Not far from the Ulaanbaatar Railway Station, six obsolete locomotives sit unmoving in a fenced-off garden adjacent to the tracks. The open-air display of trains, collectively known as the Mongolian Railway History Museum, is dedicated to the history of the locomotives that once traversed the country. One is outfitted with a golden plate depicting Joseph Stalin, while two others bear red, five-pointed stars, a symbol associated with communist ideology.
Railway development has played a significant role in recent Mongolian history, especially in relation to the coal mining industry. Extending south from the Mongolia–Russia border, the Trans-Mongolian Railway reached Ulaanbaatar in 1950, and was expanded to the southern Chinese border some five years later. Prior to that, there were only a few freight trains carrying coal between Mongolian mines and Russian coal plants.
The collection features three steam-powered trains as well as three diesel-powered locomotives. For railway buffs, these include: Locomotive 2-10-0 (L-3167), 750mm gauge T159, Voroshilovgrad 2M62M-043, Te1-20-011 (erroneously marked as TEM1-166), Baldwin/ALCO-influenced 2-10-0, and Su 208-88.
Know Before You Go
The museum is located at the intersection of Narnii Road and Peace Bridge. The gate is typically locked, but the fence surrounding the collection is low, so you can appreciate the locomotives from the outside.