Tramways of Romania

Arad, Romania - © Iakov Filimonov, Shutterstock
Arad, Romania - © Alan Heywood
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Cluj Napoca, Romania - © Mariia Golovianko, Shutterstock
Vintage and normal service tram in Iasi, Romania - © Alan Heywood
Oradea, Romania - © Alan Heywood
Arad, Romania - © Ray Smith
Timisoara.jpg
Heritage tramway from Sibiu to Rasinari - © Alan Heywood
Timisoara.jpg

Holiday Highlights

  • Five tram networks using vintage equipment
  • Transport passes for Timişoara, Oradea and Iaşi
  • Sibiu to Răşinari heritage line
  • “Green Arrow” charter from Arad to Ghioroc
  • Vintage tram charter in Iaşi
  • Time to explore cities independently
  • Specialist escorted tour with like-minded fellow travellers
  • 12 Days from £2,295
BOOK NOWTailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
Friday 14 June to Tuesday 25 June 2019

UK’s Leading Specialist Operator to Romania

Most Romanian cities still operate trams from a previous generation, either Tatras from the old Communist bloc or vehicles of western German origin. Things are changing and being modernised so we are keen to run this tour before the old order disappears.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – Flight to Sibiu

Late morning flight from London Heathrow to Sibiu via Munich. 2-night stay at a centrally located hotel.

Day 2 – Tram to Răşinari

To be more exact, it is now a railcar from the metre gauge Stern und Hafferl group in Austria. Until 2011, Sibiu was linked to the village of Răşinari by a rural tramway, latterly using former Geneva cars. During 2012 it was occasionally used for tourist charters but later closed completely when work to dismantle it began. It has now been reopened over most of its length as a tourist line.

Day 3 – Sibiu to Timişoara

Three of the tram systems we visit are close to the Hungarian border, so we head west by main line train to Timişoara for a 2-night stay. Our hotel is in the centre of the city and close to a busy tram bottleneck.

Day 4 – Free Day to Explore

There are 9 standard gauge tram routes and a further 9 trolleybus routes employing 100 trams and 50 Skoda trolleybuses operated by local transport operator STPT. Most trams are rebuilt West German articulated types and some have recently been completely rebodied in Romania. A day ticket is available which also includes buses.

Day 5 – Train to Arad

We take a short rail journey north to Arad when on arrival there will be further free time to explore. The railway station is at one end of a long boulevard onto which most tram routes funnel. Our hotel is on the same boulevard where we will spend 2 nights.

Day 6 – The Green Arrow to Ghioroc

Arad’s tram system comprises 14 routes, all metre gauge, using a mixture of Tatra, West German Duewag and modern vehicles. By far the most interesting route is the long rural line to Ghioroc, once part of a much larger inter-urban system. This is still worked by former Mannheim to Heidelberg inter-urban cars. It is also possible to charter an original Ganz “Green Arrow” tram which we do, plus we visit the small tramway museum at Ghioroc.

Day 7 – Further North to Oradea

We continue by main line train to Oradea for a 2-night stay.

Day 8 – Trams in Oradea

A 48-hour CityCard is available for the three tram routes and a much larger number of bus routes. The trams are standard gauge and a mixture of Tatra (including the classic T4) and modern Siemens articulated vehicles.

Day 9 – Train to Cluj

A morning train to Cluj Napoca affords an afternoon’s sightseeing. Although Cluj is Romania’s second city, the tram system is limited to one 12km line (standard gauge). There is currently a mixture of Tatra and modern vehicles but more modern cars are on order.

Day 10 – Across the Carpathians

We cross Romania to reach the far north-east of the country which involves a full day journey on a main line train. This is arguably the most scenic line in Romania, crossing the Carpathian Mountains en route. Our destination, Iaşi, is a pleasant university city close to the border with Moldova and at the eastern extremity of the EU. Our hotel, where we spend 2 nights, is situated in the centre of town.

Day 11 – Vintage Tram Charter

Several busy tram routes pass the hotel and you will notice that the entire system is currently operated by West German and Swiss metre gauge trams, mostly built in the 60s. There are 123 in the fleet, although not all are serviceable. Their origins are Stuttgart, Augsburg, Darmstadt and Bern (both the classic tram + trailer and articulated versions). Many are still in their original liveries although the city livery of green, white and black is gradually taking over. The most modern cars are M type from the Ruhr built in the 80s and recently acquired. There are 8 routes and a day ticket is available. This morning we have a vintage tram charter (actually to be truthful it could be a replica of the original AEG number 1but it is a wonderful tram, nonetheless). Our route will be from the main depot through the centre of town and then along one of the long suburban routes.

Day 12 – Flight from Iaşi

Our return flight is from Iaşi to Bucharest with a connection to Heathrow. A light meal is served between Bucharest and Heathrow where we arrive mid-afternoon.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Hotel Imparatul Romanilor, Sibiu

Hotel Timişoara, Timişoara

Hotel Continental, Arad

Hotel Astoria, Oradea

Grand Hotel, Cluj Napoca

Grand Hotel Traian, Iaşi

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Flights in Economy Class by scheduled airline
  • Rail travel as stated in standard class
  • Public transport passes as specified
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Tramway charters as specified
  • Airport transfers
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour plus local professional Romanian guide

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £2,295
Single room supplement: £315
Deposit for this holiday: £200
   
Rates of exchange used are as at 1st August 2018

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