istvantelek-railway-workshop-budapest (All images by True British Metal; Istvantelek’s eerie abandoned railway workshop)

We’ve explored abandoned locomotives and railway graveyards before on Urban Ghosts, but the utterly derelict Istvantelek train workshop in Hungary is by far the most compelling we’ve yet encountered. Located near Budapest, the rusting rolling stock of the country’s chequered past has been left to rot for many years amid what has been termed the Red Star Train Graveyard.

istvantelek-railway-workshop-budapest-2 (Abandoned locomotives in the so-called Red Star Train Graveyard)

Among the rusting relics are a massive four cylinder MAV 301 steam locomotive, manufactured between 1911 and 1914, and an assortment of carriages that are chillingly claimed to have been used by the Nazis during World War Two to transport hundreds of thousands of Jews to the Auschwitz death camp.

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istvantelek-railway-workshop-budapest-4 (It’s said that Istvantelek’s rusting carriages may have been used to transport Jewish prisoners to Auschwitz)

Throughout the utterly derelict railway workshop, a variety of abandoned steam engines sit on rusting tracks as the roof collapses to the earthen floor around them. Light pierces the gloomy interior as nature slowly reclaims the eerily forgotten space which has drawn urban explorers from far and wide.

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According to the Daily Mail: “The repair shop opened in the early 1900s and has witnessed 80 years of tumultuous Hungarian history that included the fall of a monarchy, Nazi occupation and transformation into communist state loyal to the Soviet Union.

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“Among the decaying carriages are trains that look identical to those used by the Nazis to transport nearly 440,000 Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz between May and July 1944.”

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Urban explorer Mathew Growcoot told the tabloid: “It was definitely eerie being in there, I’d read online about the carriages being used by Nazis and some of them looked identical to the ones you can see in photographs taken at Auschwitz… It was shocking to think of the horrors that may have taken place on the carriages I was photographing.”

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Some believe the historic engines and carriages should be saved as reminders of the past and their possible role in the atrocities of Hitler’s Third Reich. It remains to be seen how much longer the rusting hulks can linger on as the crumbling workshop is overtaken by nature and its structure begins to collapse.

istvantelek-railway-workshop-budapest-7 (A variety of abandoned engines sit on rusting rails in Istvantelek’s train graveyard))

Whether these specific carriages were really used by the Nazis for the movement of Jewish prisoners during World War Two, or whether the stories represent a local urban legend that has grown up around an already-eerie location, is unclear. But if indeed the claims are accurate, they add a far more tragic dimension to the abandoned railway workshop and its decaying rolling stock.

istvantelek-railway-workshop-budapest-12 (All images by True British Metal; nature reclaims the abandoned Istvantelek railway workshop)

Related – “Death Bed Confession” May Lead to Legendary Nazi Gold Train