The abandoned Istvántelek Train Yard, known as the “Red Star Train Graveyard,” occupies a vast area of land outside Budapest. More than 100 locomotives and train cars rot away, some in deteriorating depots, others out in the field.
Among these are some very rare train engines, and a few cars that are said to have transported prisoners to Auschwitz during the Holocaust.
Two large depots, a few smaller sheds and open-air areas are scattered with locomotives and rusting trains, some of them very old from Hungary’s time as part of the Soviet Regime. Some of the trains were brought here to be repaired and exhibited in the Budapest Railway Museum, but never made it to the display and were instead left behind in the train yard.
Among the decaying carriages are trains that look identical to those used by the Nazis to transport nearly 440,000 Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz between May and July 1944.
British photographer Mathew Growcoot, 25, who entered Istvántelek Train Yard, described what it was like inside. He took some pictures there of these old relics.
It was definitely eerie being in there, I’d read online about the carriages being used by Nazis and some of them looked identical to the ones you can see in photographs taken at Auschwitz… It was shocking to think of the horrors that may have taken place on the carriages I was photographing.
There are a few gems rusting away in the graveyard that are sure to make any train enthusiast’s heart beat faster. A few Hungarian MAV 424 steam engines weigh in at 137 tons and bear a red star on their fronts, which earned the train yard its nickname.
There is also an engine of the MAV 301 series, used from 1911 to 1914, which is one of only a few still in existence.
Also here there are several German freight cars, which may be the very ones that transported hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews to their death in Auschwitz during Nazi occupation in World War II.
Altogether the train graveyard offers a great alternative to the usual Budapest tourism sites, not only for train lovers, but for anyone with an eye for history.
Be sure to visit the area if you plan to visit Budapest, as sooner or later the area will be entirely obscured by overgrown plant life.
If you already have been there please leave us your immpresions below or photos if you had this chance.