I have just picked up a copy of Global Railway Review. The July 2019 issue. The feature article focusses on infrastructure in Slovenia. Jo, my wife, and I travelled to Slovenia in 2006 and stayed in Bled. Reading the article in Global Railway Review brought back memories of that holiday.
One of my highlights of that holiday was a visit to the railway museum in Ljubljana – the Železniški muzej Slovenskih železnic. It seemed to be closed, but a short chat with someone on site allowed us access to the workshop area if not to the museum itself. I have appended photos of the visit to this post.This image comes from 2010. By this time, the old Roundhouse had been significantly tidied an the collection was on much better display. “The oldest locomotive is the former Austrian Southern Railkway No. 29.718, built in 1861. Keeping her close company is the diminutive No. 162-001. Her huge chimney earned her the nickname ‘the Kamnic Cornet’. Next is the most eminent of the engines, express locomotive No. 03-002, designed in 1910 particularly for the Ljubljana-Trieste line. Nearby is mighty No. 06-018 of 1930, also designed especially for lines in Slovenia. The smallest of all is No. K3, a little gem built in 1892 especially for the narrow gauge Poljčane – Slovenske Konjice Line.” 
The article in Global Railway Review provided some insight into major projects being undertaken by SZ-Infrastruktura, the Slovenian Railways Group in 2019. The Slovenian rail network comprises 1,207km of track and has excellent connections with the pan-European rail network. Three significant rail corridors cross the country’s territory:
- The Baltic to Adriatic Corridor (RFC 5)
- The Mediterranean Corridor (RFC 6)
- The Amber Corridor (RFC 11)
In the future, another Corridor will cross Slovenia – the Alpine to Western Balkan Corridor (RFC 10) connecting Austria with the Turkey-Bulgarian border. [1: p7]
Investment in recent years has been between 200 & 300 million Euros. As of July 2019, there are six major projects and ten more minor projects underway in Slovenia.
Plans for the network in the next 5 years include optimising business processes and updating IT systems; renewing and modernising main lines. [1: p9] The modern network is a far cry from the condition of the network when Slovenia was part of the old Yugoslavia.
Slovenia received its first railway connection in the 1840s, when the Austrian Empire built a railway connection – Südliche Staatsbahn or Austrian Southern Railway – between its capital, Vienna, and its major commercial port, Trieste. Maribor was connected by railway to Graz in 1844. The stretch was extended via Pragersko to Celje in 1846, and further via Zidani Most to Ljubljana in 1849. A double-track line was continued via Postojna, Pivka, and Divača, finally reaching Trieste in 1857.  The network before 1876. The network grew significantly throughout the 19th century and until the Great War. After the War, development was slow and only minor improvements were undertaken. Few new lines were opened after World War I.
One of lines built after the Great War “connected Ormož with Ljutomer and Murska Sobota, and opened in 1924. After World War II, a single-track electrified line connecting Prešnica with Koper was built in 1967. In 1999, a single-track line between Murska Sobota and Hodoš was rebuilt, offering a direct connection with the Hungarian railway system. The line was originally built in 1907 and closed down in 1968 among numerous other lines closed down during the 1960s. In April 2016 the electrification of the Pragersko – Hodoš line was completed.” 
The Railway Museum contains a collection of steam locomotives, which includes several rare models, and an extensive collection of old apparatus, tools and other items of technical heritage related to railways. It provides an opportunity to learn about the workings of railways from the period of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Exhibits on view include items such as light auxiliary rail vehicles (draisines) once used by rail supervisors and maintenance personnel and all kinds of tools and communication devices, including telegraphs, telephones, printing telegraphs, and radio stations. 
In spring and summer, the Railway Museum hosts occasional meetings of train enthusiasts. On such occasions, old steam locomotives are taken out of storage and their furnaces are fired up as part of the museum’s efforts to keep all the artefacts in operational condition. 
As I have already noted we managed to be at the museum when it was closed to public access and were pleased to at least have seen inside the roundhouse. We were left to our own devices and wandered all over the museum grounds. The pictures are in the appendix below.
1. Matjaz Kranjc; Investment Secures a Modern Future for Slovenia’s Rail Network; Global Railway Review Vol. 25 No. 4, p6-9.
2. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovenian_Railways, accessed on 10th August 2019.
3. https://www.visitljubljana.com/en/visitors/things-to-do/art-and-culture/railway-museum, accessed on 10th August 2019.
4. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovenian_Railway_Museum#/media/File%3ASlovenian_Railway_Museum_2010.JPG, accessed on 10th August 2019.
5. http://www.projectmapping.co.uk/Europe%20World/sloveniatrainrai.html, accessed on 10th August 2019.
Some of the photographs taken by myself in Summer 2006 at the Slovenian Railway Museum in Ljubljana (Železniški muzej Slovenskih železnic).
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Really nice place to visit especially during their event days.