Railway Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands
I spend a fair bit of time on trains. I feel like I’ve seen a lot of them. And I’ve heard a lot of them.
The soothing buh-dum buh-dum of the European trains that wind their way past forests and through tunnels…
The futuristic hum of the Japanese trains that shoot past small towns on their mission to the big cities…
The sound of crazy as men talk to themselves and rustle brown paper bags on the American trains…
And the crashing ja-jang of the trains in Myanmar that throw passengers and bags about so hard you have to hang on.
But I had never heard much about the Dutch trains.
The Netherlands is better known for their boats – those that traditionally glide along the canals of the major cities, and those that once sailed across oceans to expand the empire.
But these days it’s the trains which transport people across the country and out to the rest of Europe. The railways have a long history, albeit one that doesn’t immediately come to mind.
In the Dutch city of Utrecht, a museum tells the story of the trains of The Netherlands. What started as a small exhibition in 1927 has grown into a large interactive experience that welcomes more than 350,000 visitors a year.
An old station called Maliebaan was initially converted for the museum but over the years it has been restored to its original style and the exhibits have spread out over a huge area behind it.
This very modern museum has rides, shows, restaurants… oh, and lots and lots of trains. It would not be hard for a family to spend half a day here with some children and I’m sure that’s what a lot of the local Utrecht residents were doing on the afternoon I visited.
I mean, it has a rollercoaster that takes you through the history of trains – how cool is that?!
The Railway Museum in Utrecht is also an extremely photogenic place. I would like to share with you some photos I took there so you can get a sense of it for yourself.
THE BEST ACCOMMODATION IN UTRECHT
Utrecht has a good range of accommodation and you should be able to find something in the city centre at a reasonable price.
For a good value hostel with a great vibe, I suggest Stayokay Utrecht Centrum.
If you’re on a budget, Hello B&B Utrecht has comfortable rooms and a great location.
When it comes to design hotels, I love what Hotel Beijers has done with the heritage building.
And with the best of modern luxury, Inntel Hotels Utrecht Centre also has a fantastic breakfast.
Time Travel Turtle was a guest of Visit Utrecht but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.
18 thoughts on “The end of the track”
They really have gone to great lengths to present a museum that is not only photogenic but also fun and educational! I would admittedly, quite enjoy the film that gives you the experience of being in the driver’s seat!
That film was really cool because the ‘carriage’ moved around as you sped down the track. I think it was designed for kids but I loved it! I guess I’m just a big kid when it comes to train museums!
I too love train travel, both the good times and the bad 😉 Looks like a fun museum, thanks for sharing.
It’s a pity that in Europe train travel is often more expensive than flights. I love going by railway too but I often seem to just go for the quickest and cheapest option.
If I was a kid in that simulator I don’t think they’d be able to get me to leave.
Even if you weren’t a kid, it would be hard to leave. It was pretty fun. I saw a few people going back for a second (or maybe third or fourth) time! 🙂
Looks like heaven to this train nut! Thanks for sharing – a must-see for me! -David
Let me know if you ever get there and what you think of it.
That second photo of the velvet seats just makes train travel seem so luxurious! I would love to travel in a vintage Pullman car.
It’s not really like that anywhere these days, is it? Oh, expect maybe some of those special tourist-only ones like the Ghan. But can you imagine jumping on a commuter train from London to Manchester and getting a carriage like that. Ha!
Andy loves trains, I bet he’d really enjoy this museum!
It’s a pity you didn’t get a chance to see it while you were in The Netherlands. Put it on the list for next time you head back there!
I’d definitely visit this place. I love trains. Thanks for sharing!
The great thing is that it’s a cool place to visit if you love trains. And then, even if you don’t, there’s so much to o and see that it’s really fun anyway!! 🙂
I like super-specific museums like this. Staring at paintings is fine for a while, but incredibly detailed exhibits on particular topics like railway travel is such a big learning experience that’s hard to duplicate the way you could by looking at pictures of paintings instead of visiting a museum of them.
I’m the same as you. I feel like I don’t learn enough at art galleries or generalist museums (although that probably says more about me than them). but somewhere like this you can really get absorbed in the world of train for an afternoon and feel like you’ve taken something onboard.
Love quirky museums like this! Looks like a fun place.
It’s super fun. I’m so glad that a museum about trains had some rides so you feel like you’re actually on the trains sometimes. It would be annoying otherwise because it makes train travel look so glamourous!