The foundation stone of the Hungarian Railway Museum was laid on 22 November 1999. The project was completed in less than eight months, funded by the Ministry of Transport and Waterways, MÁV (Hungarian State Railways) and MÁV Nosztalgia Ltd., the heritage division of MÁV.
Following serious efforts which resulted in only partial renovation of the area, Europe’s first interactive railway park opened on 14 July 2000. The Museum displays over a hundred railway vehicles and pieces of equipment on an area of over 70,000 m2, located on the premises of the former Budapest North Railway Depot at 95 Tatai Street.
The unique 34-bay roundhouse built in 1911 houses the historical locomotives, for example the oldest still operational steam locomotive from 1870 and the legendary Árpád railcar from the 1930s (which covered the distance between Budapest and Vienna in 2 hours and 57 minutes). The gem of the vintage fleet is the elegant teakwood dining car built in 1912, which ran in the famous Orient Express that now represents the epitome of luxury of a bygone era.
More than 100 railway vehicle rarities are parked here, among them fifty rare locomotives and other railway vehicles, such as railcars, hand-powered and motorised handcars, an inspection car, steam cranes, snow ploughs and snow blowers and other curiosities, the most beautiful and most valuable ones collected at one place. The exhibits take visitors through the entire history of the railways from the steam engines of the 1870s to the powerful electric engines of today. Many of the vehicles are still operational and are used for nostalgic train journeys organised by MÁV Rail Tours Ltd. both in Hungary and abroad.
The rare historical passenger cars which represented a particularly important part of the history of Hungarian and international railway traffic are exhibited in the 3,000 square metre Orient Hall of the unique 1911 roundhouse – for example, the carriage of the First Transylvanian Railways built in 1868, the cars of the Hundred-Year-Old Train or the precious and highly valued teakwood dining car which used to run in the famous Orient Express that now represents the epitome of luxury of a bygone era.
In one of Europe’s largest open-air and first interactive railway museum visitors can not only view the old machines, but also try them out themselves. They can travel on a real locomotive, get in a Chaika car converted for rails, operate a handcar, ride on the turntable or on a horse tram. The garden railway is a favourite of children and adults alike, as it gives passengers the opportunity to travel on an exciting and diverse route, hauled by authentic small locomotives.
Also, model railway enthusiasts can look at the world of miniaturised trains in a customised railway car and in the Model Railway House which gives home to the layouts.
The beautifully landscaped park is ideal for relaxation. Children can release their energy in the safe playground and on weekends they can even learn the basics of road traffic regulations in a special area equipped with traffic lights and road signs. Furthermore, the Park offers various dining facilities to its visitors.
We are looking forward to welcome you to the Hungarian Railway Museum.