Locomotive lovers, you’re in for a treat. And, if you’re not passionate about trains, then we’re going to railroad you and tell you about them anyway. From a passenger carriage used as a river crossing to a locomotive cemetery with a story to tell, here are 15 of the most incredible abandoned trains in the world.
15. Eagle Lake Trains
If you find yourself in Maine for whatever reason, and you consider yourself a bit of an adventurer, then why not start the hunt for the Eagle Lake locomotives? Sitting abandoned where they were last used, it makes for the perfect photo opportunity and outdoor adventure.
The Eagle Lake and West Branch Railroad replaced the tramway system back in 1926. Locomotives would run from Eagle Lake 13 miles up to Umbazooksus Lake, connecting the Penobscot River’s west branch via Chesuncook Lake.
While locomotive journeys went off without a hitch, they were abruptly stopped in the 1930s, within a few short years of their initial runs. By then, locomotives were somewhat obsolete – to the point where no one could even be bothered removing them from their resting place. Instead, they were left in a shed by Eagle Lake, where they still remain.
If you want to go see them, you have to be somewhat experienced in the outdoors, for they are in the middle of the woods and only accessible on foot or by snowmobile in the winter. Coordinates are available online, and don’t forget your camera!
14. Perm Region
These trains will no longer take you on a trip, but they can certainly take you on a journey back through time! If you’re a locomotive lover and a bit of a history buff, then it might be time to make your way to the central Perm region of Russia, near a village called Shumkovo.
A little off the beaten track, it’s hard not to notice the dozens of steam locomotives sitting idly on rusty rails with vegetation growing all through and around them. The oldest dates back to 1936, while the youngest of the lot is from 1956.
You might be wondering how all these beautiful specimens came to be in the one place, and, no, it wasn’t a cemetery for the retired and tired trains that were no longer fit for purpose. Instead, the area where the trains are used to be a backup railway base during the Soviet era, which existed just in case a nuclear war were to happen. At that time, about 140 trains were lined up, ready for action.
When power replaced steam, they were pretty much obsolete, and maintenance stopped. Some trains were purchased for use in China, and others were restored and put in museums. The dozens that remain will be left to rot under the watchful eye of Grigoriy Gordeyev who manages the site.
13. Georgia Train Bridge
The building of a bridge is not something that governments and local councils like to do all too often. After all, it can take months of planning, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and plenty of logistics. So, if you can get away with not building a bridge, then wouldn’t you? In Georgia, (not our Georgia, another one), that’s precisely what happened.
Anyone that has ever found themselves on Route 11, around nine miles from Khertvisi to Akhalkalaki, has most likely stumbled across a long train carriage that appears to blister the landscape unexpectedly. After all, who expects to find a train so far from a train track?
Instead of sitting on a train track, this passenger carriage sits on one end of a river and reaches over to the other side, forming a type of pedestrian bridge.
The train is old and rusted, and the inside is not exactly in peak condition. In fact, there is a massive gaping hole where palings to form flooring once lay, and missing boards right the way through. Still, the train continues to be a popular attraction, with many braving the threat of rushing water below just to get their photo with the absurd locomotive.
12. France UK Abandoned Train
When Parisian Adrien Adcaz discovered an abandoned train on Google Maps, and signs that other urban explorers had visited it, he knew he had to see it for himself. After all, how often does one get the opportunity to explore a modern Eurostar train without dozens of passengers on board? Not often, which is probably why the footage he took of his experience gained upward of 460,000 views on YouTube.
Adrien visited the London-to-Paris train to discover it had 13 carriages, including two restaurant carriages, and was in the company of another train nearby.
The tables were littered with dusty old magazines, while all the engine and driver controls were intact. It was almost as if the train completed its last run for the day, then never went again. Now, it’s covered in graffiti with broken windows, broken walls, and damaged front panels.
The train ran between 1994 and 2014 but became obsolete with the introduction of the e320 train. Instead of being sent to a scrapyard, it stayed where it lay until Eurostar arranged for it to be dismantled and recycled in 2018.
11. Aldwych Station
If you’ve seen the film V for Vendetta, then you’ve seen Aldwych Station, and you can even view it in person if the fancy takes you. Aldwych Station is an old, abandoned tube station in London that has been used as a film location on many occasions.
Be on the lookout for glimpses of it in Sherlock, The Good Shepherd, Battle of Britain, and 28 Weeks Later, just to name a few. Now, it is open for tours, should you be willing to pay money to visit an abandoned old tunnel.
Aldwych Station was largely used by shuttle trains, but it always had low passenger numbers. As a result, it was closed in 1994 after having only operated during peak hours on weekdays since 1962. While it now sits abandoned, don’t let that detract from its once rich history.
It was once used to shelter precious artwork from galleries and museums during both World Wars and had been the subject of many an expansion proposal over the years. Even after several threats of closure, it continued to hold its own until its eventual cull from the train timetable.
