In Vyhoda, a small village in the Ivano-Frankivsk region, you can get on a short train that goes through the fields and forest, by the rivers and mountains, and enjoy a beautiful Carpathian scene. If you’ve ever wanted to take the Carpathian train in Ukraine, then continue on for some useful advice and pictures!
The word “vyhoda” means “profit”. In 1873 an Austrian Baron Leopold Popper von Podgari built a steam sawmill in the village. In the 1890s the Baron started to build the first part of the railway that later became over 150 kilometres of track. The railway system was widely used for transporting logs for his business. For almost a hundred years the Carpathian railway was key to the economy of this region.
In the 1990s a few floods completely destroyed half of the roads. And in just the beginning of the 2000s, 75 km of the road was restored and reopened. Nowadays, the Carpathian train not only carries logs, but is open for tourists as well. Five days a week, tourists can get on the Carpathian train and enjoy the beauty of the wild nature.
The train ride starts in the village Vyhoda and goes through flower fields, one of the preserved unique swamps “Shyrokovetsi” next to the mountain river and destroyed waterfall, and to the old USSR recreation center for the cosmonauts.
Cody and I came to the village Vyhoda early and got on the 11 AM Carpathian train. Before the ride, tourists gather on the railway platform where a few musicians welcome them by singing Ukrainian songs.
Once everyone boarded, including the musicians, the train left at 11:20 AM and our trip began. I recommend sitting on the right site of the train if you want to get some good photos. Although I must warn you, that first 20 minutes you’ll think this is bad advice, since the view is better on the left side.
After about half an hour the train will reach the swamp “Shyrokovetsi” with unique fauna and flora. It is quite big and beautiful I must say, with cute tiny trees and thick weeds that looks like a soft rug.
The first stop will be about an hour in, at the riverside next to a ruined waterfall and an old bridge. The train will stop here for around 20 minutes. About the bridge; it is located pretty high up over the river and is in bad condition. Even so Cody and some other people decided to try it out and walked on it. And although some of the pictures that he got are very nice, you need to be careful since the wooden part of the bridge is rotten and it is very easy to just fall down into the river. So, I do not advise you to walk over the bridge.
The next stop is the old and long forgotten recreation center for the Soviet cosmonauts. From afar the whole place looks rather impressive. The buildings are big and beautiful, and it looks like it was a nice place to relax a long time ago. Cody and I went around one of the main buildings and then found the one that was never finished and in a state of irreversible disrepair. We used this opportunity to explore what is inside and to check out the view from the top floor. Inside the building looks like a picture from a horror movie. So if you are into stuff like that you can check it out, or otherwise just get to the riverside opposite the recreation center and enjoy a nice view from there. The second stop lasted about 40 minutes.
Here you can also have some tea or local Carpathian alcohol which is sold by the local villagers. There are also picnic benches if you brought your own food and drinks.
After the second stop the Carpathian train will take you back to the village Vyhoda where you can visit on your own an interactive museum and fill your head with more knowledge about the animals, flora, and fauna that are present in this region of the Carpathians.
From the main railway station in Lviv you can take a bus that goes in “Husta” (Хуста) direction. To get to Vyhoda it is is a 3-hour ride.
Or you can get to Stryi and from there take a bus at 9:20 AM to Vyhoda.
From Ivano-Frankivsk you will have to get on the bus to the village Dolyna and then from there take a taxi to the next village Vyhoda (16 minutes ride).
Hours: April – October: every Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday at 11 AM and 3 PM; every Friday just one ride at 11 AM; November – March: Wednesday to Sunday just at 11 AM;
Time on the Carpathian tram: 4 hours;
Price: adults – 200 UAH; kids under 14 – 100 UAH;