Augsberg Railway Park, Bavaria
Home to twenty-nine historic locomotives, along with an old-fashioned smithy and artifacts relating to the history of steam and electric rail travel, the Augsburg Railway Park, in Augsburg, Bavaria, offers visitors the opportunity to view a slice of locomotive history from all of the European Union member countries and Switzerland. In addition to displaying beautifully restored and maintained locomotives from each of these countries, the museum provides interesting information on the country of origin, with different countries being highlighted in special events on a regular basis.
The Royal Bavarian State Railways built two turntables, complete with roundhouses, in 1906 to facilitate the locomotives turning around for their return journeys. Other buildings include workshops, areas for washing the locomotives and accommodation for the workers who kept the locomotives running. Although the main train station in the area was badly damaged during the Second World War, the buildings which now house the museum escaped the devastation, and remained in use by the Deutsche Bahn until around the late 1980s. In 1996, the Augsburg Railway Park was declared to be a protected historical site.
Visitors to the Augsburg Railway Park today will appreciate the amount of work and expertize that has gone into restoring the historic locomotives on display. These include a Railbus ET91 01 from Germany, commonly referred to as the Glass Train, because of its large windows allowing passengers unrestricted views of their surroundings. Built in 1935, these trains were used primarily for leisure trips. From France is the electric locomotive CC6503, with the Mountain Express steam locomotive from Slovenia and the narrow gauge forest railway steam locomotive from Rumania also being on display in the Europa Roundhouse of the museum.
The museum also includes a range of steam and electric locomotives on loan from the Nuremberg Transport Museum, as well as a railway trolley collection featuring the vehicles used by railway maintenance crews. Another interesting feature at Augsburg Railway Park is an example of the Raupach Steam Engine, built in 1911 and used to general electrical energy at many factories in Germany in the early to mid-1900s.
In addition to special events, such as the 150th anniversary celebration of Rudolf Diesel held in 2008 and the display of the Istanbul Orient Express in 2006, the Augsburg Railway Park holds regular jazz concerts and has restaurants permanently on site - offering an educational and entertaining day out for the entire family.