Costa de Prata

National Railway Museum in Portugal


One evening we saw a TV program called RailAway following a train journey though Portugal. The next three evenings they showed the train journey from Porto to Lisbon, through the Alentejo and Evora and from Castelo Branco to Gouveia, finally back to Entroncamento station where the Railway Museum is located.

This museum was already on our to-do list for after the season, so ..... on a cold but sunny November day we went to Entroncamento, accompanied by our neighbour Bob Scott. Bob worked in the automotive industry prior to his retirement so technology is really his ‘thing’, consequently we learned quite a bit more about car and train technology.

Reception at the Railway Museum gave us a warm welcome and an explanation about the history and construction of the museum. The Receptionist wanted toknow how we found out about the museum and where we came from. We had seen it on Facebook and a leaflet but also through the TV program. He found the latter interesting and we told him there was a possibility of watching the program again through ‘Uitzending gemist’. We then started our journey through the museum.

In the first part of the Museum there are displays of scale model trains, an old-fashioned ticket machine, train timetables with arrival and departure times and various tools for working on the track. There is a real office of a platform master and even an infirmary for travellers who need it.

After this we came out onto the 'marshalling yard' and crossed over the rails to the trains which are partly outside and partly in the old railway buildings. Outdoors we were amazed particularly by the well-maintained steam locomotives. The refurbishing and maintenance of all the trains is done by a large group of volunteers.The museum houses a 160-year-old cultural heritage display with around 36,000 objects, large and small, from the early days of the steam locomotive to the railways of the future. This is truly a centre of knowledge on the historical and technological role of rail transport in Portugal. It is open to the general public and continues to evolve to meet the needs and expectations of the visitor . As far as we are concerned, they have certainly succeeded.

The motto of the employees and volunteers: This museum is for you. This museum is for everyone. Discover a museum that brings past and present together.

The Railway Museum is situated in the Entroncamento Railway Complex, in an area of ​​4.5 hectares with 19 railway lines.