Gijón Railway Museum
History and museums
The Asturias Railway Museum or Gijón Railway museum (Museo del Ferrocarril de Asturias), in Gijón, Asturias, Spain, is an institution dedicated to restore, preserve and display to the public the railway history of Asturias. It was inaugurated on October 22, 1998 by the current king Felipe VI as Prince of Asturias in that moment. The centre is economically supported by Gijón City Council and it’s integrated in the museums municipal network. It’s one of the most important Spanish railways museums.
The museum is located at the old North Train Station of Gijón, very near Poniente Beach. It occupies more than 14,000 m2 and includes the original station, built in 1874, two new buildings and railway tracks.
It has more than 1,000 objects, of which 140 are rolling stock including steam and diesel locomotives, wagons, trams and other material related with the history of train technologies in Spain. Those materials are Iberian gauge, narrow gauge and others until seven different track gauges types. The collection is closely connected with the large Asturias industrial history, in fact Asturias has the most dense rail network in the country.
Some of the museum steam locomotives come from Ferrocarril de Langreo, a line connecting Langreo and Gijón and was the fourth railway line built in Spain in 1852 and the third in Iberian Peninsula. The collection includes locomotives from other disappeared companies like Ferrocarriles del Norte, Vasco Asturiano and many locomotives used in coal and iron mines in Asturias.
The museum is a reference centre for the study of Spanish railway history and have many documentation (books, photographs, maps, statistics, companies shares, technical documents, economic studies, working and social conditions descriptions) available for researchers. An important part of that documentation is digitalized.
Many locomotives are still operatives and several times during the year some steam locomotives are started and circulate over the rail tracks, this events are called Steam days. Steam days are very popular and many people go these days to the museum platforms to see the old locomotives to move again and to travel in them.
One weekend per month, a train related market is held in museum platforms.
The museum has a room dedicated to railway modelling.
Other very important activity is the restoration workshop, in which the old locomotives and material recovered from industries, mines and train companies by the museum staff are restored to its originally state and if is possible to a working state. In some cases this is a difficult process that implies consulting technical and historic documents and takes a lot of time and money.
Stand out in the collection the following equipment: