Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Abandoned Places: Istvántelek Train Graveyard

Also called the Red Star Train Graveyard, Istvantelek is located in Budapest, Hungary. The trains are housed in buildings just off the active railway. Buildings that are falling apart as are the trains within. Many of the cars have been sitting in the same place for over 40 years, and several of them may have actually been used to transport Jews to Auschwitz during the Nazi occupation.
Above photos credited to Jakob Christensen.

Here are some other abandoned trains and train graveyards.
In Bolivia:
In England:
In Germany:
In Australia:


  1. These look amazing! Something so creepy and appealing. I love abandoned places. Ok, let me clarify, I love seeing abandoned places in pictures or on the tv. I have been to very few. But I think there's a tragic beauty in it.

  2. A lot of those trains look very steampunk. But all those pictures are incredible. Like Jean Marie said, tragic beauty. I'm such a sucker for that kind of thing.

  3. They could turn the Red Star Graveyard into an attraction, which would both make money and save the trains.

  4. Something really creepy about that place, but there's something beautiful about it too.

  5. I agree with MJ: Very steampunk. I'm trying to decide if I like the ones with plants growing in, or that rusted hulk of the locomotive better. The rusted hulk looks almost fossilized.

    Imagine: dinosaur bones can turn to stone and last forever, but the locomotives we make eventually will just be dust.

    Everything you write makes me wax poetic!

  6. In the movie Trans-Siberian the Woody Harrellson character goes walking around a Russian train graveyard and then gets left behind. I wonder if they used a real train graveyard somewhere for that?

  7. I just love looking at photos of abandoned stuff and getting ideas for my novels. It's amazing how quickly man-made things fall apart.

  8. Trains! Now that's some beautiful abandoned stuff.

  9. Each post in this series just keeps getting better, Andrew. I like these pictures because it reminds me how long we've had that form of transit. I'm not sure if the trains that transported Jews to Auschwitz should be destroyed or displayed…they have such a sad story to tell.

    AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

  10. In Soviet Russia, train takes YOU! O.k, it wasn't funny...but I tried :)

    Those look very cool and it's hard to believe they just leave those things laying around.

  11. The place in Hungary has the makings for a fine train museum, but it would probably be very expensive. The other abandoned trains are merely picturesque ruins much like the old cars that can be found in rural area across the U.S.

    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  12. Jean: There certainly is to some of them. The trains just left out on the tracks are very appealing in some ways.

    M.J.: I think they are kind of the definition of steampunk.

    Alex: I think it would probably cost them more on the restoration than they would make off of such a venture.

    Misha: Well, I don't think I'd want to be in there at night.

    Briane: I like the ones with the trees growing all up in around them.
    And, now, I'm going to be stuck thinking about trainosaurs all day.

    Pat: I haven't seen that, yet, but, now, I'm wondering the same thing.

    L.G.: It is pretty amazing, but I like to look at it the other way:
    It's amazing how quickly nature claims things.

    Rusty: It's true.

    Elsie: I think it's important to remember even the things that are hard to want to remember. It would probably be good to have them in a museum or something.

    Mark: It was almost funny.
    And I know! I mean, anyone could come along and pick those up!

    Lee: There are a few of the others that look worth saving. But, yeah, I think the expense would outweigh any profit that could be made.

  13. It figures that the UK would be efficient enough to stack their train cars! In Egypt, a very fancy resort got some extremely old cars (like the ones from Bolivia), blast sanded and painted them bright colors, and put them as decorations on the long desert road leading to the resort. They look so cute -- like children's toys. :)

  14. Hey, I posted something about Nazi's today too! Of course, I've got Nazi's on the brain since we just watched The Book Thief, and let us never speak of it again. There was very little cheese.

  15. Lexa: That sounds really cool! I want to see!

    When I was a kid, we used to pass this junkyard sometimes. I thought it was the coolest place and always wanted to go to it (we never did). They stacked their cars like that. Just regular cars, though. There were no trains there.

    Crystal: I haven't seen it. I did look at the book, though, and decided in less than two pages that I wasn't going to read it.

  16. Train graveyards would be neat (and creepy) places to see. I love the graffiti trains in Australia!

  17. There's something horrifying about knowing that one of those trains may have been used to transport people to their deaths.

  18. I love all of these pictures and seriously want to see every single one of these in person. It is certainly more than sad about the Nazi transportation, though. Maybe I'll skip those ones on the walking tour...

  19. Chrys: They are pretty cool.

    Jeanne: There is but horrifying in the way that would make a lot of people want to see it, I think.

    randi: Go see ones with nature growing all over them.

  20. I once had a geography teacher who argued that if we just brought back real trains (not coal), or modern trains, we would so drastically reduce our oil usage with shipping that we'd not have to go abroad for oil for hundreds of years. Apparently shipping by boat is one of the worst taxes on the environment. I personally would love to see more long-distance trains in the U.S. They're super useful in Japan!

    I really like the graffitied trains in Australia. They look really unique, and I don't even like graffiti!

    Alex Hurst, fantasy author in Japan, participating in Blogging A-Z April Challenge.

  21. Alex H: Cargo ships are definitely bad. So are Navy ships. They have some things they could do to become more environmentally friendly, but I don't see that happening any time soon.

    A good train system would be much better than the 18-wheeler system we have, now, but, it, also, would take a huge investment to upgrade, and that's probably not going to happen, either.

    We do have a high speed train going in CA, though. Maybe. If they can ever get it together.

  22. I didn't have my glasses on when I first the title to this post and only saw the word graveyard- spooky!
    Of course after putting them on I could better see train graveyard. The pics of the yard in Hungary looks haunting, especially reading it's history.

  23. G_G: Yeah, it wouldn't surprise me if that one is haunted.