Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sad Fate for a Little Steamer - CFR 764.15X at Cluj-Napoca Firing Range

Just outside the city of Cluj-Napoca (Romania) there is a small road, a loop that goes through the Faget forest and connects the Manastur neighborhood with the Calea Turzii exit. From this road, closer to the Manastur end, another small dirth road leads to a military firing range. Well, at least that's what it used to be 20 years ago. Now it's only abandoned buildings and wildly growing vegetation. This is where you can find it:

A long time ago the soldiers used this territory for target practice. Now it looks like no man's land. In the tall grass you can still see a small rusty tank and... a narrow gauge (760 mm) train on a piece of track.

The tracks have sunk into the ground and the train is slowly being destroyed by the effects of the weather. It's composed of two passenger cars, a tanker, two platform cars and... a little steam locomotive! It is in a very bad shape. Eaten by rust, the metal bended, the boiler open, the number plates broken. But the trained eye can recognize that it's a 764.000 series CFR loco. In fact, on the left side, a piece of it's number plate still exists. It reads 764.15... and the last digit is missing. There are no bullet marks on the loco, it hasn't been used as target, but it's in such a bad shape that it cannot be saved anymore.

ID: CFR 764.15X
Wheel arrangement: 0-8-0T
Built: 1949
Builder: Uzinele "23 August" (Bucuresti)
Top speed: 30 km/h
Gauge: 760 mm
Location: Cluj-Napoca, Romania (firing range)

I keep wondering how the whole train got there. There isn't any railroad track nearby and even the lines that exist a few kilometers away are standard gauge. At the firing range there is only that piece of track that is under the train and even that is sinking into the ground, so it must be there for a long time. Did they lay only that piece of track and transport the train cars and locomotive there one by one, using cranes? Is it possible that many years ago there used to be a narrow gauge line? When did they take the train there? Maybe 20, 30, 40 years ago?
Searching the steam locomotive sites has lead me to the conclusion that this loco must be one of the following: CFR 764.151, CFR 764.152 or CFR 764.154. The rest of the CFR 764.151 - 764.159 locos have records and their location is known (and CFR 764.150 never existed).
There were a total of 68 steam locomotives from the 764.000 series (narrow gauge, 760 mm) used by CFR:

- 764.001-764.008 (8 pieces), bought from Schw. (Germany), 1923.
- 764.009-764.018 (10 pieces), built by "Uzinele Domeniilor" (Resita), 1937.
- 764.051-764.059 (9 pieces), bought from Chrzanow (Poland), 1949.
- 764.101-764.112 (12 pieces), bought from Schw. (Germany), 1923.
- 764.113-764.122 (10 pieces), built by "Uzinele Domeniilor" (Resita), 1937.
- 764.151-764.160 (10 pieces), built by Uzinele "23 August" (Bucuresti), 1949.
- 764.201-764.209 (9 pieces), built by Uzinele "23 August" (Bucuresti), 1949.

More about locos of this type:

1 comment:

PussDaddy said...

This is pretty, too, especially the first picture.


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