Once upon a time in Constanta – the train from the park

[pentru varianta in limba Romana click aici]

Sometime not so long ago , in Tabacariei park – the only large park of Constanta city, there  was a quite unique tourist attraction, a miniature train line. It a type of “mocanita” train encircling the lake of Tabacariei Park. This  was very popular among tourists and local people .  

[ I  Appeal to all readers , if anybody has old pictures of the train or stations since before construction of the mall please contact me at garcia.calavera@yahoo.com ]       

This narrow gauge urban rail line in the park , which included two bridges and two tunnels was quite unique in the country. There were only 2 more like this: one in the Children’s park in Timisoara and one more in Bucharest Children’s Town. Today unfortunately only one survived in Bucharest in a reduced form .

The train seems to have stopped working somewhere in 2002- 2003 , and even then apparently functioning in an incomplete route , the line was discontinued on the grounds where they already begun work on the new waste water treatment plant near Pescarie Beach. Although the line could have been easily diverted more near to the lake without affecting the  necessary new water treatment plant , and even rehabilitated with European money after joining the EU in 2007 , but unfortunately the line did not get to see 2007, in 2005  the last nail was struck  in the coffin of the line and of Tabacariei Park with the starting of construction works at City Park Mall, a shopping mall built abusively smack down in the middle of the park , covering what  was the most beautiful promenade section of the park, the builders even had the nerve to name the new mall “City Park Mall” , to remind  Constanta    that there was once a park there. Even today is simply unbelievable how the mall received all the permits from City Hall and Emviromental permits.  I made some pictures back in 2005 when the sole and feeble protest against the construction of  mall was carried out .

trenulet parc Constanta, thank you Saila from SSC for the picture
this is the corner of Soveja str. and A. Lapusneanu blvd in 2005
and this is the same corner in 2014 Constanta Park

Although the builders of the mall  had promised besides massive replantations of trees and ecological parking also that the train station will be incorporated  into the design of the mall, of course nothing of it all became true. In time  , all that remained of the rail was stolen and scrapped, leaving  today only  the  hedge line that marked the  route, abandoned  tunnels that turned into hotbeds of infection and shelter for homeless and junkies and a  visible piece of rail at the  bridge near Satul de Vacanta.

Even the station at Satul de Vacanta  was barely recognizable ,  where there were once concrete train platforms, the whole surface was paved and converted  in to  parking and the ticket station became a huge garbage bin. I found by chance a weathered road sign on one of the pillars that warned “Attention to the train” and these are the last vestiges of what was once in the park, an attraction that our  followers and your children will never get to  enjoy .

Today during the summer season  there is a train car that connects the mall and Satul de Vacanta , that runs on  the walkways of the park, forcing pedestrians  to get out of the way  , which  until this year was a stinking diesel tractor that filled the park with smoke and made an  infernal amount of noise when it passed by , ruining in an  instant any pleasure of walking through the park.  Only this year someone had the good sense to replace it with an electric one, which still runs on the alleys of the park forcing pedestrians to get out of the way.  We thank the mayor , and the city hall for this and everything else that is happening in Constanta….. 

the only remaining visible segment of the rail

abandoned tunnels

Remains of the old train station

Check out also my fb page Fb GarciaCalavera.ro  , where if you like what you see you can hit the like button.

Check out other articles from Romania: Tales of the past – Unique photos of Constanta Trams and Trolleybus in 1991 , Why Romanians are still mourning the communist regime after 29 years , Tales of the past – unique photos of Constanta park and miniature train line in 1991 , Once upon a time – the lost train line from the park, Romania road trip across the country in 7 days

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