An extensive 750 mm gauge railway system grew up in Estonia after the country’s first narrow gauge line, from Parnu to Valga opened in 1896. The system was nationalised in 1923, and amalgamated with the Russian-gauge Estonian Railways in 1926, and in 1939 extended over 909 route km.
The narrow gauge lines were closed and dismantled under Soviet rule in 1959-75, but in 1987 a museum was established at a former peat railway depot of 1922 at Lavassaare, 17 km north-west of Parnu. Its collection of steam, diesel and battery electric locomotives, and of many kinds of passenger carriages and freight wagons, is reckoned to be one of the largest in Europe. Visitors can travel on a museum train and the museum has established a modest presence in the city of Parnu where a locomotive and other vehicles are displayed on plinths.