One for the trainspotters

When Romania set about electrifying its railways in the 1960s (a process which has still yet to be completed), it chose Predeal to be the site of the first electric pylon on the CFR network. The pylon – found on platform one of Predeal station – today carries a commemorative plaque:

predeal-electricity-pylon

Why Predeal?

We do not know for certain, but we would take an educated guess that because Predeal is the highest town in Romania, and the station almost certainly the highest on a mainline, the country’s communist authorities were making the point that if they can bring electric railways to Predeal they can bring them anywhere. (Which makes us think that if the communists had built motorways, they would have started with the most difficult bits, such as Comarnic-Brasov: the exact opposite of today’s muppets).

Of course, it could just be that Predeal is close to a hydro-electrical power station or such like. We await further edification on the subject if anyone is remotely interested and knows better than we can guess.

PS The Predeal-Bucharest journey now takes just two hours. On Friday evening we had a vaguely Top Gear-style race: Mr & Mrs Bucharest Life in the car, the kids on the train. The car won, but only just, and only because the train was delayed after a passenger jumped off (while it was moving) at Comarnic. Apparently, he was expecting it to stop at Comarnic and when it didn’t he decided to get off there anyway.

  • Paco

    Well actually the communists did built a motorway: the Bucuresti-Pitesti.

    • And the Fetesti- Cernavoda section of the A2 over the Balta Ialomitei too

      • Correct: not an easy section.

        • Mr Rearguard

          Looking at the photo above and the date on it, is that Diego Costa’s birth certificate?

  • Alex Boia

    One can find out more about the whole process (including and with emphasis on the first electrical locomotive ever to roam Romanian commercial routes) in this book: http://www.agir.ro/pictures/img_prima_carte/810_110631_1.jpg. It is written both in English and Romanian. Basically, the Bucharest – Ploiesti – Brasov route is the most used railway corridor in the country and the purpose of the upgrade was to increase the traffic volume.

  • nashu_mare

    And, if not, why did they stop the train?

    And, if yes, the same question.

    • Ha ha.

      Anyway I have no idea. Son of Bucharest Life reports that he did not see the incident, another passenger told him what had happened.

  • anon

    Was the guy hurt?