Hungary’s national collection of railway vehicles has been housed since 2000 on the site of the former Budapest North motive power depot of the state railway company (MAV). Some of the 50 locomotives in the collection are housed in a 34-bay roundhouse of 1911 which is now surrounded by parkland. There are more than 50 other vehicles including a teak-panelled dining car built for the Venice-Simplon-Orient express in 1912, sleeping cars from other long-distance international trains that passed through Hungary, an Arpad railcar built by Ganz in 1934 that could accomplish the journey from Budapest to Vienna in just over three hours, a rotary snowplough and several motor cars that were built to run on railway tracks to carry permanent way maintenance workers. The locomotives, some of which have been ‘rescued’ from plinths at various Hungarian stations, include a 4-6-2 built in 1914 for express passenger services, a 2-D-2 rod-driven electric of 1934, a streamlined 4-4-4 built in 1937 for high speed outer suburban services, and a ‘Krieglok’ 2-10-0 constructed in Poland in 1943.
The museum prides itself on being the first interactive railway museum in Europe, and visitors can enjoy many experiences, riding on a horse tram, operating a hand-driven permanent way inspection trolley, driving one of the 12 operational steam locomotives on a short track in the park, and driving a modern electric locomotive on a simulator of the kind used by MAV for training footplate staff.
MAV Nosztalgia Kft, which is associated with the museum, operates excursions, some of them hauled by steam locomotives, some over routes rarely used by passenger trains, and some crossing frontiers into neighbouring countries.
A four-wheel railcar operates a service for visitors to the museum over the 5 km from Budaptes Nyugati station.