The Railway History Park – Europe’s first interactive railway park – opened on 14 July 2000 on the site of the North Depot.
The North Depot was built between 1909 and 1911 on a 70,000 m2 estate. From 1911, a 22-bay (semi-circular) and a 34-bay (three-quarter-shaped) roundhouse were operating on the site. Adjacent to both roundhouses, two 20-20 m diameter turntables were operating, and the premise encompassed all necessary service infrastructures (e.g. barracks, warehouses, offices, water tower, coal bunkers, and sorters, ash transporters, and workshops). The 53-meter-high water tower had a water tank of 1,000 cubic meters. The bottom of the tank mounts 29.55 m above the level of the tracks while the upper edge of the tank stretches 37.7 m above it.
The 34-bay roundhouse was the largest locomotive shed in Hungary; the two facilities together served 200 steam locomotives.
The smaller roundhouse was so badly damaged in World War II that it needed to be demolished, while the larger shed could continue to function in its original form.
From 1950, the Northern Depot was named after Kató Hámán, a communist activist, which name was used until the change of regime. With the modernization of MÁV’s locomotive fleet, first, the Swedish NOHAB diesel locomotives were stationed at the locomotive shed in the early 1960s, and then the V43 series electric locomotives at the end of the 1960s.
The site had 850 employees in the mid-1980s and serviced 100-110 electric, diesel, and steam locomotives. With the decline of steam locomotives, the depot increasingly played a repair and maintenance role, until its closure in 1997.
The Railway History Park, which opened in 2000, features more than 100 railway vehicles: locomotives, passenger and freight cars, rail cars, motor and hand carts, inspection cars, steam cranes, snowplows, snowblowers, and other specialties. The Railway History Park is one of the largest open-air museums and the first interactive railway museum in Europe. Visitors can not only admire the old vehicles but can also try them out. They can travel on a locomotive, or in the Czajka rail car, drive a hand car, turn on a turntable, or sit on a horse-drawn railway. One of the favorite attractions of the park, which is expanding year by year, is the garden railway where passengers can ride through an 870 m long track towed by small locomotives. A special feature of the park is that not only the rolling stock but also the railway infrastructure (e.g. turntables, inspection pits, service facilities) can be viewed.