steam locomotive coupling

Mocănița Sovata

Published on February 9, 2021 by Zoltan Nyaradi

Mocănița Sovata is a narrow gauge steam locomotive hauling 3-4 passenger cars. This steam train runs between the city of Sovata and Câmpu Cetății which is a Transylvanian village located 14 km away. The starting point of each journey is from Gara Mică in Sovata. The entire journey to Câmpu Cetății and back usually takes approximately 2 hours. Along the line, the Transylvanian rural scenery is pretty amazing. I bet you won’t regret this trip on the Mocănița Sovata.

What is a Mocăniță?

In Romanian, Mocăniță means a train which runs on a narrow gauge railway. The most important one is in the region of Maramureș. However, there are a couple of them in Transylvania as well. Today, the majority of the narrow gauge lines in Romania are used for touristic purposes.

What type of steam locomotive is used?

The steam locomotive which is used on the Sovata to Câmpu Cetății narrow gauge line was built in Poland in 1949. It has a top speed of 35 km/h. On this line, the steam train doesn’t exceed an average speed of 15 km/h.

764.052 narrow gauge steam locomotive in Sovata.

What is the history of this line?

In 1912 the construction of the narrow gauge railway line between Târgu Mureș and Praid has started and the first train started to operate on this line on 31th January 1915. Unfortunately, after 82 years, this amazing railway line was closed. In 2011 a private company has started to operate on a 14 km segment of the old Târgu Mureș – Praid narrow gauge railway line. To be more precise, between the “increasingly popular health resort” of Sovata and Câmpu Cetății. In a nutshell, this is how Mocăniță Sovata was founded.

From Sovata to Câmpu Cetății

As I mentioned above, the starting point is at Gara Mică in the city of Sovata. Below you will find some photos of the beautiful Transylvanian rural landscape along the railway line.

The Mocăniță Sovata close to an accident with a car.
The Mocănița Sovata with tourists.
Transylvanian houses in a Romanian village.

At Câmpu Cetății

Basically this is the terminus station on the Sovata – Câmpu Cetății narrow gauge line. Here, the steam locomotive is uncoupled from the front of the train and its coupled at the back of the train. Usually at Câmpu Cetății, the train stays for almost 10 minutes. In those 10 minutes you have plenty of time to take some amazing photos of the gorgeous train and the surrounding area.

Changing tracks at Câmpu Cetății.
The Mocăniță Sovata next to the passenger cars in Câmpu Cetății.
Tourists taking admiring and taking photos of the Mocănița.

From Câmpu Cetății back to Sovata

After almost 10 minutes the Mocănița Sovata was ready for the journey back to Sovata. Below, I’ve shared a couple of photos from this part of the trip.

Transylvanian rural scenery.
Forested hills next to the narrow gauge railway line.
The former trains station in Săcădat, right before Sovata.
Transylvanian rural landscape.

We are back in Sovata

After another hour, the steam train has arrived in Sovata. Here another large group of tourists and train enthusiast were waiting for the Mocăniță.

Mocănița in Sovata
The steam locomotive at the depot in order to be loaded with wood.
Passenger cars in Gara Mică.