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Constantza


Railways    EN

Author: ARDELEANU KONSTANTIN

The railway Cernavodă – Constanţa was built by the British Danube and Black Sea Railway Company in 1858–1860 and was bought back by the Romanian state in 1882. A priority of the new authorities in Dobrudja was to link this railway to the network of Romanian lines, an operation that meant the construction of a bridge across the Danube, a difficult and costly engineering work [1].

The bridge Feteşti – Cernavodă – Saligny consisted of three monumental works: the bridge across the Borcea branch of the Danube, the viaduct across the river flood plain and the Charles I bridge across the main branch of the Danube itself [2]. In 1885, the construction of the bridge and the modernisation of Constanţa harbour were declared of public utility, and the government approved a rent emission of 35 million lei. In 1887 a special service was created to draft the projects, and the headstone of the bridge was placed in October 1890. The construction was inaugurated at a great public festivity on 14/26 September 1895 [3].

The bridge across the Borcea measured 420 meters, a length divided into three equal openings of 140 meters. The piles were of stone masonry with cement mortar, being founded at a depth of 28 meters under the low waters. The metallic superstructure was formed by a console grind, having a central part of 140 meters and two consoles of 50 meters, as well as two semi-parabolic grinds of 90 meters each. The bridge was linked with the embankment on the left bridge of Borcea by a 150 meter viaduct, and the embankment from the flood plain was linked by a viaduct with metallic grinds 400 meters long. The viaduct over the Danube flood plain measured 1,455.20 meters, with a height, from the high waters until the superstructure, of 2.80 meters. The Charles I bridge, with a total length of 750 meters, was composed of a central opening of 190 meters, the largest in Europe at that time, and other four openings of 140 meters. The ramp of the viaduct was at a height of 30 meters over the high waters of the Danube, necessary to secure fluvial shipping. Thus, the Feteşti – Cernavodă – Saligny line measured 27.3 km. At Feteşti it was linked to the railway to Bucharest, and at Saligny to the old line of the British company. The distance Bucharest – Constanţa was 228.8 km. The total cost of the works was 35 million lei, and all the grandiose project works were drafted by Romanian specialists under the engineer Anghel Saligny [4].

During this period, the following railways existed in Dobrudja:

Saligny – Constanţa and Palas – Constanţa Harbour

After the completion of the bridge across the Danube, the authorities wanted to rebuild the line to Constanţa, which had several problems with small radius curves or floodable areas. The embankments for the new railway were started in 1897, but were suspended in 1900 due to a financial crisis of the Romanian state. They were resumed in 1904, in parallel with the works for the line Palas – Constanţa Harbour that was to serve the new port. The works were completed in 1912, when the only part of the old British line still in use was that from Saligny to Cernavodă Port. The main line measured 54.544 km, and the Palas line 5.845 km [5].

Constanţa Port – Canara

The line was established during the construction of the harbour. It measured 15 km, later extended to 21 km, and served mainly the interests of the harbour, as it got to the stone quarry of Canara [6].

Constanţa – The cattle market of Anadolchioi

It had a length of 5 kilometres, built to serve the cattle market from Anadolchioi, also renowned for the organisation of annual horse races [7].

The line of the grain magazines

It had, with its branches, an approximate length of 3 km, important as it got to the grain magazines before the completion of the grain silos in the harbour [8].

Constanţa – La Vii

It had a length of 3 km and linked Constanţa to the halt La Vii, a fashionable sea bathing resort before the development of Mamaia [9].

Constanţa – Mamaia

It linked the city centre to the resort of Mamaia, on a length of 8.1 km, being extremely important for the growing resort from the northern part of Constanţa [10].

Constanta – Carmen-Sylva, with the Eforie – Techirghiol branch

The line, on a length of 16.21 km, was started in 1906, but it was only completed after the war.

The line of the new access in the harbour

It was a provisional line, on a length of 6 kilometres, functional until the completion of the tunnel to the harbour [11].

Available data on the rail traffic through the three railway stations in Constanţa (Constanţa City, Constanţa Harbour and Constanţa Border) is scarce. In 1899 there were sent through Constanţa 109,587 tons of products, mostly coal (39,650 tons for Constanţa Harbour and 5,085 tons for Constanţa City) and grain (29,210 tons for Constanţa City and 5,355 tons for Constanţa Harbour) [12].

Table 4.2.1_1

The cargo traffic through the stations of Constanţa

Station

Tons

Constanţa City

51,223

Constanţa Harbour

55,851

Constanţa Border

2,513

Total

109,587

The traffic of merchandise of slow motion was in 1903–1904 of 712,974 tons, of which 553,209 tons of goods arrived and 159,765 tons were sent. By stations, the situation is presented in the table below. Regarding the products sent from Constanţa, the most important belonged to the category “Grain, vegetable, oil seeds” (108,483 tons), “coal” (29,740 tons). The goods arrived were “grain” (386,706 tons), “oil” (88,579 tone), “stone, sand etc.” (17,622 tons), “wood” (11,117 tone).

