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Home City Guide Tourist attractions Utrecht Railway Museum: Netherlands's rail heritage

Utrecht Railway Museum: Netherlands’s rail heritage

Last updated 5 months ago by Michael Darmanin

The Utrecht Railway Museum illustrates the vital link between the railways and society at large. The museum takes visitors to understand the significance of the railway industry with technological, economic and social development. Starting from the past through the present and into the future. According to the team running the museum, they believe that one of the main importance of the collection in the museum is the storyline and authenticity it gives the public.

For more information on visiting and ticket sell please click here.

Railways: From the beginning to now

Railways evolved throughout different periods with the track material, system and motive power usage. The beginning started in the 6th century (BC) in Greece through having a paved trackway. Men and animals would pull the vehicle. The system lasted for over 650 years. The introduction of wooden rails started in 1515. Metal rails came into play in the 1760s.

In 1784, the power to get the locomotive running was the steam engine. The development of the electric locomotive was in 1837. Diesel-powered locomotives took over in 1888. Unfortunately, the main problem with electric and diesel fuel was it was not fast enough. The maximum speeds they could reach was 200 kilometres an hour.

As technology advanced it applied to the engine power of trains. 1964 the year high-speed trains began to take over the tracks. The first electrified high-speed rail was between Tokyo and Osaka in Japan. The speed can power up to 300 kilometres an hour and above. The high-speed trains are now operating in Spain, France, Germany, Italy, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, UK, South Korea, Scandinavia, Belgium and the Netherlands. This advancement in the railway industry has seen declines in automotive traffic.

The Utrecht Railway Museum

Utrecht Railway Museum, established in 1927, was first located in one of the main buildings at the NS in Utrecht. The collections were pictures, documents and small objects. The first steps to conserving rail equipment were started in the 1930s. That part of the collection was lost in World War II. The new location was chosen in the 1950s. It is the Maliebaan station. The station was remodelled and reopened in 1954 for the public.

The collection consists of locomotives, carriages, scale models, steam engines, paintings, railway material and objects. The categories are (rolling stock), model trains, hand-cars, draisines and art. The museum has attractions, events and presentations. The temporary exhibition called ‘Toasties Truffles Trains” that has been running from June 19. It ends on 15 of November. There is a long history of food and drinks served at the station and aboard trains. The exhibition takes the visitors back to the time of luxurious restaurant cars and international trains.

The museum is open from Tuesdays to Sundays and caters to all audiences starting from ages 3 and up.

For more information on visiting and ticket sell please click here.

For updates on current and future exhibitions and events click here.

If you want more interesting places to visit there is the Rietveld House. A post on that architectural building can be found here.

Sarah Chebaro
Sarah Chebaro
Sarah Chebaro is an Architect/Graphic designer who graduated with a MSc from TU Delft. She realized she wants to delve into the Journalism world and is now pursuing that part of the creative field. She is a traveler and enjoys to start conversations to allow people to explore certain subjects that they do not normally think about. She is an athlete wanting to inspire people to get their goals and aspires to spread the truth about what is happening around us.


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