Romania and the Ukraine, Spring 2022

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This tour of two neighbouring countries is designed to appeal to those wishing to travel by vintage “modern traction” to visit as many depots as possible in a short space of time. In Romania our transport will be by a “78” Class diesel railcar unit – built by Malaxa between 1939 and 1954; and in the Ukraine, by a “D1” Class diesel unit, built in Hungary by Ganz-MAVAG between 1960 and 1980.

Our provisional itinerary has been drafted on the principle that airline and international rail schedules will be similar in 2022 to those which operated prior to the Coronavirus Pandemic – indeed it assumes that the Budget Airlines remain in business, which is by no means a certainty! It uses Wizzair flights from and to Luton, but doubtless flights from other UK airports will be possible, and in any case the tour can be purchased “land-only” i.e. without the flights from and to the UK; and indeed a “Romania-only” and a “Ukraine-only” package will also be made available.

To look after the interests of steam enthusiasts, an extension is offered in the Ukraine – there will be a visit to the Children’s Railway in Kiev, and a tram charter in Lwow, but the main objective is to travel on the narrow-gauge steam railway based on Haivoron; followed by a charter with a “Su” 2-6-2 on the very scenic Racov branch. Afterwards we will cross the border into Romania again, for trips on the n.g. steam forestry railways at Moldovita and Viseu de Sus, before returning overnight to Bucharest and our Wizzair flight back to Luton.

Precise dates have not yet been fixed, but we will be aiming for April/May – perhaps over a public holiday, to reduce the number of days’ leave needed by working folks. The following day-by-day programme is therefore definitely to be regarded as “work in progress”.

Day 1   Evening departure from Luton to Constanta, and overnight Hotel Ibis or similar.

Day 2   Touring Romania with “78” diesel railcar, with depot visits.

Day 3   As above

Day 4   As above, ending up in Bucharest, for evening flight to Luton. Or, for those continuing to Ukraine, overnight Hotel Ibis, Bucharest.

Day 5   Participants taking “Ukraine-only” tour depart Luton by morning flight to Kiev, arriving lunchtime, and overnight in Kiev. Those already in Romania take a morning train – Tr. 380/118 – with sleeping cars – takes us from Bucharest across Romania and the Ukraine to Kiev, arriving……

Day 6   …..08.08.