The website states that the Nederlands Spoorwegmuseum (also: Het Spoowegmuseum) is the best train station in the Netherlands. In fact, the Dutch Railway Museum is a huge place in a historic terminus. There are so many things to see, I likely did not cover all of them during my visit. Let me take you to that place in Utrecht.
Dutch Railway Museum – Location & Admission
The museum is located in the former Maliebaan station. The collection was moved several times, until the station Southeast of the city center was not used any more and could be transformed into the museum space. However, one track of the station is still in use, offering hourly rail services to Utrecht Centraal station. The museum also drives a rather large parking lot, which is 9.50 EUR daily fee. You have to state, though, that especially on weekends, this space may be too limited. The museum is located in the low-emission zone of Utrecht. In case you have a diesel car built 2000 or before, you are not allowed to drive there.
The museum is opening daily, 10:00 to 17:00 hrs. Adult admission is 17.50 EUR. The Dutch Museumkaart is valid and leads to free entry. The museum also accepts some alternative museum ticket subscriptions. Even if you are not a train person, blocking less than three hours for your visit is extremely optimistic.
Dutch Railway Museum – The Visit
The museum grounds are massive. Basic facilities like ticketing, a cafe and some showcases are located in the former train station building. Then you cross a couple of tracks (including the one used for the shuttle train) and reach the indoor area, which ia huge train shed with several attractions. This area features another restaurant and the opportunity to visit one of the many outdoor attractions. The documentation is typically in Dutch and in English.
Listing all the items which are in display at the Dutch Railway Museum is absolutely impossible regarding the capacity of a Flyctory.com review. The website lists over fifty engines and trains only. On top of that, you have a lot of cars, cargo and passenger rail. Quite a lot of the rolling stock can be entered as well, which is pretty cool. Thereby, you explore numerous luxury and government trains, for example. However, the museum is not only fun and entertaining, but also thoughtful and educating. One part of the exhibition also reminds of the freight cars used to bring Dutch jews to the concentration and extermination camps like Camp Vught. On the other hand, former Mitropa cars or the Trans Europe Express are going far beyond the Dutch borders.
Apart from trains and rolling stock, you can also visit model train exhibition. Another popular attraction is the raiway turntable, which is located at the end of the large exhibition hall. On top of that, there are numerous showcases with rail memorabilia, as you could also see in some of the pictures above.
Dutch Railway Museum – Services
As said, there are two snack-type restaurants on the museum premises. There is also a cinema and 3D show as well as a gift shop, which offers some cool items.
Especially in the outside areas, there are a couple of attractions for kids, e.g. a playground. The small visitors might also enjoy the ride with the Jumbo Express garden train. Regardless of your age, you might also want to try out a train simulator.
Dutch Railway Museum – My View
Whatever I write about this place, it will not be sufficient. The Nederlands Spoorwegmuseum is just an outstanding place. The museum overall is an outstanding overview of European rail history – with a focus to the country next to the North Sea. Some parts almost feel like an amusement park. Even if you don’t like technical museums too much, this one is a must-visit when you are in or around Utrecht.
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