eThe International Steam Pages

The Croatian Railway Museum in Zagreb, Croatia

James has since made a successful visit to the museum and that report is also available on this site (29th March 2011).

James Waite writes (November 2008) that he contacted the museum when he was planning a visit which for various reasons he didn't make in the end. Their advertised opening hours are 7.00am to 3.00pm Mondays to Fridays only However they are short staffed, sometimes can't open during these hours and suggest anyone planning a visit should give them a couple of days notice to make sure they'll be there. The museum sent the notes which follow to describe their activities.

The Croatian Railway Museum is a specialized technical museum of national importance with its headquarters in Zagreb. Its activities include acquisition, conservation, protection and presentation of vehicles, machines, railway equipment, documentation and other historical objects related to the genesis and development of railway system in Croatia, from 1860 until today. The museum was founded in 1991 by national railway company “Croatian Railways”, which is still the owner of the Museum.

The Museum’s temporary location is in the southern part of factory of railway vehicles “Gredelj” and it does not have a permanent exhibition. When manufacturing in the factory terminates, Croatian Railway Museum will find its place in the oldest part of the factory. The factory complex was built in 1894 and it is unique for its architectural integrity, machines and equipment built in the first part of the 20th century, and as a whole it represents a valuable part of Croatia’s technical and industrial heritage. It is registered on the List of protected cultural heritage of the Republic of Croatia. In the following two years, the production will be moved from this area and, according to the current plans, the oldest industrial workshops will be preserved and adapted so that they could accommodate Museum “in situ”. Croatian Railway Museum will have an opportunity for better presentation of the vehicles from its collection, which are currently situated in various locations. Twenty railway vehicles (which include steam locomotives series MÁV 377, JŽ 62, 116, 11, 51, 33, electrical locomotive JŽ 361, and DEL HŽ 2061) are temporary exhibited in open in the Museum’s backyard, sixteen steam locomotives are exhibited on railway stations all around Croatia, a museum train with steam locomotive JŽ 51 is exhibited in “Mate Lovrak” cultural centre, and composition of armour train (from Croatian War of Independence) can be seen in Split shipyard.

The Museum has six collections that include railway vehicles and their parts, machines and devices used in construction of railroads, official uniforms, personal documents, breadboards, telecommunication devices. There are also Collection of the photography, Collection of regulations and historical reviews and Collection of technical documentation that includes different documents related to the history of railway vehicles and construction of Croatian railroads (the oldest one is from 1860). A part of the Museum is a specialized library with 1567 books and secondary documentation.

The most interesting is the Collection of railway vehicles with steam locomotives (36 locomotives of different series that were built between 1891 and 1961), diesel and electrical locomotives, wagons and other railway vehicles. 24 museum locomotives and 2 wagons were renewed so far. Postal wagon is fully renovated and can serve for different exhibitions and multimedia presentations.

The oldest display is a steam locomotive 125-052 (MÁV 326.363) that was built in 1891 in MAVAG, Budapest factory of locomotives. In Croatia it is well known by its popular name “Katica”. It was used in traffic until 1972. Finally, in 2002 it was exhibited at Zagreb Main station as a monument of technical heritage.

Plans for further development of the Museum respond to demands for permanent exhibition, promotion of educational activities and cultural tourism.

Croatian Railway Museum
Mihanovićeva 12 (Museum building on Vukovarska street)
10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Tel: +385 (0)1 378 28 62

There are two more ng locos in the National Technical Museum (Savska cesta 18, Zagreb - not far from the railway museum and it's marked on the railway museum's map, opening hours 9.00am to 5.00pm Tuesdays to Fridays, 9.00am to 1.00pm Saturdays and Sundays, closed Mondays and public holidays).

Rob Dickinson