Athens Railway Museum
Museum Type Special Interests
Address 4 Siokou Street
Postal Code 104 43
Telephone210-4903163, 210-5246580, 210-5126295
The Museum was founded in 1979 and belongs to the Greek Railways Organization. Its aim is to preserve samples of the technological development of the means of transportation in Greece. Among the Museum's exhibits are included:
The Railway Museum, the only of its kind in Greece, is the result of the initiative and effort of the former Chief Engineer of OSE, Dipl. Eng. Christodoulos Christodoulou.
In the beginning of the 1970’s, he initiated the difficult task to collect, restore and exhibit a wide range of historical railway material which had been left to its fate at various locations. Although he encountered many problems, Christodoulos Christodoulou with the valueable assistance of Mr.Georgios Nikakis achieved a significant result.
In 1978, Yiannis Lambros, then General Director of OSE, approved the placement of the restored items in the steel workshop of the former Peloponnese Railways. A Railway Museum, which was needed and came rather late for Greece, was finally a reality. The inauguration ceremony took place in June 1979 and the founder of the Museum was appointed its first Director.
Renovation work was carried out in 1996, when the atrium and the yard were covered with tiles. The ground hall of the building, which once housed the OSE Telegraph Operators’ School was refurbished into a multiple purpose hall, able to welcome various cultural activities of the Museum.
Today, a surface of 1200 m2 houses a significant part of our railway and tramway history, from the time of Athens-Piraeus Railway and the horse tramways, to OSE and ISAP.
The two-cylinder steam locomotive A4 "Tyrins", metre gauge was built from the German company Krauss & Co. at 1884 and was one of the first steam locomotives of "Railways Piraeus-Athens-Peloponnesos" ('Sidirodromoi Athens-Piraeus-Peloponnesos', SPAP), which was used them mostly as work locomotives. The particular locomotive was saved incredibly from scrapping, being forgotten for half a century in the open space of Patras Depot. She was restored in 1978 and is exhibited in our Museum as the oldest restored steam locomotive in Greece.
The three-axle Æ 7505 "Erymanthos" was built from the French company SACM in 1893. At least fourty of these were built for the SPAP and the Attica Railways in variations depending in the type of expansion and saturation of the steam. The particular locomotive is with single expansion and used saturated steam, while is the only one saved from her class of 18 received by SPAP in the timeframe 1890-1901.
The latest steam locomotive exhibited in the area (and the only one with superheater) is the two-axle Âs 151, which was one of five constructed by the German Henschel company in 1912 for Peloponnesos Railways (SPAP). Thanks to their low axleload, these locomotives circulated mostly in the local branches in Pyrgos and Kyparissia. Due to their boxy appearance, old railwaymen called them "trunks".
The most unusual exhibit of the Museum is the singularly historical value two axle smoking car that was part of the sultan train of Ottoman Empire. That car was a gift from the French Queen Evgenia to Sultan Abdul Hassiz. During the 1st Balkan War, this car became a spoil of the Greek Army. Some of the rest of the sultan train cars (sleeper, salon, aide-de-camp car, cuisine) are exhibited in the Railway Museum of Varna in Bulgaria.
From the carbuilding section there's an interesting collection with genuine items. One impressive piece of the rolling stock collection, with excellent internal decoration and superstructure from high cost walnut and teak wood, is the four axle royal car of King George A'. The chassis was wholly built in the SAP factory in Piraeus in designs of the Chief Engineer Simmons and was a gift from the company for the 25 years of his reign. This car was presented for the first time in the International Exhibition in Zappeion at 1888, attracting huge attention due to the unheard for Greece luxuries. Besides other details, worth attention are the handmade royal coat-of-arms in the axleboxes and the stamped designs from thin gold on the outside. The royal car, which was used for the last time in 1936 for the move of King Konstantine A's remains, was given to the museum from HSAP.