Railway Museum of Slovenske železnice
|Železniški muzej Slovenskih železnic|
|Parmova 35, SI-1000 Ljubljana|
|Phone||386 (0) 1 291 2641, 386 (0) 1 291 2643|
|Fax||386 (0) 1 291 2922|
|Mladen Bogić, Director of the Railway Museum|
|Phone||386 (0) 1 291 2640|
Location and venue
The museum is set at the former Ljubljana Šiška railway station, just north of the central train station in Ljubljana. The locomotives and carriages are displayed in the "roundhouse", a semicircular shed forming the centrepiece of the depot. Provisionally laid with railway tracks, the shed itself is enlisted on the register of cultural heritage. The rest of the collection is gathered at a separate site next to the roundhouse.
The museum was formally established in 1981, when the Slovenian Railways established a museum section to manage its collection of old locomotives and some other historic artefacts, consciously collected since the 1960s and stored in a former locomotive shed that now houses a part of the museum.
In 1991, the institution was renamed the Railway Museum of Slovenske železnice, focusing on the exhibition of 10 locomotives (out of the 60 they possess). In 1996, marking the 150th anniversary of the advent of railways in Slovenia, the permanent exhibition was enriched with another display, this one with somewhat smaller railway artefacts. In 1999, the roundhouse was renovated and, in 2004, a new exhibition building was opened to the public.
The main vehicle collection is made up of 10 locomotives (one of them dates back to 1861). However, there are also 50 other vehicles such as carriages and light auxiliary rail vehicles once used by permanent way supervisors and maintenance personnel. Both narrow and standard gauge locomotives can be found in the round house, most of them in superb condition. One of the locomotives is fitted for children to explore.
There are also about 1000 pieces related to permanent way building and maintenance, railway network development, the workings of a railway station and the related communications infrastructure. Maps, illustrations, uniforms, lanterns, telegraphs, radio stations, historic boundary stones (engraved with the individual railway companies' acronyms), clocks and signalling equipment present the railway life and services from the period of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy onward.
Also, a small art gallery presents visitors with works of art dedicated to the railway.
Temporary exhibitions and events
The museum's permanent collection is enriched by thematic documentary and artistic exhibitions that deal with railway history or related motifs. For example, an exhibition of old postcards depicting the famous Borovnica Railway viaduct (ruined in WWII) was prepared in collaboration with the Borovnica Historical Society. Similarly, the history of railways in the Prekmurje region was depicted in an exhibition set up together with the Lendava-Lendva Gallery and Museum.
The museum also regularly hosts the model railways' fairs as well as many other events, more often than not intended for children. The roundhouse has also occasionally been used as a venue for independent and alternative culture events such as Mladi levi Festival and concerts by the group the Stroj.
There are two heritage trains currently operating, both worked by steam locomotives. One traverses the Slovene Alps – the Transalpina - the Bohinj Railway. Another is the weekly heritage train service which runs on Saturdays between the towns of Celje and Imeno, driving through a total of 21 municipalities.
- Railway Museum of Slovenske železnice webpage
- Museum train SŽ 33-037 on YouTube
- A virtual guide to steam locomotives of Railway Museum
- Heritage train in the Celje region webpage
- Heritage train along the Alps webpage
Related Wikipedia articles
Historical articles on railyway equipment (in Slovenian)
- An article on the history of the Slovene Railway logo
- An article on the history of railway uniforms
- An article on the history of railway clocks