Extra source from writer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldwych_tube_station
10. Abandoned in Scotland
On a forum called Derelict Places – Documenting Decay, a user by the name of Laurenlee87 posted photos from her recent adventure into the great outdoors around Fife, Scotland, with her eight-year-old child. First on the list of places to visit was a fever hospital and old hotel, but the trip got really interesting when the pair stumbled across an old, abandoned train in some local woods.
Laurenlee87 said that the train had 12 carriages in total and was sitting on an old line. While some of the carriages had been burnt out, the majority were in decent condition. Of course, “decent” basically means better than burnt, for vandals had smashed windows and caused chaos and destruction as they often do.
The exterior of the train was entirely covered in rust, only broken up by the bright colors of graffiti sprayed on by wannabe artists. Most tables and chairs appeared to be intact, with greenery growing through to offer the illusion of al fresco dining.
Aside from shattered glass throughout from broken windows, even the carpet appeared to be in good nick. While you wouldn’t be able to start this train up in a hurry, you can at least say that as far as abandoned ones go, it’s not in the worst shape.
9. Last Train to Nowhere
♫♪♪ Just a small-town girl, livin’ in a lonely world, she took the midnight train going aaanywhere…♫♪♪
But if she took this train, she’s definitely going nowhere. Aptly dubbed The Last Train to Nowhere, all that remains of the Council City and Solomon River Railroad on the Seward Peninsula is a few old rusty steam locomotives and some broken dreams.
In the early 1900s, grand plans were in place to build a railroad called the Council City and Solomon River Railroad to link major mining centers together during the gold rush. However, as the gold rush faded, debt levels grew.
Eventually, after five years of construction, the railroad only spanned 35 miles and was abandoned in 1907. The steam locomotives and rolling stock now lie permanently across the Bonanza Bridge, slowly sinking into the water-logged tundra beneath.
Even though the railroad was never finished or used for its intended purpose, it’s not entirely useless. Locomotive lovers appear in their droves to see the sight, and there are even viewing platforms to allow them to do so safely. Why not go check it out for yourself?
8. From Manchester to the World
This one is not so much a single abandoned train, as it is the abandonment of an entire type of train. Beyer, Peacock & Co. Lt was a company that built around 8,000 steam locomotives that they shipped all over the world. Their trains were so versatile and durable that they even suited underdeveloped countries who up until 1976, still used steam locomotives from the company.
It would seem like Beyer, Peacock & Co were thriving, but technology is a blasted thing. Tramways and electric railways were on the up and up, and the company had to diversify to keep up. They dabbled in a few electric locos and road steam wagons, but steam locomotives were still their bread and butter.
When British Rail decided to use diesel, many other companies around the world followed suit, which meant there was no longer any demand for their steam product.
By the time 1966 rolled around, the company was all but closed. However, those who are interested in their locomotive production can view over 2,500 photos and 4,000 engineering drawings at the Science and Industry Museum in the UK.
7. Abandoned NYC Subway Station
Did you know that underneath New York City Hall, there’s an abandoned, closed subway station? You might not, but you do now.
New York has one of the largest subway systems in North America, but it’s also home to one of the first-ever underground stations, which is now only available to view by special tour.
It first opened in 1904 and had gilded chandeliers and electric lights, not to mention skylights that allowed sunlight to filter through. It was a sight to behold.
On its first day of operation, around 15,000 people shelled out a nickel to be one of the first to ride the first subway outside of Europe.
It seemed like one of the best things to ever happen to New Yorkers, but it didn’t take long until it no longer suited people’s needs – or safety requirements.
When train cars became longer, the gap between the train platform and the doors was too wide. The station also didn’t offer express service, but the nearby Brooklyn Bridge Station nearby did. Therefore, people would often prefer to walk from that station. Due to these issues, the station saw its final trains through it in 1945.
Extra source from writer: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/abandoned-nyc-city-hall-subway-station-tour-2019-1?r=US&IR=T
6. Maglev Train
In 2006, the first test journey of a Transrapid Maglev train ended in disaster, when it collided with a maintenance vehicle at a little over 100 miles per hour. Many human errors contributed to the accident, which claimed 23 lives and saw two engineers convicted of manslaughter.
The maglev train, which stands for magnetic levitation, was a revolutionary development in the railway world which saw the train hovering above the tracks, rather than gliding along on them. At the time, it was thought to be one of the safest forms of transport. Yeah, that’s what they said about the Titanic.
The test site where the train traveled had been considered a positive development for the area, and Transrapid were seen as leading the way. After the accident, though, that all changed. By 2011, the test track that spanned nearly 20 miles had been abandoned, and the area has become a memorial site for the victims onboard the train.
While the train and test track were abandoned, so too was the entire site. Millions of Euros had been and needed to be injected into the demolition of it, which was made challenging by pillar supports being buried 50 feet in the ground.
