Top Mountain Railways in Romania

Denise Chen - Jun 25, 2012
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Romania is one of the less rated countries on the average traveler’s list. However the country offers spectacular sights that are definitely worth seeing. It is even better to see these views from the window of a train. The first Romanian railway was opened in 1854 in Banat for transporting coal. Today, the country has an extensive network connecting numerous cities.

As far as mountain railways, Romania has done well, with the first being built in 1856 which is still used today. It can be said that this is one of the most beautiful railways, noted for its striking landscapes and lengthy tunnels that it goes through.

Ploiesti - Brasov

You may not be that impressed as soon as you leave Ploiesti, looking at the flat plain, but your eyes will soon light up as you approach the Prahova river. This is where the train begins to climb in altitude and you will see the Bucegi mountains. You may want to jump off at Sinaia to breathe in some fresh air and admire some of the magnificent views. For the adventurous souls, you could opt for a hike in the area or perhaps you want to take a cable car to the top of the mountains. Back on the train, you will pass the cliffs of Costila. This is another popular spot to go hiking. From here, the train will ascend 1000 meters up Predeal Pass and then down to Brasov. The whole journey will take you approximately 2 hours to complete.

The mountain train of Vaser Valley

This is definitely something different so if you are in Romania you can't miss a trip like this. You can get off at any point and appreciate some of the landscapes surrounding you. The highest mountain peak you will approach is 1930 m in altitude. The old locomotive brings a lot of character, which is what makes it so unique. You will pass the Vaser Gorge, the main river as well as 42 km of mountains.

Trains to the Carpathian mountains

The Carpathian mountains divide the country in two parts. You can get there with either the Prahova valley line or the Timisoara-Craiova and Cluj-Suceava routes. These are the major ones, but there are a couple of other smaller ones that you can also find. There are other places in Romania, which are not quite as mountainous, but are still extremely appealing to travel through. The Crisul Repede valley that runs through Oradea and Cluj will take you through rolling green hills on your trip.

7 tips for every train traveler in Romania

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when you are embarking on certain trips. Here are a couple of tips to ensure a safe journey.

Realize that if you are looking to get to your destination in a hurry, it is not going to happen. Most of these trains are old and travel at a slow speed. The main lines are more rapid.

If you are someone who insists on comfort, then you should probably take along a cushion because a great deal of the trains has not yet been.

Your ticket can be booked 6 months in advance and this is a good idea so it is one less thing to have to worry about.

Wherever possible, use the highest class of train travel. Whilst crime is not a major problem in Romania, it is something that every country has to deal with.

Make sure you check the schedule and plan accordingly.

If you decide to travel overnight then ask about sleeper compartments and other services that are available.

It is a lot easier booking your ticket online since you may find that it will be a hassle running around at the last minute. In some places there is also a definite language barrier that exists.

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