The International Steam Pages


Railway Museums in Finland

This page is mainly concerned with inactive museum steam. Harvey has since produced a list of active main line steam locomotives in Finland. For general information on the subject see http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Steam_locomotives_of_Finland.


Harvey Smith was based in Finland in late 2006 and reports on the (mainly steam) museum scene - to which I have added some information (updated 30th May 2007) on two preserved caterpillar tracked steam engines:

Finland’s national railway museum is at Hyvinkaa (pronounced Hoovinka), 1 hour north of Helsinki by train. It is a typical Finnish Museum with an extraordinary collection. The Finns have an unusual history and this is reflected in their museum exhibits. Without doubt they have the finest collection of 19th century locomotives that I have seen in one location. Two are British, one Finnish, two Swiss and one is German. All on 5ft gauge. They also possess 3 coaches of the only surviving Russian imperial train, truly a palace on wheels. There are also two unusual “cars” mounted on rail wheels.

0-6-0 locomotive built in 1869 by Neilson of Glasgow (one of the oldest survivors from the company):

2-4-0 locomotive built in 1875 in Helsinki

0-6-0 locomotive built in 1882 in Hannover

Locomotive built in 1886 in Switzerland

0-4-2T locomotive built in 1868 by Beyer Peacock of Manchester.

Photo 48 2-6-0 locomotive built in 1885 in Switzerland


At Happamaki there is a second railway museum. I wish I had visited this, and I think this really is worth a visit. Next to the museum is Finland’s equivalent of Woodham’s legendary yard at Barry Island in South Wales, UK, see http://www.silentwall.com/HaapLocomotiveI.html.

From the yard Finland’s locomotives have travelled to the St. Petersburg railway museum and the Epping and Ongar Railway, north of London. It is tempting to think that they might be regauged. But I doubt it. What can be said is that the Finnish Railways have stopped cutting them up and the climate tends to preserve them for the time being. It is too darn cold for 6 months of the year for it to rain!!!!

There is also a 750mm gauge line, the Jokioinen Railway. The services are timed perfectly with the mainline service at Humppila. When I went only one locomotive was working. They have 3 stops and a small museum at the station in the middle of the line. The line is run by enthusiastic volunteers. See http://www.jokioistenmuseorautatie.fi/jmr/begin.htm. See also James Waite's account.

At Pasila in Helsinki the Finnish national railways store a runner Ukko Pekka in a roundhouse. The Ukko Pekka is one of 22 Pacifics (classified Hr1 and known by the nickname Ukko-Pekka, after Finnish President Pehr Evind Svinhufvud), built in Finland by Tampella and Lokomo from 1939-57. They were the largest passenger locomotives built or used in Finland and remained the main locomotives used for express trains until 1963. In December 2006 there was a wreck also stored at Pasila and some old coaches. (The coaches were used in filming the Eagle has Landed. The bit when Michael Caine falls foul of a SS officer). I did witness Ukko Pekka leaving in the pitch dark. A rather weird experience. A cloud appeared from nowhere. I know that Finns run steam specials using the Ukko Pekka. Sadly, they have not woken up to the international nature of steam enthusiasm and the websites tend to be in Finnish. Curiously, there is a Finnish song about Ukko Pekka based on the Chattanooga Choo Choo.

In the main booking hall in Helsinki central station there is a beautiful brass model of a Finnish locomotive. I think it is in 5 inch gauge. It is worth a look if you are passing through. 

There are a number of plinthed locomotives dotted around the country. Riihimaki has one, mounted in the middle of a dual carriageway. Also as you journey north from Helsinki to Hyvinkaa by train, one appears at Kerava station on the eastern side of the tracks - see http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hv3_Locomotive_number_781_Vanha_veturi_H3794_C.jpg.

General Mannerheim’s wartime coach is at Mikkeli. There is also an armoured train at Parola tank museum. This museum can only be reached by car.


This site,  http://matkailu.savukoski.fi/?deptid=21712&ProductID=2328&showmodul=76, gives information on the activities of two steam engines imported from America in the early 1910s for log haulage. They are separately preserved at Tulppio (see image below) and the Rovaniemi Forestry Museum.

A smaller version of this picture appears on the website referred to above (and others), but I have not been able to trace and acknowledge the original photographer, for a superb image check this out - http://vaunut.org/kuvasivu/14849

Keith Taylor comments (30th May 2007):

It is a Phoenix Log Hauler, built to pull a string of sleds containing logs out of the woods, without having to build a railroad. The first steam log haulers were built in Waterville, Maine. They were the invention of Abner Lombard. The “Lombard Log Hauler” made use of the tracked drive, that Lombard invented. Later Lomabard sold the patent to the Holt company who built gas engines and later developed “The Caterpillar” using Lombard’s track drive. There are two restored Lombards here in Maine. One is at a logging museum, and the other belongs to the Harry Crooker and Sons Construction Co. in Topsham, Maine. In Lincoln New Hampshire there are both as restored Lombard and a Phoenix at “Clark’s Trading Post.” There are several Phoenix log haulers out in the Mid-West, USA. But none of those run. I think there are about eight altogether, and only the Crooker Lombard and the Lombard and Phoenix at Clarks run. 
P.S. There are a dozen of so gasoline Lombards running around here in Maine.

[If you do an internet search for "Phoenix Log Hauler", you will find many interesting links, but I could not find a definitive reference. RD]


Rob Dickinson

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