The Imperative Need to Create a Rapid and Efficient Connection between Transylvania and Bukovina During the First World War – The Construction of the Prundu Bârgăului - Vatra Dornei Railway Line

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In the context of the World War I outbreak and given the lack of a direct railway line between Transylvania and Bukovina, the Austro-Hungarian army is forced to find a quick and operative solution to the supply of weapons, food, but also to restore the supply to the Austro-Hungarian empire with manganese ore, dolomite, lumber, cereals, animals and other goods provided by Bukovina. Therefore, they considered building a fast link between Transylvania and Bukovina, along a spectacular route, namely, the Prundu Bârgăului-Vatra Dornei railway line. In the successful realization of this great project an ingenious, even revolutionary solution was found for those days: the construction of a railway line with normal gauge, adapted to trains and the petrol-electric traction, according to a model that was used and successfully put into practice since 1912 in Austrian Tirol. The works were completed in a very short time, even though there were very harsh working conditions and the route was extremely difficult. Both the Austro-Hungarian army and civilians from neighbouring villages and prisoners of war contributed to this success.

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