Railway Museum of Silesia
Locomotives powered by steam, diesel and electricity, shunting engines, passenger cars, freight wagons labelled "Deutsche Reichsbahn Königszelt" - the rolling stock owned by the Railway Museum in Silesia is as manifold as numerous, and it would take two kilometers of rails to have it lined up. Nobody would have thought that the small railway settlement Jaworzyna Śląska (German: Königszelt – literally ‚King’s Tent‘), founded around the middle of the 19th century, would become a fully-equipped transport hub one day. One of the museum‘s outstanding exhibits is the only functioning standard gauge steam locomotive in Lower Silesia - Polish steam engine TKt48-18 from 1951. Since 2014, TKt48-18 has been serving on the so called Steam Locomotive Route, taking visitors in historic rail cars to the renovated and modernised parts of the former railway depot. The short trip includes technical supply facilities such as a water crane and coaling system, a turntable for locomotives and a large engine shed. On weekends, a buffet car serves Polish dishes and snacks. ‚Steam galas‘, tours of the museum at night, a ride on an vintage car - a Warszawa M20 - converted into a rail trolley, and many other events are on offer as well.
It all started with a shortage: the new railway line Wrocław-Świebodzice, opened in 1843, neglected the important Lower Silesian cities Strzegom and Świdnica. In 1856, the latter got their own railway line, which was later extended to connect Katowice and Legnica. The crossing of the two lines produced a small settlement called ‚King’s Tent‘ (Polish: Jaworzyna Śląska), named after a military camp set up at the same spot almost a hundred years earlier by the Prussian King Frederick II during the Seven Years' War. Thanks to the excellent transport links, the town quickly gained in importance. By the end of the 19th century it already owned two railway depots with all the necessary equipment for the supply and maintenance of steam locomotives. Another depot followed in 1906/07, adding an engine shed for 19 locomotives. Due to the electrification of the lines and the decline in rail traffic, the Polish state railway PKP closed down the site in the 1990s and made it an open-air museum until 2001.
In 2004, the municipality of Jaworzyna Śląska took over the historic railway complex to protect it from decay and plunder and leased it to the Industrial and Railway Museum in Silesia. At that time, the rolling stock consisted of 34 locomotives, 31 wagons and 8 machine tools, many of which were in a disastrous state. The same applied to offices and workshops. After many years of renovation and the active support of numerous railway fans, the museum takes visitors on an exciting tour of Silesian railway history. The current collection is made up of standard gauge rail vehicles covering the period between the 1890s and 1970s, including 40 steam locomotives of Polish, German, English and American origin, as well as electric and diesel locomotives, more than 50 rail cars and a set of special vehicles.
|Recommended duration of visit:||2 Hours|
|Duration of a guided Tour:||60 Minutes|
|Access for persons with disabilities:||For details see website|
|Infrastructure for Children:|
|Gift and book shop on Site:||yes|
Monday – Friday. 9am - 6pm
Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm, Saturday, Sunday 10am – 7pm
- Guided tours optional
- Tours in other languages
- Guided tours for children