The Caracău Viaduct in Harghita county is the most important construction on the Miercurea-Ciuc – Ghimeş railway route, put into use on October the 18th 1897, with the opening of the Ciceu – Ghimeş railway line, important due to the fact that it connects Moldova with Transylvania. Built in a mountainous region, on a rugged terrain, difficult to access, it represents the largest artwork executed by CFR after the construction of the bridge from Cernavoda.

It was destroyed in both world wars, in 1916 and 1944, respectively, and rebuilt each time.

After the Second World War, from December 1944 until February the 12th 1945, the Romanian construction engineers made a temporary wooden viaduct. This was a unique performance in the history of railway construction.

In parallel, the construction of the current viaduct has begun and it was put into operation on the 14th of September 1946, in just 14 months. The new construction of the viaduct was the largest railway bridge made of reinforced concrete in Romania. The total length of the viaduct is 264 m, the vault has an opening of 100 m, and the arch radius is 37 m. It is the largest opening and the biggest construction height of a viaduct in the country.

Under the bridge lies the valley of the Caracău stream and from the bridge, when the weather is nice, you can see the central part of the Ciuc bottomland.

Did you know??

For a long time, the series of metal bridges between Fetești and Cernavodă railway stations, which cross the Danube and its branches, was the longest in Europe?! Designed and built by the great Romanian engineer Anghel Saligny, this series of bridges, inaugurated in 1895, is still the most remarkable work on the CFR network from a technical and aesthetic point of view. The series consists of 6 bridges and viaducts, with a total length of 4,088 meters, of which the one across the Danube (consisting of 5 openings, the central one of 190 meters) has a total length of 750 meters.

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Bibliography:
THE HISTORY OF THE ROMANIAN RAILWAYS, Bucharest 2014, authors CENAFER and the CFR Museum http://livezi-ciuc.ro/viaductul-caracau.php

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