An unforgettable journey on the steam-train for locals and tourists as well. The tourist travel season has been opened to the public. The vintage train towed by a venerable steam locomotive, over a century old, "puffs" on the rails until September.
Tourists arriving in Zarand County, but also locals are invited to a unique journey on the old road of the narrow railway between Brad and Crișcior, with the only steam train that still operates in Hunedoara County.
The vintage train runs from July 8 to September 10, with two departures each day it is set in motion. Sitting on the seats, in the wagons once used to transport miners to Gura Barza Mine, the little ones, accompanied by their parents or grandparents, can taste the charm of this experience and at the same time admire a delightful landscape.
Wrapped all in steam, the locomotive that pulls the wagons was manufactured in 1957, in Reșița, and even though it has a considerable age, it still "puffs" on the same "railway" for recreational purposes that connects Brad to Crișcior.
Georg Hocevar, the man behind these fairytale journeys, is happy every time the train leaves. The Austrian citizen, settled for several years in Romania and "adopted" by the locals from Crişcior, definitely wanted the train not to reach the scrap metal. So he invested in his passion for trains. He bought this part of the railway from the Romanian authorities, along with the steam train, which he refurbished and turned into an exceptional tourist attraction in the Brad area.
Thus, every year, the enthusiastic fans, together with their parents or grandparents, quickly crowd into the wagons, embarking on a relaxing, unforgettable ride with "Thomas" - the famous cartoon character, with whom the steam train is likened by small passengers
Mocănița steam-train crosses the seven kilometers of the route between Brad and Crişcior, and the journey takes about 45 minutes. And this is because the old train, more than a hundred years old, travels at a low speed, of only 15 kilometers per hour, during which tourists on board can calmly admire the beauty of the landscape.
According to the program, the steam engine runs every Thursday and Friday, with departures from Crișcior Station at 11:00, 13:00, 15:00 and from Brad Station at 12:00, 14:00 and 16: 00 (the departure from 16:00 has no return). The trips are made with reservation and with a minimum number of people. The maximum capacity is 100 seats. If 20 passengers do not gather, the trip is canceled and the schedule may change. The price of a ticket for the round trip is 25 lei for adults, respectively 15 lei for children. Those who want to take a ride on the train from Crișcior are asked to make reservations at the phone number 0730.759.993.
After September 10, the train will be parked "at rest" in the depot, most likely until winter, when it will hiss again, proudly, on the rails, during the most magical time of the year, of the winter holidays, to the delight of the smallest of the passengers who have the chance to meet, during the trips, even Santa Claus in person.
The railway on which the steam-train runs was built in 1907, for the transport of coal to the Electric Power Plant in Gura Barza. The route operated until 1998, when it was closed. In 2001, the line was put back into operation, but only for tourism purposes.
In addition to the ride on the steam-train, tourists arriving in Zarand Country also have the opportunity to visit the Locomotive Workshop in Crișcior, as well as the Gold Museum in Brad, unique in Europe.
Lovers of steam-train rides are expected not only at Crișcior, but also at Abrud. In the Apuseni Mountains, you can find the second vintage train of its kind, put into operation by the same Austrian investor Georg Hocevar and which offers, during the weekends, tourist trips, on a wonderful picturesque route, to Câmpeni, and back. A return ticket costs 35 lei for adults and 25 lei for children. Additional information can be obtained at the phone number 0730. 759.993, where reservations can be made.