Tashkent Museum of Railway Technics
The Railway Museum in not only the number one museum in Tashkent, it is also one of the largest railway museums in the former Soviet Union. The museum boasts a large collection of Soviet made steam, diesel and electric locomotives, plus a variety of carriages and railway engineering equipment.
6 Turkistan Street
Wed - Sun from 09:00 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 21:00
About the museum
The open air Tashkent Museum of Railway Technics was opened in 1989 to celebrate 100 year anniversary of the Uzbek railway system. The Museum displays 13 steam, 18 Diesel and 3 Electric Locomotives, mostly in excellent condition. The Railway museum is located near the main Railway Station in the centre of Tashkent and can easily be reached by Metro or (cheap) taxi. The museum is situated in front of the station between some major motorways, so do be careful while crossing the road, a large arch indicates the museum entrance.
The USSR produced steam locomotives until the 1950s and some were still in service during the early 1990s. The Tashkent Railway museum displays 13 steam locomotives dating from Imperial Russia to the mid 1950s. The earliest model on display is an O class locomotive that was built in 1914. The O class was produced between 1890 and 1928 and is one of the most produced locomotives in the world.
Most steam locomotives of the museum date from the interwar period including some foreign models. The class Er was the main locomotive used at the front by the Red Army during the second World War. The museum also owns a captured German DRB Class 52 steam locomotive known as kriegslok build in 1943. The Soviets brought many kriegsloks back home and renamed them TE 5200. Another locomotive connected to World War II is the Em class steam locomotive that was produced by the American Baldwin factory and delivered to the Soviet Union under the lend Lease program.
The best looking and most streamlined steam locomotive is the class P36 that is regarded as one of the best steam locomotives produced in the USSR, it could reach speeds of 128 km/ph. 251 P36 locomotives were built by the Kolomna locomotive works between 1949 and 1956. The largest and most impressive locomotive is the giant LV class. 522 LV class steam locomotives were build by the Voroshilovgrad factory between 1952 and 1956, the LV was the most efficient freight steam locomotive in the Soviet Union.
The largest part of the museum collection is made up from Diesel locomotives for both passenger and cargo hauling. Early models date to the post war period when the Soviet Union imported Diesel locomotives from the USA. This arrangement ended when the former allies got engaged in the cold war, later Soviet models still looked much like the imported US models. The American Da31 diesel locomotive was provided to the USSR under the Lend Lease program in 1945, shipped in parts to Murmansk and assembled in Ramenskoye. Two examples of Soviet copies are the TE1 and TEM2 diesel locomotives manufactured by the Kharkov Transport Machinery plant, both designs were based on the US ALCO RSD-1 model acquired by the USSR via the Lend Lease program.
Later shunting and freight locomotives like the TGM23V, TGM3 and TU7A can still be seen on train station in many former Soviet countries. Many of these Diesel Locomotives were manufactured by the Russian Lyudinovsky Diesel Locomotive Plant. There is also a Czechoslovakian ChME3 diesel locomotive built by the CKD company that was famous from the Tatra trams.
Most impressive are the giant Diesel locomotives that towed the long haul passenger trains across the Soviet Union including the famous Trans Siberia Express. The TE2 on display was built by the Karkov plant in 1951, its has a nice retro look and was the first mass produced diesel locomotive in the Soviet Union. The impressive 2TE10L locomotive was built in 1967 by the Lugansk Voroshilovgradsky plant and is basically a combination of two TE3 locomotives.
The collection of the museum also includes three electric locomotives. The Freight electric locomotive VL22M was built by the Novocherkassk Electric-locomotive-building Works in 1950 and was the first electric Locomotive produced in large numbers by the Soviet Union, VL stands for Vladimir Lenin. The VL60 is an later model from the VL series. The Er2 is a Latvian trainset produced in the from the 1960s to the 1980s by the RVR in Riga.
The museum collection also includes some rail carriages of which one houses the exposition. We were unlucky and this carriage was closed during our visit. The rail carriages include Mest-30 cars used for shorter routes and SD3 carriages for long haul routes dating to 1989.
Railway engineering equipment
There is also a large collection of railways engineering equipment from the Soviet era on display in the museum. A giant self propelled snow plough vehicle must have been an essential tool during winter time in the USSR. Various crane vehicles are on display including one with a large site tipping car used to transport material to construction sites. Other maintenance vehicles include tamping machines, and vehicles that can lay rail tracks.