Vaser Valley

The Vaser Valley, with a length of about 60 km, starts in the Eastern part of Maramures Mountais, going north – west for more than 25 km, further turning south – west for another 35, to end in Viseu de Sus town, the place where Vaser river flows into Viseu. With the exception of a few lumberjack camps, the valley is unpopulated, the only access to the vast forests being a narrow railway. A few forestry roads link the other valleys to the main line. During the communism a few mining places were opened, everything being deserted now.

During the 1930’s, the reasonable solution to increase the quantity of timber carried down, beforehand only using the water, building dams and rafts, was to build a railway, a narrow one, to follow the main valley, for about 45 km, but also the other smaller valley, to cover a huge forestry area. The use of steam locomotives was natural, and even today, along the new diesel ones, few of the old steam trains still work. The main railway is still in use, unfortunately most of the secondary once being damaged in time and never repaired.

Nowadays the railway is run by a private company that offers daily trips up on the valley, using passenger wagons, for 21 km, to Paltin station. The train returns in the afternoon, bringing the logs downstream. If you continue on foot you will discover that the railway line passes through the most spectacular landscape of the whole route, with narrow, rock lined canyons, fast-flowing, sparkling mountain streams, the three short tunnels and then, above Faina station, you can visit a small church, built by Austrians.