Last of the Carpathian Forestry Railways! Unique in Europe only in Viseul de Sus in Maramures!
A journey back in time!
When travelling with the Mocăniţa up the valley one should keep in mind that this is like a journey back in time: after leaving the Vişeu station there is no cell phone signal, and any contact with the modern times is lost.
It all starts at the Vişeu de Sus railway station (Căile Ferate Forestiere Vişeu de Sus, or simply CFF Vişeu de Sus). Since this is not a regular railway station, but a forestry station, there are no passenger platforms. The place looks more like a lumberyard than a railway station, smelling of freshly cut wood.
Very early in the morning the Mocăniţa is made ready for the day’s trip. Both the tourist wagons and the forestry wagons are attached to the steam locomotive, wood and water provisions are made – they are the fuel of the steam engine – and the mechanic starts the engine. After some time off, the train goes with a long whistle, puffing along the way.
Following the cascading river, the train first passes among the houses of Vişeu de Sus. Then, after about seven kilometres, the tracks start to go deep into the wild forest, passing among the steep cliffs of the gorge, and penetrating the mountains through dark tunnels.
The silence of the nature is broken not only by the on-rushing tumultuous river and the puffs and hisses of the train, but from time to time also by the sharp whistles of the locomotive. The Mocăniţa creeps slowly up the abrupt slopes and often gives the impression that it can no longer advance and that the steam power is not sufficient. However, it manages to continue the journey and carry the tourists to picturesque places.