Table 4.2.1_2

The cargo traffic through the stations of Constanţa

Station

Tons sent

Tons arrived

Total

Constanţa City

110,938

184,487

295,425

Constanţa Harbour

45,717

361,991

407,708

Constanţa Border

3,110

6,731

9,841

Total

159,765

553,209

712,974

Table 4.2.1_3

The passenger traffic through the stations of Constanţa [13]

 

1899

1903–1904

Station

Left

Arrived

Total

Left

Arrived

Total

Constanţa City

93,576

97,553

191,129

92,021

108,663

200,684

Constanţa Baths

34,458

34,458

68,916

10,338

10,338

20,676

Constanţa Harbour

2,104

1,554

3,658

903

416

1,319

Constanţa Border

1.723

1.821

3.544

Total

130,138

133,565

263,703

104,985

121,238

226,223

Table 4.2.1_4

The incomes of the Constanţa stations (1903–1904)

Traffic

Incomes (lei)

Travellers

469,981

Luggage

25,902

Merchandise of fast motion

73,167

Merchandise of slow motion

735,714

Total

1,304,764

 

Picture 4.2.1_1 Constanţa Railway Station

Source: www.biblioteca.ct.ro


[1] Details in P. S. Antonescu-Remus, Portul Constanţa şi podul peste Dunăre. Studiu economic (Bucharest: Tipo Litografia Dor P. Cucu, 1889).

[2] George C. Măinescu, “Evoluția căilor ferate în Dobrogea dela 1877 până în zilele noastre, din punct de vedere constructiv”, in vol. 1878–1928. Dobrogea. Cincizeci de ani de vieața românească (Bucharest: Cultura Națională, 1928), 432–433.

[3] M. D. Ionescu, Dobrogia în pragul veacului al XX-lea. Geografia matematică, fisică, politică, economică şi militară (Bucharest: Ateliere Grafice I. V. Socec, 1904), 676–677; Stoica Lascu, Mărturii de epocă privind istoria Dobrogei (1878–1947), vol. I (1878–1916) (Constanţa: Muzeul de Istorie Naţională şi Arheologie, 1999), 200–202; Gh. Dumitraşcu. M. Bălăbănescu, “Implicaţiile economice şi politice ale construirii podului peste Dunăre, Feteşti – Cernavodă (1878–1895)”, in vol. Comunicări de istorie a Dobrogei (Constanţa: Muzeul de Istorie Naţională şi Arheologie, 1983), vol. 2, 112–132.

[4] Ionescu, Dobrogia, 676–681; Maniescu, “Evoluţia”, 434–436.

[5]Ibid., 437–438.

[6] Ionescu, Dobrogia, 681.

[7]Ibid., 682.

[8]Ibid.

[9]Ibid.

[10] Maniescu, “Evoluţia”, 439–440.

[11] Ionescu, Dobrogia, 681–682.

[12]Ibid., 671.

[13]Ibid.

 


References

Archival sources:

Serviciul Judeţean Constanţa al Arhivelor Naţionale (The National Archives, Constanţa Branch), Primăria municipiului Constanţa (The Municipality of Constanţa), files starting with 1878.

Bibliography:

Antonescu-Remus, P. S., Portul Constanţa şi podul peste Dunăre. Studiu economic [The Port of Constanţa and the Bridge over the Danube. An Economical Study] (Bucharest: Tipo Litografia Dor P. Cucu, 1889).

Dumitraşcu, Gh., Bălăbănescu, M., “Implicaţiile economice şi politice ale construirii podului peste Dunăre, Feteşti – Cernavodă (1878–1895)” [The Economic and Political Implications of the Building of the Bridge across the Danube, Feteşti – Cernavodă (1878–1895)], in vol. Comunicări de istorie a Dobrogei [Papers on the History of Dobrudja] (Constanţa: Muzeul de Istorie Naţională şi Arheologie, 1983), vol. 2, 112–132.

Ionescu, M. D., Dobrogia în pragul veacului al XX-lea. Geografia matematică, fisică, politică, economică şi militară [Dobrudja at the Beginning of the 20th Century. Mathematical, Physical, Political, Economic and Military History] (Bucharest: Ateliere Grafice I. V. Socec, 1904).

Lascu, Stoica, Mărturii de epocă privind istoria Dobrogei (1878–1947), vol. I (1878–1916) [Contemporary Evidence on the History of Dobrudja (1878–1947)] (Constanţa: Muzeul de Istorie Naţională şi Arheologie, 1999).

Măinescu, George C., “Evoluția căilor ferate în Dobrogea dela 1877 până în zilele noastre, din punct de vedere constructiv” [The Evolution of Railways in Dobrudja from 1877 until Nowadays, from a Constructive Point of View], in vol. Dobrogea. Cincizeci de ani de vieața românească. 1878–1928 [Dobrudja. Fifty Years of Romanian Life. 1878–1928] (Bucharest: Cultura Națională, 1928).


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