Noblesse oblige. When in Ljubljana, Danny and I visited the Slovenian Railway Museum.
Officially called the Railway Museum of Slovenian Railways (Železniški muzej Slovenskih železnic) located in a former boiler room at Parmova 35 started to emerge in the 1960s and has gradually developed into a small but well laid-out and comprehensive museum.
The central building is a rotunda and presents some of the collection of steam engines and other museum vehicles.
Another building nearby houses exhibitions of other aspects of rail operations.
In the first room, one can experience the atmosphere in stationmaster’s office at a small railway station in the final years of Austria-Hungary, equipped with everything needed for traffic management and ticket sales.
The second room contains nine types of railway tracks from various periods and railway administrations, reflecting various rulers on the Slovenian territory. Small railway vehicles with trolleys standing on them were once used by line supervisors and maintainers.
Manual tools and aids bear witness to how difficult maintenance used to be. The development of the railway network in Slovenia is presented with seven maps from different periods, alongside which old railway boundary stones remind us of the past.
Another museum room is devoted to basic devices for the transmission of messages, like telegraphs, telephones and teleprinters, as well as apparatuses of higher levels like short-wave and FM radio stations, devices for registration of telephone conversations, station public address systems, as well as system of railway clocks.
A special space is set aside for railway uniforms, the ‘garment of honour’, as designed over time. Here, certain work equipment of railway workers is also gathered, including the especially charming manual railway lanterns.
In the area of signaling and safety devices, the museum contains a representative collection of electromechanical and electrodynamic block devices and other devices – both dating back to the oldest and more recent history. There are the most common devices as well as curiosities and unique pieces.
A small art gallery presents visitors with works of art dedicated to the railway.
For 3.50 euro you get to learn about railway operations in Slovenia. The museum is outdated but explanations are in Slovenian, English, German and Italian.
Unfortunately there are no coaches on display. As train managers we missed these.
If you are into trains, visit the railway museum. But it’s not a must-see.
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