Murder on the Orient Express

by

Is madame travelling alone?

At the beginning of May, the Hungarian Railway Museum’s Mav Nosztalgia vintage train visited the Wolsztyn Steam Gala, as part of a five-day tour. The train is based in the former Budapest North Depot which has a 1911 roundhouse with 34 bays, an ideal home for the museum’s operational vintage fleet. This includes a steam engine built in 1870 and a 1934 railcar, which in its prime sped from Budapest to Vienna in just under three hours. The gem of the vintage fleet is an elegant teak dining car built for the Orient Express in 1912. Altogether there are fifty locomotives in its care, twelve operational and the remaining thirty-eight cosmetically restored. In addition the museum has a large range of vintage rolling stock: railcars, self-powered rail cars and hand-carts, inspection cars, steam cranes, snow ploughs and other curiosities.o All together there are over a hundred railway vehicles and equipment of varying ages on a site of over 70,000 m2.

The creation of the Hungarian Railway Museum was a joint venture by the Ministry of Transport and Waterways, MAV (Hungarian Railways) and MAV Nosztalgia Ltd, the heritage division of MAV. The museum opened on 14 July 2000. It is marketed as Europe’s ‘first interactive railway museum’. Not only can visitors admire the old machines, they can also try them out. They can drive a steam engine, travel in a car converted for rails, operate a hand-cart, ride on the turntable and on the horse tram. The engine simulator offers a virtual experience of driving the most powerful Hungarian electric railway engine, using the original equipment, while the rail-cycle challenges one’s sense of balance. There is also a model railway that visitors can admire and even operate. From 1 April to 31 October, a vintage diesel shuttle train runs between Budapest’s Nyugati Station and the museum.

The museum, in association with MAV Nosztalgia, runs a comprehensive events programme. This is part of the 2008 programme:

14 February

„Train for Lovers” – Valentine’s Day Candle-lit Express dinner train

5 April

Sesonal opening trip to the Danube Bend

9-10 April

Trip to Szeged and Arad on the 100 year-old ACSEV railcar

19 April

By vintage train to Kosice

25 April

Candle-lit Express dinner train

1-5 May

„The Wolsztyn Express” Poland by steam

23 May

Venice-Simplon Orient Express visits the Museum

24 May

NOHAB photo trip along Lake Balaton

25 May

Children’s Day at the Museum

30 May

Candle-lit Express dinner train

7 June

By DSA train hauled by a 324 class steam engine

7-8 June

Transport Day at the Museum

14 June

To the Slovakian Railways pageant in Bratislava by vintage train hauled by a streamlined steam engine

21 June

Trip to Komarom

24 June –

23 August

Along Lake Balaton on the Centennial Train (Keszthely Badacsony)

27 June

Candle-lit Express dinner train

27-30 June

Svejk train: Budapest – Przemysl (Poland) Royal Hungarian Express

5 July

To the Danube Bend on the Centennial Train

2 August

By the DSA train hauled by a 424 class steam engine

21-24 August

Impressions of Serbia (Royal Hungarian Express)

29 August

Candle-lit Express dinner train

6 Sept

To the Danube Bend on the Centennial Train

13-14 Sept

Budapest Steam Festival

20 Sept

Trip to Oradea

26 Sept

Candle-lit Express dinner train

23-26 Oct

Slovenia

31 Oct

Candle-lit Express dinner train

19 December

Candle-lit Express dinner train

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