Traveling by the Mocăniţa – Romania’s famous steam train

Corina Chirileasa writes about a half a day train trip by the Mocanita, the famous steam train in the Maramures region of Romania, an experience which should not be missed while in Romania.

It’s the start of a working day in Vişeul de Sus, a village in Maramureş, Northern Romania. At 8 in the morning, people already form long queues to buy tickets and jump on the famous steam train, the Mocăniţa, that used to carry wood down the mountain.

Now the same train, fed with wood and water, very slowly takes travelers through the woods, to a place that seems close to the end of the world. Of the modern world.

Before getting there, however, some preparation is needed: summer is a busy season for the Mocăniţa, which runs from early July to mid – September. It’s the season when four trains, and not just one, make the daily 21-km trip, and when people need to sign up on waiting lists for a chance to be on one of the four trains. So piece of advice: make sure you reserve seats in advance! Or that you’re there way before the sun rises….

We ended up on a waiting list, and we were lucky enough to be called quite fast and let know there were two seats for us on one of the four trains – that really made our day!

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