Desiro class DMU and already the home signal of Podu Olt station can be spotted.

View across two rivers towards the Fagaras Mountains, the second and larger, the Olt, just cannot be seen. At the most distant bank R 2071 Piatra Olt - Podu Olt is about to reach its destination.

In this image it still can be discerned, very tiny to the left below the rising smoke. The same scene from a closer, classic perspective can be found at the beginning of the first “Winter in Romania”-report - just at 20 degrees C less.

I liked the trees along the river... almost like a British landscape.

View from the cliff above Cibin River at the town Talmaciu (German: Talmesch, Hungarian: Nagytalmács) and the Protestant church of the Transylvanian Saxons who nowadays only make up 0.6 percent of the population anymore.

While waiting on top of the hill I saw strangely solid billows approaching and wondered what it might be... well: snow!
It did not turn out that bad as the icy flakes just bounced off me, had it been rain I probably would have been soaked even with an umbrella at this exposed position. The occurrence only lasted ten minutes and would stay the only precipitation that day, then the clouds moved on towards the mountains.

A horse-drawn cart turning into the street below me.

Talmaciu is strategically situated at Pasul Turnu Rosu (Red Tower Pass) towards Olt River Valley (to the left). Already Emperor Trajan crossed this pass and erected a Roman castle at the other side, that's why the pass earlier also bore the name Trajan's Gate. Battles took place in this area for example during the Hungarian Revolution 1848/49 and during WWI at the border between the Kingdom of Romania to the south and Transylvania which belonged to the Habsburg Monarchy as part of Hungary to the north. Today European route 81 (national: DN 7) leads across the pass, manifesting itself in loads of lorries struggling loudly on the grade. It is projected to replace the heavily used transit route with a motorway. At the moment only a section north of Talmaciu is constructed as multilane clearway where DN 7 branches off southwards from DN 1 towards Brasov. Even a Subway fast food joint can be found there which only can be reached on rubber wheels.
That's enough of a history- and geography-lesson, back to the view from above the houses inhabited by Roma people.

Overnight express IR 347 "Dacia" Vienna - Bucharest passed by punctually, still consisting of five coaches but the dining car was missing and instead another 2nd class coach coupled to the rear. The trains crossed the two-part Cibin River Bridge at the confluence with Sadu Creek.

Just fifteen minutes after the snow shower the weather situation looked like this, dense clouds only in the background.

R 2061 Craiova - Sibiu departed punctually at 11:33 a.m. in spotlight from Podu Olt.

Both bridges across Olt River can be spotted in the background, to the right of the station. "Podu Olt" actually means "Olt Bridge".

The cutter hauling R 2061 has reached the valley of the Cibin River - Olt River Valley in the background - and passed the local herd of cattle on the - from Podu Olt - double-track line. Olt River is flowing behind the hill, behind it the mighty Fagaras-Mountains.

I walked a first time to Podu Olt, the rake of R 2071 / 2072 took more than four hours to reverse at this junction. The speck in the background is no car driving across the level crossing - what it is will be revealed soon...

One of the station dogs I already had met in February stayed still in a sphinx-like position all the time.

Passengers were waiting as well.

The regular passenger exchange at noon, IR 1724 Craiova - Sibiu already had arrived, R 2102 Sibiu - Brasov was approaching, both comprised of Desiros. Most passengers from Olt River Valley wanted to continue towards Brasov.

Departure of R 2102, restaurant, bed&breakfast, horse and cart as well as haystacks to the left.

The solution: it was a wreck dumped next to the level crossing, already seen exactly like this two months earlier. If posted as deterrent or just not towed yet, I cannot answer. The double Desiro units approached the second Olt River Bridge on the line east towards Fagaras and Brasov.

During the following break I wandered to the bank of Olt River. At 1:20 p.m. R 2072 finally started its return journey.

It crossed the first Olt Bridge on the line south towards Râmnicu Vâlcea, Piatra Olt and Craiova.

Due to the lighting, but especially the megalomaniac communist era river regulation dwarfing the train, the view towards the Fagaras Mountains proved to be especially impressive.

Returning to Talmaciu I met a flock of sheep, another on the hill in the distance.

Obviously pack mules are part of every proper sheep herd, also see my reports from Turkey.

On the longest march that day - 6 km - I passed Cibin River Bridge.

Talmaciu town centre had been nicely beautified, only the turquoise restauration of the Protestant church windows emanated an air of the nineties. You could not visit it inside because it was locked. I also passed insulators used as fence ornaments as already seen at Moldovita.

No Desiros on my ranch, no Sir! ;-)
In this case R 2104 Sibiu - Brasov.

It was time for the long distance-InterRegio trains. IR 1621 Bucharest - Timisoara reached the very windy high plain exiting Talmaciu station towards Sibiu - I nearly was blown away at that spot...

Almost 14-hour-journeys and then both trains almost exactly meet at my position - one minute between them, but under these circumstances I hope you forgive the editing.

Once more blue in blue - with fitting Timisoara beer bottle (no arrangement has been made by me, it had been thrown away like that in the "stormy sea") and IR 1622 Timisoara - Bucharest which travels one minute shorter into this direction. My company, who had visited the Gothic church with largest Transylvanian winged altar at Sebes, arrived on this train. After a discussion with the conductor about entering journeys into the Interrail pass, Talmaciu was missed and the express had to stop again at the level crossing behind the station... ;-)

Orthodox church with popular fiction and reality.

Entering the neighbouring Saxon cemetery we came across this perfect ensemble.

German sayings for the living and the deceased.

I visited the morning spot again, this time viewed from the river bank.

R 2070 Sibiu - Craiova met me at a curve behind Talmaciu.

Terrestrial and celestial mountains.

Approaching Podu Olt at least the feet were pampered by soft, sheep-shortened meadows.


R 2063 Babeni - Sibiu departed the nowadays oversized station Turnu Rosu (see mountain pass of same name) which had been degraded to an unmanned halt. The reason for this massive building: it had been the border station to the Kingdom of Romania.



Stage lighting at Podu Olt, with loco driver on the phone.

Panorama including horse-drawn cart and towering clouds.


Towards Sibiu along the Cibin River...

Next time we will spend a nice evening at Podu Olt and start our next day trip venturing further south into Olt River Valley.


Ronik, Thanks for braving the elements to take these wonderful photographs and then posting them for us to see. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

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