Sunday, February 6, 2011

CFR 764.357 in Orastie

In the summer of 2010 I was travelling through Hunedoara County in Romania. As I was driving on the Romanian national road no.7 (DN7) through the town of Orastie, I suddenly noticed a small steam locomotive painted in bright colors, exhibited right next to the road. It caught my attention, so I stopped and took some pictures of it. The narrow gauge (760 mm) loco looked very nice, but it also raised some questions in me as it had no ID plates. From the looks of it I knew that it belonged to the 764.000 series and it was also clear that it had been recently restored. The people who rescued it from being dismembered and melted, as so many other Romanian steam locomotives, have chosen to paint it in an unusual but appealing red color, which is not representative for its kind at all, as the CFR standard color scheme is quite different. Another strange thing about it was the fact that its coupling buffers were placed asymmetrically.

Recently I have done some digging on the Internet and found some information about the small steamer. It appears that it had been built in 1950 by Uzinele "23 August" in Bucharest based on a design by Schwartzkopf. The locomotives of its kind were not very kind to the tracks, so they were mainly used for shunting on forestry lines. This particular steam locomotive was used by the Orastie forestry company. The reason for the asymmetrically placed coupling buffers is that it used to pull not only narrow gauge train cars, but also some that had their coupling buffers placed at normal distance, like standard gauge train cars. After being taken out of usage, the loco was left to rust for a long time. But now the forestry company (IFET Orastie) rescued it, restored it and exhibited it near the DN7 road, for everybody to admire. It has even been fitted with decorative light tubes that make it visible at night.

ID: CFR 764.357
Wheel arrangement: 0-8-0T
Built: 1950
Builder: Uzinele "23 August" (Bucuresti)
Top speed: Most likely 30 km/h
Gauge: 760 mm
Location: Orastie, Romania (near the DN7 road)



MrShadow said...

You've got some amazing photos. Thanks for sharing them.

Cristake said...

Pretty interesting story, also quite unusual behaviour of IFET Orastie - I mean, not to scrap this old lady.

Rudolf said...

I found a video when the line was still operational in June 1998:

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