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Bertan > Bertan 10 Gipuzkoako trenak > Ingeles bertsioa: The basque railway musseum

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The basque railway musseum

After years of disinvestment in public railway transport, an important change in tendency started appearing towards the end of the eighties. The Basque railways were gradually renovated, and the trains which hard run on them until then, some of which were more than sixty years old, were put to deserved rest.

132. The old Azpeitia station, now the entrance to the Museum.
132. The old Azpeitia station, now the entrance to the Museum.

It seemed inevitable that the destiny of these pieces, now historical, would be the breaker's yard, but the growing awareness of the institutions regarding the patrimonial value of these trains, moved the Transport and Public Works Department of the Basque Government to take, in 1989, the first steps towards the creation of the Basque Railway Museum.

After having carried out an inventory, which reflected the extremely valuable railway patrimony existing in the Basque Country, which, by itself alone, justified the creation of a museum, the Government set about finding an appropriate home for this initiative. The choice fell on the old Azpeitia station, which had plenty of available space, an important factor in a museum of these characteristics. Azpeitia also offered other elements of interest such as the existence of railway buildings of important aesthetic and architectural value, as well as the old Urola railway workshop, well preserved in its original early-century condition. Nor must we forget that Azpeitia and the nearby Loiola Sanctuary are one of the main tourist attractions in the Basque Country.

131. A train ticket.
131. A train ticket.

Work on the first stage of the Museum and restoration of the first pieces was started in 1990. The old Urola railway sheds were also fitted out in order to bring together the historical material scattered all over the Basque Country.

The first stage of the Museum was opened on 20 th January 1992. Two exhibition rooms, a libruary, assembly hall and periodical excursions on steam engines were a preview of the activities which were shortly to be offered by the Museum, since, months later, work was started on its second and final stage.

While the renovations recovered the old railway sheds and transforming substation as exhibition areas, historical railway vehicles were continuously being recovered and conserved, as were other elements such as the extremely valuable collection of railway clocks brought together by Jesús Minguez.

Finally, the second stage of the Museum which is, broadly speaking, the part which can now be visited, was opened on 4 th October 1994.

The end of the work does not, however, mean that the Museum is finished. On the contrary, the work of recovering and restorating historical pieces has been continued. Another plan shortly to be carried out is that of extending the tracks of its historical material to the nearby Cestona Spa.

The only thing left to do is to invite you to visit this interesting Museum, perhaps poorly known in Gipuzkoa, but considered as one of the best in its genre on a European level.

133. Engine nº 101 of the Topo Railway. The oldest electric engine in the state still in working order.
133. Engine nº 101 of the Topo Railway. The oldest electric engine in the state still in working order.
134. Railcar from the Vasco-Navarro Railway.
134. Railcar from the Vasco-Navarro Railway.
135. A station clock.
135. A station clock.
136. Railway detonating fog signals.
136. Railway detonating fog signals.
137. An old ticket.
137. An old ticket.
138. A Breguet tachograph.
138. A Breguet tachograph.
139. A table lamp.
139. A table lamp.
140. Rail profiles used in the Basque Country.
140. Rail profiles used in the Basque Country.
141. A train ticket.
141. A train ticket.
142. A train ticket.
142. A train ticket.
143. A steam engine tachograph.
143. A steam engine tachograph.
144. An ashtray from the Coches Camas Company.
144. An ashtray from the Coches Camas Company.
145. A stamping pad from the Northern Railway Company.
145. A stamping pad from the Northern Railway Company.
146. A train ticket.
146. A train ticket.
147. Shield of the Coches Camas Company.
147. Shield of the Coches Camas Company.
148. A 42 Kg./m. model of rail.
148. A 42 Kg./m. model of rail.
149. A train ticket.
149. A train ticket.
150. A carbide lamp.
150. A carbide lamp.
151. A train ticket.
151. A train ticket.
152. Constructions plans for an electric engine from the 7000 series, from the Northern Railway Company.
152. Constructions plans for an electric engine from the 7000 series, from the Northern Railway Company.
153. An electric engine from 1932.
153. An electric engine from 1932.
154. A train ticket.
154. A train ticket.
155. The Urola Railway machine shop recovered by the Museum.
155. The Urola Railway machine shop recovered by the Museum.
156. A train ticket.
156. A train ticket.
157. A goods van inside-lamp.
157. A goods van inside-lamp.
158. A partial view of the exhibition in the transforming substation building.
158. A partial view of the exhibition in the transforming substation building.
159. A ticket stamping machine.
159. A ticket stamping machine.
160. A train ticket.
160. A train ticket.
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