İstanbul Railway Museum was opened on 23th September 2005 in historical İstanbul (Sirkeci) Station which is the Gate of İstanbul to Europe.
There are some objects and photos belonging to the railway schools and TCDD hospitals which were existed within the railways administration in the past as well as original action plans, drawings, various photos, railway tools and communication equipment belonging to Rumelia Railways and Thrace line of TCDD.
The driver corner of one of the commuter trains which is the symbol for launching the first electrical train operation in 1955 in Turkey, is the most interesting corner of the museum.
İstanbul Station is the legendary station of legendary train Orient Express. Memorial medallions which were given to the passengers of Orient Express in its last run on 19th-22th May 1977, and silver dinner services used in this train and produced by Wagon-Litz company are among the presented objects. 400 objects belonging to 19th and 20th century are presented in the museum.
THE HISTORY OF İSTANBUL(SİRKECİ) STATION
With a great ceremony the foundation Stone of the Sirkeci Main Station- Gate of İstanbul to Europe -was laid on February 11th,1888.The architect of this magnificent station building, opened for service on November 3rd 1890, was the German architect and engineer A. Jasmund. Jasmund who graduated from the University of Berlin came İstanbul in order to make investigations on the oriental architecture gained the trust of Sultan Abdülhamit II and became his advisory architect.
During the planning of the station building, one thing had been of utmost importance to Jasmund. İstanbul is the point where the West ends and the East begins. In other words, it is the point where East and West meet. Therefore the building had to be applied in an oriental style into life, and regional and national style shapes had to be used. In order to reflect this style, bands of bricks were used at facades. Windows with peak arcs and in the middle a wide entrance door that reminded to the stone portals of the Seljukian epoch - were built. The stained - glasses completed this style.
The fundament of the building was consisted of granite, the facades of marble and Stones that had been brought from Marseille, Arden. In the waiting halls, large tile stoves produced in Austria were installed. The lightning of the building was provided by 300 gas lanterns placed at different locations.
The Sirkeci Station which is the last stop of Orient Express was magnificent at the time it was built. The sea was reaching to the building foot and terraces led down to the sea.
On both sides of the middle entrance, there were turret clocks, three big restaurants, a large beer-garden and an outdoor restaurant behind the station.
The big restaurant in the Station was at the turret clocks side. A long marble stairway leads to the restaurant.
When the railway started to be constructed in Yedikule and reached the point of Yenikapı, disputes came up regarding that the line should lead to Sarayburnu through the garden of Topkapı Palace. This dispute was put to an end by Sultan Abdülaziz who allowed to lay the rails through the garden of the Palace.
However, Byzantine and Ottoman palace and mansions, which were priceless for their historical value, were disrupted in order to be expropriated in the construction reaching to Sirkeci and it lost its characteristics of being a coast.
This stanza was placed on the big gate of the station, which does not exist there now but regulated by Master Muhtar with a sultan’s signature;
"The Great Sultan ordered
He had this station being in love
Built for railway
Private train run for a historical declaration"
Sultan Hamit had this station, which is fancy and lovable, built. With granting of the construction concession of 337 km İstanbul-Edirne and Kırklareli-Apullu section within the national borders of 2000 km Orient Railways in 1869 and its completion and commissioning in 1888, İstanbul connected to the European railways.