Where to Find the Best Railway Museums on the Planet

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Trains were one of the first man-made objects that could help us travel for thousands of miles in every direction. The history of railway transportation can be traced back to ancient Greece, but more advanced inventions that resemble today’s trains were made at the beginning of the 19th century.

The history of the railway is an interesting one, and it’s no wonder that there are hundreds of railway museums all over the world. If you want to visit only some of the best ones, continue reading to find out where they are.

York (United Kingdom)

One of the biggest of its kind, the National Railway Museum in York attracts almost one million visitors each year. On display, you can see over 6000 railway objects from the earliest of locomotives to modern bullet trains (the only ones outside Japan).

Some of the models that you can check out include Shinkansen, Class 31, Duchess of Hamilton, Mallard, Stirling Single, and there’s even the Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter movies.

Saitama (Japan)

The railway museum in Saitama is the newest established on our list, being opened for the first time in 2007. The exhibition hall consists of locomotives, railway cars, train cabs, mini trains, imperial carriages, and other objects.

The museum is divided into two zones. One is for history, where you can get an insight into how the railway technology changed over the years, and the other is for learning, where you can learn all about the mechanics of trains, both past and present. While the museum doesn’t look particularly large, there is a lot to see inside it, and the entire tour can last more than two hours.

Kyoto (Japan)

Japanese are known for having the most advanced railway system in the world today, so it’s no wonder that they have a lot of railway museums as well. The one in Kyoto is really impressive and has hundreds of different models on display.

You can see everything from the 1880 JGR Class 7100 to the 1996 Kawasaki 500 Series. There are four exhibition areas that include the main hall, promenade, twilight plaza, and the roundhouse. The former Nijo Station is also a part of the museum.

Sacramento (California, USA)

Connecting the East part of the United States to the newly acquired West during the mid-19th century was one of the biggest railroad undertakings in history. If you are at all interested in that period and you love old locomotives, you should definitely visit the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento.

The exhibits show a full range of both steam-powered and diesel locomotives. The oldest locomotive on display is the 1862 Gov. Stanford which has been cosmetically restored.

Saint Petersburg (Russia)

The biggest Russian railway museum is located in Saint Petersburg and features the most famous Russian locomotives from the 19th and 20th century.

Apart from locomotives, you can also see plenty of models like the first passenger train called Provorny and the Vladivostok railway.

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