About locomotives

This land has many names and that is why it is difficult to find the information about it in an encyclopedia. There are a lot of different encyclopedias and dictionaries, and each of them offers different names of the land.

Well, somewhere it’s called Ajara-Imereti Ridge, whose length is about 240 kilometers (from the shores of the Black Sea to the Kura River). The highest point of it is peak Mapistskaro (height 2 km. 850 m.). It consists of marl slates, tuffs and andesites, and the slopes of it are covered with deciduous forests: beech and hornbeam. So we can consider the Ridge not only the deposit of precious water, but also a thoroughbred wood and the minerals.
Other sources of information call this land Meskheti. It is also told, that in addition to minerals and elite trees there are subalpine and alpine meadows, which are the best pasture and place for camping during summer time. It is also one of the ridges, which has watershed between the Black and Caspian seas.

(Picture of andesite)

Borjomi itself is not only the resort, but also a certain geopolitical value, the heart of the municipality, around of which 41 urban-type settlements are located. The largest of them are Akhaldaba, Bakuriani, Andesite of Bakuriani, Balanta.

And here is the fun part!

The main attraction of this area (after Borjomi Gorge and the resort of Bakuriani) is rare narrow-gauge railway Borjomi — Bakuriani, which was built in 1898. To be more precise, according to archivists, the building of it began in 1898, and the end of the building happened in 1901.

It was built specifically for the transporting of tourists to the Borjomi mineral water springs and Bakuriani, at the request of the Borjomi estate, which was initiated by the Grand Duke Mikhail (that time he was the owner of the estate). Now it is an outstanding monument of the railway technical art of the last century. The width of gauge is only 900 millimeters (90 cm), and the length is 38 km. This railway connects Borjomi with Bakuriani. Trains ride along the Black river and several of its tributaries.

Relief (under of which passes the narrow gauge railway track) is extremely complicated. It is because of its complexity in 1966 the road was electrified at 1500 V voltage (DC). Electric locomotives CHS11 (ЧС11) were built specially for track Borjomi-Bakuriani. Before electric locomotives steam locomotives were ridden on this track.

A monument to these locomotives was put in Borjomi: a small steam engine of 1914.

Despite the fact that the track was included in the list of antiquarian curiosities long ago, its technical supervision is carried out regularly, because the track is… attention… functional! Passenger trains ride on this track nowadays. Freight trains rode on it up to 1991 (until disintegration of the Soviet Union).

Nowadays the main passengers on this track are tourists. Narrow-gauge railway track and trains are not only one attraction for them. Tourists also enjoy the journey through the mountains, looking through the windows of the carriage. Local residents use this track too, but generally only after the end of holiday season and prior to the holiday season.

It is not long to get from Borjomi to Bakuriani – only 2-2,5 hours. It is not long, but interesting. Almost like a rollercoaster, where the mass of sharp slopes. The routes are surprisingly steep)

Also in 1969 on the territory of the track movie «Do not grieve» was filmed by Georgi Daneliya.

I will tell you about Daneliya and the role of Borjomi in the life next time.

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