Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bucharest (4) - Romanian Railway Museum

If you arrive in Bucharest by train or if you leave from the North Station somewhere else in Romania or in Europe, take a few minutes to discover the Romanian Railway Museum. Although it is not large, it takes you on a journey through railway history, from beginning of the European railway line in 1830 (between Liverpool and Manchester), to Romanian inception in 1854 (Oravita-Bazias line, only for coal transport ) and until today.

Looking back is amazing how trains have developed, from the steam engines to high speed trains (with maximum operational speed of 430km/h). This tiny museum reveals a fascinating world and I invite you all to discover it:
The Romanian Railway Museum in Bucharest opened it's gates on 10th of June 1939, but only in 1969 it was moved in its accual location in the North Station.

The first thing you notice once you step in the museum is a huge platform clock; along you visit you will find more clock of this type, but the one at the entrance is the bigguest and I guess also one of the oldest.
Also at the entrance, but on your right side you'll see a copy of Anghel Saligny's office. This cornet recreates the 1890-1900's charm, with a it's solid wood desk and fire place. And on the desk you'll notice a bridge model - that is the (now called) Anghel Saligny Bridge (formerly King Carol I Bridge), the railroad truss bridge across the Danube River that he designed. It was completed on 14th September 1895.
The first room is full with all sorts of objects used in the railway industrie - phones, rails, uniforms and hats used by the railway workers and all sorts of engine models.
In the second room you will find a railway diorama (scale 1:87), pretty accurate with all sorts of trains, bridges, tunnels, stations, villages. It was designed in 201 and opened for the general public in 2012. 

The mini trains are passing through different land forms from plain to mountains, through forests and accross the river. There are several trains on the route: passenger trains and cargo trains. And if you close you eyes, just for a few seconds you can picture yourself in the middle of the action, travelling with one of the trains to a your chosen destination.

The trains are controlled by a computer, so a train accident is unlikely to happen, in case you are asking yourself this kind of question.

I find this place and especially the diorama very interesting no matter your age. Although it is a small musem, it is far from being boring; in every corner you'll find something interesting, a piece of history and you might actually spend a few minutes wondering what as that object used for.

Useful information:

Address: Inside the North Train Station in Bucharest (at the end of the 14th platform)
Opening hours: Wednesday-Sunday 10:00 -16:00
Ticket: 4 lei
Estimated time for sightseeing: 30 min

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