The 150th anniversary of the construction of the Alba Iulia – Târgu Mureș railway was an occasion for the presentation of an American trolley, restored by CFR employees, on their own money. Drezina was initially stored in Zlatna, after being abandoned on a railway in Brașov.
The trolley was used by Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej, when checking the construction sites or at receptions, say the restorers.
Povestea drezinei Buick
The restoration of the American model Buik Road Master Sedan, manufactured in 1940, was made from own funds, by several workers of the L7 Târgu-Mureș Section within CNCF CFR SA
It was brought to the Equipment Exploitation District within the L7 Section Târgu Mureș at the beginning of 2020. Employees passionate about the history of the railways within the L7 section managed to restore its former brilliance, the representatives of the section transmit.
According to the quoted sources, the trolley is part of the history of the communist period of Romania. It was first used in the diplomatic corps 1 and 2, after which it passed to the railway and was one of the trinkets of the leader of the communist times, Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej. It was abandoned in 1996 on a railway in Brașov, where, due to rain, it was destroyed. It later reached Zlatna.
CFR historian Radu Belu and the head of Section L7, Ionel Adrian Vîlcan identified her left in a field in Alba County.
“We managed to get it up and running. The work lasted a year and all the expense was borne by us, in full. As the great Nicolae Iorga said, a people that does not know its history is like a child that does not know its parents.
So do we, the CFR members, what else can we save, save ”, said Ionel Adrian Vîlcan, head of the L7 Târgu Mureș Section.
Restoration from scratch
“The restoration was very difficult. All the pieces had to be thought of because the originals were hard to find. I started from scratch because it only had the skeleton and the wheels; I found it without an engine, without a box, without anything, almost destroyed. The trolley has no steering wheel, and the dashboard and water clocks are refurbished.
It has a Renault engine, 1.9, with 75 horsepower. It’s our pride, we did everything out of passion! ”, Said foreman Varga Ferenc, who coordinated its restoration.
“I personally walked with her on the Luduș-Măgheruș line and when I saw her condition, I took her together with my colleagues and decided to put it into operation.
It is known that Gherghe Gheorghiu Dej had several trinkets, but only this one still exists. It was used to check the open construction sites and various receptions of the Railway ”, says Florin Jelen, deputy head of the L7 Târgu-Mureș Section.
“I am a railway lover, I really have the CFR germ in my heart. I found her in Zlatna, in a field, abandoned. Initially, I brought it for visual reconditioning, that is, to paint and arrange it.
When I arrived at the mining district, my colleagues were so impressed that we decided to put it into operation.
The restoration lasted a year. It was very difficult for me to get the pieces, but slowly I redid it. It is a Buick from 1940, it was a wheeled vehicle, it was modified at the Malaxa factories in Bucharest, it was used by Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej.
In the 60’s and 70’s he arrived at the Brasov Regional and did his job on the current L7. In the ’90s it was taken back by the Brasov Regional. The old equipment did not have a reverse gear and then it has a unique rotating device, in which the locomotives returned to the wagons and intervention wagons.
All the official columns went on the railway until the ’90s, it was a faster means “, Adrian Vîlcan explained for Agerpres.
In addition to the “Buick trolley”, enthusiasts of old means of transport also restored, also with their own money, a narrow-gauge steam locomotive manufactured in Romania in 1954, intended for freight and passenger transport and a narrow-gauge wagon from 1915.
Next on the list is the only drapery of the Royal Family of Romania that escaped destruction. It is a trolley built in 1935, which belonged to Charles II.
He used the trolley on the narrow line Reghin – Lăpușna, every summer when he came hunting at the castle from Lăpușna, Mureș County.
150 years since the opening of the Alba Iulia – Tg. Mures
November 20 marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Alba Iulia – Războieni – Târgu Mureș railway.
Alba Iulia – Războieni – Tg. Mureș has a length of 112 kilometers, being included in the Trains at lines 200, 300 and 405, according to hotnews.ro. Between Alba Iulia and Târgu Mureș there are only two direct trains a day, one lasting over three hours due to long stops.
At the time of the construction of this railway, Transylvania was part of the Kingdom of Hungary, which started in 1868 an extensive program for the construction of railways in its eastern part. In 1870 the trains started running between Cluj and Oradea, and in 1873 between Brașov and Teiuș.
The first trains ran on the Alba Iulia – Târgu Mureș railway on November 20, 1871.
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