History of the Museum of Industry and Railway in Silesia

In 2004, the Museum of Industry and Railway in Silesia started functioning as a private institution located at a historical locomotive shed in Jaworzyna Śląska, Lower Silesian Voivodeship. The Museum of Industry and Railway in Silesia leased this area from the administrative district of Jaworzyna Śląska. This enabled it to remain a historical legacy of the rolling stock. Since 2005, the Museum has been operating under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and had the Public benefit organization status.

The History of the Railway Junction

1843 was the beginning of a new railway connection just as the beginning of Jaworzyna Ślaską locality. At first, Jaworzyna was only a settlement station, but in 1868 it became an independent village. The station’s name Königszelt, translated as “The royal tent”, refers to a military camp where Frederick the Great, emperor of Prussia, quartered in 1761. After World War II, it was renamed Jawornik Świdnicki and then to Jaworzyna Śląska.

Another railway line was first built in 1844 in Świdnica and then in 1856 in Legnica. It forced the development of infrastructure. A large, multi-purpose and preserved to the present day station was built. It seated 12 stands, a rectangular roundhouse with workshops (to the North of the station).
In the vicinity, during the 80’s and 90’s, the roundhouse was built. This locomotive shed was used during the interwar period, but now it is used as a warehouse. This complex containted 11 stands, a manual 16-foot turntable and a distinctive mushroom-shaped water tower. In the early twentieth century (1906-1907), not so near to the station (between the tracks to Wrocław and Świdnica), a new roundhouse was built. It contained 19 stands and a fully equipped backshop (finally completed in 1924).

Electrification of the line in the 60’s and the gradual decline in the number of shipments in the 90’s led to the shutdown of the locomotive shed. As a replacement, PKP formed the Open Air Museum of Steam Engines, which operated until 2001. In 2004, destroyed and looted PKP property was taken over by the administrative district of Jaworzyna. After a year of making efforts to protect the historical value of this rolling stock, it was leased to the Museum of Industry and Railway in Silesia.