Visiting the world's train graveyards

Visiting the world’s train graveyards

Tuning into Channel 4 on any given day, you will no doubt eventually see an ident featuring an airplane graveyard in a dusty desert.

This is Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California and it has been where airplanes have been coming to retire for years. Sites such as these are the final resting point for mighty birds that have patrolled the skies for decades and can make for magnificent viewing. Some planes are stored to be used for spare parts while others are just left to bask in the sun.

These graveyards are fairly common across the world with nine currently spread across the southern states of the US. Australia, the UK and Kyrgyzstan also have similar arrangements with Britain's formerly being at RAF Shawbury. It was originally opened following the end of World War II but was decommissioned and shut down in 1972.

It is not just planes that these graveyards are reserved for. In recent years, there has been the discovery of a series of train graveyards found across the US, parts of South America and Europe. There is a sense of macabre when gazing upon what was once a powerful engine reduced to not much more than a decaying piece of metal.

So what are the most talked about train graveyards across the world? Here are of the best that the globe has to offer.

Railway Museum Graveyard – Cincinnati, Ohio, US

Cincinnati's Railway Museum Graveyard is one of very few of its kind that has actively created a shrine to the locomotives of yesteryear. First opened in 1975, this four-acre museum has a wide array of abandoned and decommissioned trains. The majority belonged to the seven railways that enter Cincinnati and are relics of the city.

Yanov Abandoned Train Station – Pripyat, Ukraine

Pripyat was once a bustling city in the north of Ukraine, close to the border of Belarus, but the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 turned this part of Eastern Europe into a ghost town. People have gradually left the area after the incident, leaving places like Yanov Station.

The abandoned station is a timely reminder of Ukraine under the rule of the Soviet Union with trains harking back to that era. It also has an eerie feel to it as it lies less than half a mile from the infamous 'Bridge of Death' where locals were killed by massive radiation poisoning during the disaster.

Winslow Junction – New Jersey, US

Unlike the Cincinnati and Pripyat, Winslow Junction in New Jersey highlights the decline of railway industry in certain parts of this expansive country. Winslow Junction was once one of the busiest junctions on the east coast of the US and was the base of the Southern Railroad; over the years it has been left to rot.

This part of the US's railway network was the site of a famous train crash when in July 1922 an Atlantic City-bound train known as The Owl derailed travelling at 90mph resulting in the death of seven people, injuring many others.