On 6th September 1986, with a grand opening, the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum in Sochaczew launched its activity. The museum unit was created as a section of the Warsaw Railway Museum, drawing on the rolling stock, buildings, infrastructure and for the most part crew of the Sochaczew Commuter Railway, which ceased its operations on 30th November 1984.
On 1st April 2016, the unit has become an official branch of the Museum Station in Warsaw, a new cultural institution, formed by the Office of the Marshal of Mazowieckie Voivodeship and the Polish State Railways (PKP S.A.), after the closing of the Warsaw Railway Museum.
The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum in Sochaczew is one of the few locations in Europe, where one can find narrow-gauge rolling stock in larger numbers. Our collection is the richest on the Old Continent.
Currently, there are 163 units of narrow-gauge rolling stock in the open-air museum, and further 50 awaiting renovation in our facilities. In the exhibition areas, the guests can see museum collections documenting the everyday operations of narrow-gauge railways through their history in Poland.
In the summer season – April through October – we organise trips on the heritage railroad to the Kampinos National Park. We currently use the heritage train RETRO, powered by a diesel locomotive Lxd2-342. From 2016/2017 our facility will once again use a steam engine, represented by a locomotive from interwar Poland, the Px29-1704, currently under repair.
The 18-kilometer long train route leads from Sochaczew, passing through numerous beautiful and memorable sights. Nearly one kilometer away from the start point, there is the most valuable historical site in the city – the ruins of the castle of the Mazovian Dukes. Rising on a high hill upon the Bzura river, revitalised in 2013, some parts of the ruins date back to the Middle Ages and some to the seventeenth century.
Other places to visit in Sochaczew include the Museum of Sochaczew Land and Battle of Bzura River, which owns a unique collection of memorabilia from the greatest battle of the September 1939 campaign.
Near Sochaczew lies Żelazowa Wola, known mainly as the place where a worldwide known composer, Frederic Chopin, was born. His family estate, surrounded by a park, serves as a museum.
From the RETRO train windows one can see the towers of a fortified church in Brochów, where Frederic Chopin was christened, also the place where his parents, and later his sister, entered into marriage.
The last stop on the route is located in Wilcze Tułowskie, a small village serving as a so-called “gate” to the Kampinos National Park. One of the UNESCO biosphere reserves, the park presents an unforgettable landscape of dunes and marshes under the pine tree forests.
A former preschool for the children of railway workers has been adjusted to accommodate the Education and Tourism Centre. Since 22nd October 2015, the Sochaczew Heritage Railway offers brand new spaces for exhibitions, conferences and education. New exhibitions have been arranged, and an educational offer on the rail transport through the ages and the local history has been prepared.