New Year’s Eve in Viseu de Sus

Romania 29.12.2007 – 02.01.2008

764 241 in Viseu de Sus

Enjoy New Year’s Eve in the deep forests of the Carpathian mountains! We’ll have three charter trains for our own use, plenty of time on the line because there is no regular service at this time off the year, except snow ploughs and some railcars. Plus our train ...

The winter is a very special time for visiting a forestry line in the mountains. Deep snow, sometimes the tracks are blocked by broken trees, snow ploughs, and points which need 20 minutes work to be turned. Experience a very unique line in the hardest season for the railwaymen as well as for the equipment.

This tour is not planned for just the dedicated gricer who can’t enjoy other things beside steam trains. For your spouse or girlfriend we offer a horse-drawn sleigh tour through the winter forest and a visit to a wooden church while most of the men will probably enjoy the steep track into the Novat).

Sun is a rare visitor these days in the deep valley north-east of Viseu de Sus. However, the mood of the quite, deep forest, with the roaring engine and the trucks rattling over the rough track is magical and enchanting.






Meeting of the group at the Railway station Budapest Keleti pu. The trip to Budapest should be organised separately by the participants (If you wish to travel by air, FarRail can arrange a flight). Train trip from Budapest to Mateszalka in first class; from there transfer by Bus to Viseu de Sus. (approx. 5 hrs.). Accommodation in small pensions close to the depot of Viseu de Sus


Charter train Viseu de Sus - Poiana Novat with a steam train of empty logging trucks plus passenger coach. We will have lots of time as there is no regular traffic on the line (except railcars and snow ploughs). Ladies program: horse sleighing tour plus visit to a classic wooden church. Accommodation in small pensions close to the depot of Viseu de Sus


Charter freight train with passenger coach from Viseu to Valea Babei. We’ll take all the time we need for taking pictures along the line. In Valea Babei: a camp fire, barbeque and some local liqueur, staying in basic but lovely former children's camp (just refurbished and for sure with fresh bedding)


10am charter train to Comanul if the line is free of snow, around 11am return to Viseu, evening by charter bus to Hungary. Accommodation hotel Schuster in Csenger


By taxi to Mateszalka railway station and train to Budapest


Line description and tour details

This particular tour is not just for photographers and video film makers. We’ll enjoy these trains, yes, but the main point is: we'll celebrate New Year's Eve in the mountains, with a big camp fire and a steam train in the station nearby. This is a unique experience which other preserved lines in Europe can hardly offer.

The narrow gauge forest railway of Viseu de Sus is the last remaining one in Romania. Besides diesel engines, steam locomotives are still employed for tourist trains during the summer, mostly the Resita-build 0-8-0T or their Reghin-build counterparts. They are also used occasionally on the logging trains.  Besides them two interesting steam locomotives are in running condition. One of them is the 0-8-0 Orenstein & Koppel-built tank locomotive 764 211, the other one 763 193, is an 0-6-0 tank engine with an inside frame build by Krauss in Munich. It came to Viseu de Sus from the forest railway of Moldovita after it closed.

Stone in the way ...

The main line starts at Viseu de Sus at the sawmill and runs steady uphill for 43 km to Comanu at the Ukrainian border. There is also a branch line to the east into the Novat valley. Both lines offer plenty of opportunities for good pictures. On the main line there are, for example, three tunnels just after one another.

Not only is the landscape something special, the trains in themselves are also noteworthy. We will try to make up authentic trains, as they ran in the eighties, when the line belonged to the state-run forest railway CFF (Caile Ferate Forestiere) and was worked by steam locomotives exclusively. For this purpose we will have one of the blue painted passenger coaches.

beyond Delta

Small Print

Romania is now a member of the European Union. This brings a lot of change to the country. But in the small villages along the line we can still experience the traditional Romania and its hospitality. Any fear of serious crimes is farfetched; our accommodation is family run and has warm showers and good food.

The normal range of temperatures is between plus five and minus 20 degrees Centigrade. Anyhow, temperatures can drop below minus 20 degrees Celsius, so please be prepared. Railway lines can be blocked by snow, rocks, broken trees etc. In the worst case the traffic can come to a total stop due to the weather conditions. In this case we're unable to offer trains, but we would still try to organize some special seam operations around the Viseu mill and yards. However, this is very unlikely as they always keep the line clear, even during the Christmas/New Year's Eve period when no trains are normally running. If it is snowing, a snow plough is running daily.


The use of a specific engine cannot be promised. We will use steam engines for our trains depending on their availability. As the company is running the engines and the rest of the rolling stock without proper maintenance, we don’t know how many and which locomotives will be serviceable. The engines build by Resita and Reghin are nearly "indestructible", so the local workshop should be able to solve any problems. In addition, the “Verein Hilfe für die Wassertalbahn” (Society to support the Water Valley Railway) has two serviceable locomotives of which one can be used by us.

There are sufficient power supplies for charging batteries in Viseu. In Valea Babei we have only limited access to electricity. There is not cell phone connection in the forests (luckily).

Health: no problems exist concerning your health. The water from the numerous springs along the line can be drunk without a problem, even the small streams just above the first village has clear and drinkable water. The only serious safety risk is if you are not careful around this operating railroad. Jumping up or down from moving trains is not allowed in Viceu de Sus. Getting on or off, and travelling on the train is at your own risk, so take care along the railroad.

For this tour you will need a valid passport. A visa for citizens of the European Union and for Americans is not necessary. For citizens of other countries please ask the local Romanian embassy for details.

tunnel 1

Due to inflation Romania has dropped four zeros from its currency, so one EURO equals about 3.7 Lei (the single denomination being one Leu). The old notes are out of use now, however, sometimes prices are still quoted in the old price. The easiest way to change your money is in Viseu, but you will not need much. Your meals are already included in the tour price, so the only thing you may need are cigarettes if you smoke and some drinks. Good beer is available.

Please remember that the hotels, busses and the forest railway itself do not necessarily conform to current EU-standards. That’s exactly one of the reasons why we are going there. Safety and environmental standards are still not fully developed so a word of warning: Please beware of the dangers in and around the railway and other modes of transportation. An accident and health insurance policy covering foreign countries is highly recommended. FarRail Tours cannot be responsible for any accidents.

Single rooms are not available in Valea Bebei.

Registration period ends: 28.10.2007

in the train ...



New Year’s Eve in Viseu from 9 participants £460
29.12.2007 – 02.01.2008 Single room supplement £45

Minimum number of participants: 9
Maximum number of participants: 15

The price includes:

Not included are:

Pictures shown here are taken by Bernd Seiler in the winter season of 2007.

snow in Faina


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