The International Steam Pages
Railway Museums in Central Asia
Colin Martindale gives some practical advice for would be visitors:
Railway Museum, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
This museum is located a short distance from the main station. Turn right out of the main station forecourt and the museum is across the road on the left. Kch4-228 stands outside the gate. The collection comprises about 50 items; of which the majority are locomotives and permanent way vehicles. There are a few passenger cars and freight vehicles. There are approximately 12 steam, 2 electric and 17 diesel locomotives. The site is fairly cramped for the amount of stock on display and when visited in August 2009 major renovations were under way. This included the planting of many more trees on the already well treed site. While the shade will be welcomed they will make photography very difficult in future. There is a short length of narrow gauge track (750mm?) on which a pair of Tch7 4wDs give rides on some days in a short rake of coaches. No guide book or stock list appears to be available. All the exhibits are in fair to good external condition with paint recently, if not very well, applied. Many locomotives are lacking window glass and have plywood sheets in their stead, painted black. The only locomotive open for inspection was the cab of Su250-94, most of the fittings had been stripped from this engine.
West Siberian Railway Museum, near Novosibirsk, Russia
This museum was opened in 2000 at Seyatel station on the Novosibirsk suburban network some 22 km south of that city. It is located close to the Ob River and alongside the main road to Barnaul. Brochures are available in several languages giving a very brief description of the rolling stock on display. More than 80 exhibits can be seen. The Lonely Planet guide book for the Trans-Siberian notes a newly opened railway museum with 250 locomotives near the main station in Novosibirsk. A look at Google Earth shows that there is no site at this location which could contain this many locomotives and my guess is that this is the administration building, which may also house small exhibits. As might be expected in a newly established museum steam locomotive are under represented with only about a dozen on show. This is partially compensated for by a good collection of electric locomotives with most types of class VL and ChS represented. There are a number of passenger cars for both normal and special service. The collection is rounded out by a large number of permanent way and similar vehicles and freight cars including a liquid metal ladle car. Most of the exhibits are recently painted, if not with great skill. Many of the colour schemes appear unnaturally bright, a feature remarked upon by my daughter, but my knowledge of Russian liveries is not adequate to comment. Several locomotives were open for inspection and most had a representative set of cab fittings. The museum is a hot site for wedding photographs so you may end-up waiting several minutes while bride and groom pose on the footplate before you can take your photo! Most of the steam locomotive had the connecting rods removed, presumably to facilitate moving them as reconstruction work was going on. The site is laid-out like a station with low-level platforms. This provides a fairly good view of the displays but means that only about a quarter of the exhibits can be photographed in a classic, sun over the shoulder fashion, at any given time as on the non-platform side they are too close together to photograph. The museum also has a collection of about 40 road vehicles. These are mostly cars but includes a number of tractors and trucks.
See also the report from Colin Young.
Railway Museum, Ulan Bataar, Mongolia
This collection of seven locomotives has been described as being close to the main station in Mongolia’s capital. In fact it is close to two kilometres east of the station along the major road that parallels the railway. The enclosure housing the locomotives is situated between the road and the railway. When visited the museum was unattended and had a generally forlorn air. On display are three steam locomotives of Russian five foot gauge and a typical Russian/Polish narrow gauge 0-8-0 of 750mm gauge. The collection is rounded out by three diesel locomotives. Fortunately the locomotives can be seen easily from the road and railway without needing to enter the compound. Ulan Bataar also has a Railway Historical Museum which is housed in a small building on a side street two blocks north of the main station. The forecourt is guarded by a model of 159-469, the 0-8-0 seen at the Railway Museum. Your reporter found the museum closed for vacation for the month of August, this being the peak tourist season in Mongolia.
See also the report from Torsten Schneider.
Plinthed and other steam locomotives on the Trans-Siberian Route
Uzbekistan, Tashkent Railway Museum
Russia, West Siberian Railway Museum
Mongolia, Ulan Bataar Railway Museum