Kiev Children’s Railway
If you have a passion for trains then you simply have to visit the Kiev Children’s Railway in Ukraine. This unique and dynamic project provides youths in the country with the chance of a lifetime – the chance to conduct and work on a real-life steam train!
Located in Sirez Park, the Children’s Railway in the magnificent city of Kiev is often misunderstood to be a gimmick – a remote-controlled steam engine that has been created purely for touristic purposes. But this is not remotely true. Perhaps the reason so many people think this is because this little narrow-gauge line is left in the capable hands of educated 9-15 year old children! Of course, their efforts are supervised by experienced professionals, but essentially it is the children who work on the trains during the summer holidays as mechanics, conductors and train-drivers.
The Kiev Children’s Railway is essentially one of the best learning tools ever created. During the year children work hard at their studies in order to learn as much as they can so that they can apply that information during their work on the railway during the school holidays. Then, when the school books are finally put away the children are allowed to take charge of noteworthy tasks such as driving the trains, transporting passengers, connecting train cars and more. The training is so enjoyable and logical that many of the children taking part in this process later go on to work in the railway industry.
If you visit Sirez Park during the summer months you’ll find that a ride on this little train is the perfect way to enjoy the wonders of the park. Located on the banks of the Sirez River which joins onto the Dnepr River, the park is a peaceful sanctuary in a busy city. Its history goes back at least as far as 1381! The Kiev Children’s Railway circumnavigates the park and consists of 2.8 kilometres of narrow-gauge line though originally it was a whopping 8 kilometres long. It was constructed in 1953, took three years to build and is not connected to main railway lines. The railway passes through a forest, dwellings, a recovery hospital, a ravine, a bridge, the Pioneer’s platform and two stations called Yablonka (Apple Tree) and Vishenka (Cherry Tree). Visitors will find it opens on May 2 and closes on the last Sunday of August, running from 11:00 to 16:00 daily. The average trip takes just 10 minutes and is a real treat!