Extra source from writer: https://www.thelocal.de/20160922/10-years-since-magnet-train-crash-emsland-transrapid
5. Trans Europ Express
The Trans Europ Express (TEE) was the epitome of luxury and the Rolls Royce of the train world. It was a long-distance rail passenger train that served customers’ needs from 1957 until 1987 from Austria to Switzerland.
TEE trains had to be reserved in advance, and surcharges applied. If you were fortunate enough to travel for business, you could even make the most of train secretarial sections so you could work on the road.
The TEE trains were as classy as they come, and could reach speeds of up to 87 miles per hour with an 18-ton load. They also had 120 seats in rows of no more than three, a galley, and a beautiful wine and beige color scheme that screamed elegance and royalty.
But all good things must come to an end. Technology changes, needs change, people change, and the TEE train was no longer the best that train manufacturers had to offer. What’s more, with engine upgrades, including gas turbine helicopters to accommodate additional speed, the high fuel costs made this train no longer economical. Therefore, it was abandoned.
Extra source from writer: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Europ-Express
4. Abandoned Maine Steam Engines
If you find yourself in the Maine Woods, northwest of Chamberlain Lake, then you won’t be able to help but stumble across the rusted remains of two steam locomotives. Believe it or not, they are leftover from the industrial revolution, and boy do they have a story to tell.
These two locomotives were used to transport logs and pulpwood to local mills to be turned into lumber. Because of the watershed problem, the most effective solution for transport was trains.
A lumber baron called Edouard Lacroix went to New York City and purchased the two trains before having them delivered to Quebec. They were disassembled, moved over ice roads of Eagle and Churchill Lakes, and a new train track was formed to put them to use. Bringing two 100-ton trains into the middle of nowhere was no mean feat, but they made it happen.
The trains made their first successful trip in 1927 and shifted around 6,500 cords of pulpwood per week. That meant that the Great Northern Paper Mill was able to manufacture around 20 percent of the country’s annual paper supplies. After they carried one million cords to the mill, the Great Depression hit, and they were parked in a shed, never to move wood again.
3. Tram Graveyard
When a car, tram, or bus is retired, has an accident, or is no longer needed, where do you think it goes? Well, most likely to Volochaevskaya Street in Moscow, Russia, by the looks of it.
Take a peek over the fence of a tram repair factory on this street, and you will likely see what looks like a scene from the Walking Dead. Old, abandoned, overgrown, and rusted vehicles that will not likely make their way back onto any roads ever again.
Rows and rows of old trams, buses, trucks, cars, and more, have been left to rot away, even after some show signs of care at some point. Owners have made an effort to cover many cars with plastic or board up windows to prevent the elements from getting inside.
Others, though, are nearly rusted through, with trees growing from rear windows and flat tires that show they will never move again. Wooden-roofed trams have seen the best years they ever will, too.
While the tram graveyard makes for a beautiful photo opportunity, it’s quite sad to see all the abandonment in a single photo.
2. Trolley Central Pennsylvania
Some people have lived in Pennsylvania their entire life and still never knew about this place. So, there’s every reason to think you might not have, either. Dubbed the Abandoned Trolley Graveyard, an area south of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, is home to around 40 vintage trolleys that are lying in wait for restoration or as parts trolleys for other trolleys to be restored. For now, they are rotting away.
The trolleys are owned by the Vintage Electric Streetcar Company, and Ed Metka. Ed started collecting streetcars in 1986 and stored them on a track he rented in Maryland. After outgrowing the space, he moved them to the former Berwind Coal Company Railroad Shop site.
Ed’s goal is to preserve the trolleys as more and more become lost to scrap. He believes all of them can be used as parts or bodies, with most of them dating back to the 1940s.
The site where they are held used to be open for tours by appointment, but that might not be the case anymore. The tours would begin at the front of the building, with nice streetcars housed in a shed for restoration efforts. The rest were kept on tracks in the woods behind the building.
1. Jacumba, CA
How far are you willing to walk to see some of the best abandoned trains in the world? Let’s say 14 miles, that should do it. On a series of railroads in Jacumba, several abandoned trains span a seven-mile distance.
Once you navigate your way through bushes near the DeAnza Springs Resort, you can find yourself face to face with some of the most spectacular abandoned trains you will ever see. The best part? Most are in surprisingly good condition.
One of the first trains that explorers will come across is a unique double-decker. It has two floors and dozens of rows of seats to fit in as many passengers as possible. Most of these seats look as pristine as the day the last passengers left.
While birds are the only passengers on board these trains now, it’s not hard to imagine what they had been like while in service.
Rust has taken hold of a few along the tracks, and graffiti is a common sight on pretty much all of them, but you’ll be able to see past those imperfections. These trains are indeed something any loco lover will enjoy.