I had wanted to visit the Tiananmen Square and the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall (Mausoleum of Mao Zedong) this morning, before I got on the train to Nanning later in the afternoon, so I made my way to Qianmen subway station on Line 2. That’s the actual Qianmen (前门) outside the station. It’s commonly called as such, being the “front gate” of the Beijing city walls, but its proper name is Zhengyangmen (正阳门), or Gate of the Zenith Sun.
When I was approaching the underpass to cross the road though, I saw the China Railway Museum across instead. I didn’t even know this existed as my internet searches didn’t have this pop up.
Hmm, Mao-soleum or railway museum?
Railway museum it is. Sorry Chairman Mao.
The China Railway Museum (Zhengyangmen Branch) is one of three railway museums in Beijing and outer Beijing, this being the most centrally-located. The building itself is the former Zhengyangmen East Railway Station of the Jingfeng Railway. The ticket office is located in a separate room to the left of the main entrance. It costs 20 yuan for one adult.
Four floors of railway goodness.
*Note: This isn’t my entire collection of photos in the museum. I just picked a few out lest I bore you through the technical stuff.
The early days of railway signalling. Looks pretty British to me.
The headplate of the Mao Zedong locomotive.
A rest area with a mockup of a small platform. The sign hanging from the roof states “Platform 1”.
This seems a little bit menacing. The description plate reads” Spontoon for suppressing the railway workers”. It’s not a translation error either.
More displays of the steam era.
The exhibit moves to the diesel era upstairs.
A model of the NJ2 diesel-electric locomotive for the Qingzang Railway on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway route.
Following which, the exhibit moves on to the high-speed era.
A model of the HXD3B electric locomotive and the CRH3 high-speed EMU.
The CRH3 simulator. I had wanted to give this a try for 10 yuan, but no one was around to buy a ticket from.
The exhibition concludes with the modern era of CRH380- series EMUs on the top floor.
Also located on the top floor is a souvenir shop with railway models on sale for a reasonable price, and definitely cheaper than Singapore. I didn’t get any despite my wants though, I’ll probably get back with a model kit instead of the whole train when bought.
I wonder whether they know what they’re selling on their posters though. Thankfully I didn’t see them on sale in the shop.
Those are friction toys of the Taiwan Railways Administration by the way.
In the basement, there are sandboxes of the high-speed lines around China. This is the sandbox of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.
The sandbox of the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway.
The sandbox of the Beijing–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway.
The different track gauges and equipment used in China.
The China Railway Museum (Zhengyangmen Branch) is located outside the Qianmen station of the Beijing Subway Line 2.