The city of Brest, formerly Brest-Litovsk, which currently has a population of rather more than 310,000, stands at the confluence of the rivers Bug and Mukhavets, opposite the Polish city of Terespol. It is one of Europe’s historic frontier cities, and its landscape is dominated by the fortress built by the Russian authorities in the nineteenth century, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Brest is an important railway centre on the main line that connects Moscow with Berlin, at the point where the European standard gauge track (1.435m) gives way to the broad Russian gauge (1.52m). The railway museum, the only one in Belarus, is close to the fortress. Its collection totals more than 50 vehicles, steam locomotives of both gauges, including examples from the Soviet era with red stars on their smokeboxes, and four German-designed Krieglok 2-10-0s. There are also diesel locomotives, some rolling stock from narrow gauge lines, steam cranes, snow ploughs and a railbus used for track inspections.