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“Not the bullet train” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Septemvri - Dobrinishte narrow gauge railway

Septemvri - Dobrinishte narrow gauge railway
Septemvri, Bulgaria
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Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Septemvri
Staines, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Not the bullet train”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

Despite being told by a friend that the Pirin mountains enjoyed 'constant sunshine', even the torrential rain did not take away from the charm of a ride on this line. It's a rather long trip, and the best of the scenery is on the section north of Velingrad, but even then the journey is a real treat. The passengers are mixture of locals, the odd tourist, and a good crowd of Roma. The coaches, while not the last word in luxury, are snuggly heated with steam from the (diesel) engine, and feature wobbly little gangways between them. It's worth being careful when going to the loo, as the exterior doors are often left unlocked and one false move in the vestibule could lead to a closer view of the scenic river gorge than you expected. Unfortunately there are no catering facilities, so you'd want to stock up beforehand on essentials like bread, biscuits, and beer.

Visited April 2013
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4 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Sofia, Bulgaria
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18 reviews 18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Part of my childhood”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

As a child I often used this tiny train from Septemvri to Velingrad. It is surprisingly huge inside! You are astonished and doubt if you are really in that small thing as it seems at first glance. The narrow rails help the illusion of a funny kid`s train.

The way it goes from Septemvri (through a field) and then suddenly in the shades of the rocky mountain, beneath threes, over one and the same river a dozen of times... It can be compared with a magical journey to an unknown world...

Spartan interior, simple people with calm faces, smiles, politeness - that`s what you can meet inside the toy-train.

P.S. I returned to it when I was a teen - with a company of friends, a guitar and beer. Do I have to describe the feeling? ;)

Visited March 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
1,388 reviews 1,388 reviews
540 attraction reviews
Reviews in 378 cities Reviews in 378 cities
3,152 helpful votes 3,152 helpful votes
“A wonderful day out with the locals on a beautiful railway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2012

This train is hauled by a red diesel locomotive with four steam well heated green carriages.

It travels sedately at about 30 kilometres an hour (hard to know exactly) along a beautioful railway where in winter the scenery is magnificent.

Patronage was very good with local residents using it for shopping and other reasons. In each direction I think 150 passengers would have used the train: the conductor was busy selling trickets all the time.

This trip is highly recommended. Main line trains connect to and from Sofia.

Visited December 2011
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