Century-old train starts tourist rides in western Romania

The Green Arrow, an electric train that first entered circulation in 1906, will start making tourist rides in Arad county, in western Romania.

The train links the city of Arad to Ghioroc, and the ride allows travelers to visit various tourist objectives in the area. It will run every Sunday on this route, with stops in Mândruloc and Sâmbăteni. The train is an auto-motor wagon renovated by Astra Vagoane Călători Arad, one of the biggest rolling stock producers in Romania. A ride costs RON 20 (some EUR 4.5).

Tourists can visit in Ghioroc the Trams Depot, which the Arad County Council plans to turn into an Arad Transport Museum by the end of the year. The museum would include replicas of cars and planes manufactured in Arad, including the Marta car.

A Museum of Wine and Vineyard is also on the route and presents the history of the Miniș — Măderat vineyard, one of the oldest in the country.

The Green Arrow train was not an electric one at the time it made its first trip. It ran on the metric gauge Arad – Podgoria. Berlin-based Henning, Hartwich & Co. handled the construction work, which started in 1905, and the necessary rolling stock. In 1913, at the same time with the departure from Arad of the first passenger train, the 1,000 mm gauge railroad Arad – Podgoria became the 8th electrified railroad in the world and the first one in Eastern Europe, according to a presentation of the train.

The Arad – Podgoria railway was nationalized and entered the ownership of the state-owned railway operator CFR in 1948. It was the only electrified line in Romania until 1965, when the Brasov – Predeal rail opened. The train maneuvering was done by telegraph until 1961 and then by the telephone as the rail didn’t have any signaling, except the places where it intersected the main railroad.

By 1983, the Arad – Podgoria railroad went to the Arad Local County Transport Enterprise and even urban trams started circulating on it. In 1991 it was closed because of the high degradation.

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(Photo source: Muzeul Sagetii Verzi Facebook Page)


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