The Little Hungarian, one of the oldest narrow-gauge steam locomotives in Slovakia, may return in the near future to the historic forest railway in Vychylovka, Čadca District, in the north of central Slovakia.
The locomotive U34.901, which had its last ride in 2016, is undergoing refurbishment following a €25,000 grant awarded to Kysuce Museum by the Culture Ministry.
The machine was built in Budapest in 1909 by the Fabrika plant, which is known for the famous MÁV steam locomotives.
Based on a restoration plan worked out by Peter Kallo, a certified restorer and expert on the restoration of historic transport vehicles and railway transport equipment, a wheelset, axial bearings, brake system and a locomotive frame should all be refurbished.
“Over the past year, Kysuce Museum managed to have the right block of a steam cylinder repaired,” the spokesperson said.
This year, the museum could obtain further money from the ministry. If everything goes well, more funds could help the museum complete the first half of the locomotive refurbishment, as outlined in Kallo’s plan, and start the works on the second half as well.
“It will focus on a boiler, fittings, sandblasting, painting, and the overall completion of the locomotive to make it operable again,” Jančulová said.
First used in Čierny Balog
The Little Hungarian was initially used on the forest railway in Čierny Balog, Brezno District, central Slovakia, before Kysuce Museum decided to buy it in 1975.
“After thorough repairs at the Šverm Ironworks in Podbrezová, Brezno District, the locomotive was delivered to the museum in 1977,” said Kysuce Museum spokesperson Miroslava Jančulová.
In 2003, the locomotive was declared a national cultural monument.
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