Standard Gauge Steam Tours in Romania
Andrei Berinde reports (8th September 2004):
"Great news from Romania. On July 23, at Baneasa railway station took place the official inauguration of the newly restored steam trains which are intended to be used for tourism.
The former SAAF was split and a new society called S.F.T. (Societatea Feroviara de
Turism) was created, which will own and operate all the tourist steam trains formerly owned by
CFR. The inauguration consisted also from a trip with a special steam train, from Bucuresti to Snagov (about 40 km away). There are now three trains overhauled and ready to operate. They are at
Calugareni, Modovita and Regal. The steam locos which
will pull them are: 150.025 from Ploiesti depot, 140.117 from Sibiu and 230.516 from
Pascani. All three locos are now in Ploiesti depot.
The official prices are calculated in train/km (meaning that the price is set by the distance on which the train will travel and not by the number of voyagers). The prices are: 8 euros/km for Calugareni train. 10 euros/km for Moldovita and 30 euros/km for Regal.
Another issue is that the creation of an association called "Railwayfan Romania", which is just being founded. There are 14 founder members and about 100 collaborators. The members are covering nearly all of Romania and I must say that there are also some strong foreign ones (mainly USA, Canada and Germany).
The association has its own site (www.railwayfan.ro) which is currently under
development. You can find there a photo gallery with all kind of railway pictures, some good descriptions for the main steam loco series and also a good discussion forum for all kind of railway issues. As I said the site is now under construction and some parts are only functioning in
Romanian language but this is only temporary and very soon it will be fully translated in
English. There are plans to issue also a magazine called "Railwayfan
Magazin" which will cover all the aspects of railway stuff (from the real trains to the model ones). The first number is already out (in electronic form) and is placed on the site. As soon as will be able to support the costs for issuing a printed version will make one."
Hans Hufnagel (13th September 2004) points out
that the prices above do not include taxes and buyers should beware....