The very appearance of the repair and maintenance sheds, dating back to the 19th century and forming the framework of the museum, hints to a precious relic of Portuguese railroad history. The train depot sits right next to the station of Lousado and is home to a collection that offers railway enthusiasts a splendid arrangement of historical rolling stock. The museum's four steam locomotives are joined by a large number of passenger and freight cars, partly used for very specific purposes. Among other things, visitors can see the CF PPV 6, Portugal's oldest narrow gauge engine built in England in 1874. Close to it a railcar containing an ambulance honors the life and work of the Portuguese neurologist and politician António Egas Moniz (1874-1955), winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1949. An exciting part of the museum looks beyond train operation, illustrating the equipment of train depots at the turn of the 19th century. In this context the collection features gantry cranes, machine tools for rail production and repair, a joinery, a sawmill, and three trolleys.
In the last quarter of the 19th century several railway lines opened up the north of Portugal. The main route, Linha do Minho, connected the port of Porto with Valena on the border with Spain. In 1875 the first 39 kilometers were inaugurated, crossing the towns of São Romão, Trofa, and Lousado, to Nine. Eight years later the "Companhia do Caminho de Ferro de Guimarães" began construction of a secondary line to Guimarães, which branched off from the Linha do Minho in Lousado. At this very junction, the railway company built a train depot with numerous workshops, which remained operational from 1883 until 1927. They were abandoned only when the two lead railway companies of the north merged into the "North Portugal rail company".
Today the facility houses the railway museum of Lousado, a branch of the National Portuguese Railway Museum in Entroncamento. Its opening in 1979, together with other branches, owes a lot to the commitment of the Portuguese railway engineer Armando Ginestal Machado (1913-1991), who was very much involved in the transformation of railway heritage sites into museums. The exhibition area in Lousado covers 1,400 square meters. During the restoration of the depot buildings, particular attention was paid to maintaining the structure and functional design of the architecture as far as possible. The exhibited locomotives, wagons and special vehicles were built between 1875 and 1965, thus representing almost a century of railroad history. 15 different manufacturers were involved in their construction, and they were operated by a total of eight railway companies in six countries. Their chronological order illustrates the wide range and development of rail car types in Europe, including luxurious passenger cars as well as open bulk cargo wagons. The museum is run by a foundation which is jointly supported by the Portuguese Railroad Museum and the district of Vila Nova de Famalicão.
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Tuesday - Friday 10am-5.30pm
Saturday, Sunday 2.30-5.30 pm