Romania 2015 - 13: Through Olt River Valley (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 - 12: April Weather along Cibin River (50 p.)

Link to the video:

April 2 2015

I marched to the level crossing at the Olt Bridge end of Olt Bridge (Podu Olt ;-)) and expected punctual IR 346 "Dacia" to Vienna shortly before 7 p.m., which had crossed the second of the two bridges arriving from direction Fagaras. Now the fifth coach was completely missing, no dining car, just sleeper, couchette and two second class coaches.

Full panorama with Fagaras Mountains, to the right one of the known tractors from Brasov production was working a field along the Olt River bank.

Now passing Podu Olt, reaching Vienna in fourteen hours.

The pleasant side of the level crossing: right next to it is a restaurant with B&B. We ordered soups and mixed grill.

What's more comfortable than looking outside between courses - and immediately being able to take pictures of such a scenery? I was not too sure if the diagrams from the previous year still were valid, but a small railcar in Coke-can-livery was approaching...

Voilà: Malaxa 77-0910 as R 2461 from Râmnicu Vâlcea (How do we pronounce it? Exactly: "Rmnicu Vltsha"!) arrived over-punctually at 7:44 p.m. while the mountain range was glowing in the last sunrays.


At eight o'clock connecting R 2516 Sibiu – Fagaras departed. The age difference between Desiro and Malaxa vehicles amounts to about 70 years.

... Mountains.


Five minutes later the Malaxa returned to Babeni as R 2464. At the level crossing another clash with the modern age took place.


Night falls in Transylvania... ooooooooooooooh!

In absolute darkness we stumbled the few feet to the platform and expected a Desiro to take us home - R 2111, however, turned out to be GM-hauled as it conveyed through coaches of an IR from Bucharest.

At 10 p.m. we returned to our accommodation at the Liar's Bridge.

April 3 2015

Friday morning we arrived at Sibiu station around 7:30 a.m.



A grey wall of cloud blocked the view towards the mountains this time, but we wanted to pass them travelling into the sunny south anyway.

Our local rake with cutter, R 2068 to Râmnicu Vâlcea, expected departure from ominous "platform" 5 at 7:50 a.m. - sadly the front of 60-1036 stood in the shadow of the road bridge. At the second position this time a compartment coach thankfully with windows to open could be found.

We passed Sibiu goods yard featuring a shunting hump. Most stabled wagons seemed out of service, but at least one freight train had to run somewhere as one evening I spotted a manned MARFA (CFR freight company)-cutter. However, I did not encounter any goods trains on any line around Sibiu.

We moved towards the dark wall. Still in spotlight at Vestem we met IR 74 "Transilvania" to Budapest. I filmed this scene, see video (link above) from minute 44:35. Exactly at this moment the conductor visited our compartment, but we managed to keep him at bay for the time necessary.

Actually I had planned to take pictures early morning in Olt Valley. But due to the late return the evening before, fatigue due to several time changes and temperatures below freezing early morning I decided on the much more comfortable R 2068. We passed Turnu Rosu featuring the massive former Romanian border station. Then the line was following the side of the valley and reached Valea Marului.
As you maybe remember I had thought never again to get an opportunity to take pictures of Romanian semaphore signals... but then I started taking pictures Indian style (although I never had done this in India ;-)) as the corridor-side windows did not open…

Who still thinks proper railway photography is not possible from the train? How much more perfectly could it be arranged than with semaphore signals, meeting of cutter-hauled trains (R 2071) consisting of light-blue old coaches, flock of sheep with pack mule (and shepherds wearing traditional hats, not in view), ... The sun does not reach this spot that time of year and day anyway. Also notice the detail of the spartan mode of lighting to the right reminding me of my Turkey reports.

At Câineni we passed a goods wagon on its side, at Robesti a suspension bridge worthy of Vaser Valley leading to houses on the other bank of Olt River. More scenes of the ride through the valley can be watched on video from minute 48:55.

The valley is partly opening up, the river often heavily regulated. We passed a construction site - judging by the rusty state of the machines nothing has happened here for a long time, though.

At Cornet an ambulance coach was stabled next to a maintenance vehicle looking like a loco had been sawn into two halves.

Before reaching Lotru we crossed Olt River again on a modern bridge obviously erected in a modular way next to an old railway bridge. The curve had been laid on it like model railway tracks, locals had had plenty of space to establish a footpath next to it. Here I had planned to take a picture of R 2071 earlier that morning, but as things turned out I was lucky to have chosen the more comfortable option.

Calimanesti is the first larger station on this route south, even platform roofs can be found here (to the right, not in the picture). The rake running in the afternoon as R 2436 to Babeni and returning as R 2063 towards Sibiu stood on a stabling line. The class 82 was a hint that not every train is a booked cutter and I had been very lucky until then with 100% class 60. Also included in the video (50:35) is a meeting with R 2061, that day a class 82 as well.

Something for nostalgic coach enthusiasts: A row stabled at Daesti. By the way the line is double track from Lotru.

Now we left the narrow valley and crossed the river a final time on a large bridge (see video at minute 52:00). We did not go all the way to the rather industrial town Râmnicu Vâlcea but left the train two stops earlier at Bujoreni Vâlcea.
After a short walk through the suburban-like place we reached the village museum of Vâlcea district (Muzeul Satului Vâlcean). More information:

The entrance fee to the open air museum - reminding me of the ScanRail tour - was paid in a former school building. In large countries like Romania or in Scandinavia it definitely makes sense to collect old buildings to preserve in one place. We met a quite dedicated staff, one middle-aged gentleman spoke English well.

The classroom.


Due to the recent surge of religiosity in Romania you often come across newer religious artefacts, even in a museum. For example it is practice to put up memorial crosses for the deceased.

A striking difference to Transylvania: here it actually was spring, the cliché of the warm south proved to be correct!

Well and older stone crosses.



The buildings were distributed over a nice compound. However, they still were locked in April, you can only get inside during the summer season.

A wooden church was situated on a hill at the back of the museum.

These colourful beehives are common for this area, even today.

Mills could be found as well - view towards Râmnicu Vâlcea in the background to the left.

Of course this also reminded us of Scandinavia, sadly the church was locked as well.

Interesting crosses in the trees.


This is the original version of those fancy fences with decorative roofs (one of which took a bite of my winter jacket at Moldovita), already in documentaries about the Bronze Age such woven fences can be seen...

Next to it was an Orthodox church, with one of our local furry companions.



A newer but still rustic piece of art.

Next we wanted to continue to Cozia Monastery (not the Cozia in Vaser Valley) and thought about taking a bus. On the A-road in front of the museum a public bus line was operating hourly to Cozia. To save time we also considered taking a taxi and already had mentioned that at the ticket office. The nice gentleman said that we probably would be cheated and offered to take us there for 50 lei. We did not say no to this offer, walked to the house next door and got into his car...

Next time we will follow the "monastery express" through Olt Valley! :) 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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