Saturday, 2 October 2010
Flicking through the Utrecht section of our Netherlands guidebook, the railway museum caught the attention of both me and my husband.
We've been to railway museums in countries as obscure as Mongolia, and they always seem to have something different to get excited about. So it's saying something to say that this is (currently) my favourite train museum.
It's housed in and alongside an old station, with various old trains gathered on the tracks inside a huge, warehouse-like space. Oh, and one in the air, so you can walk underneath and admire the engineering (impressive even if you're not into that kind of thing).
The things that lift this museum above the average are the special exhibits, which have been constructed with a huge amount of both imagination and attention to detail. Highlights inlcuded a full-size model of the historical town, designed to encapsulate the time when the first train ran in Holland; scale models of some very innovative bridge designs; an Orient Express carriage and dining car; and a (gentle) rollercoaster ride through some scenes from train history.
Plus, we got a great deal on coffee and incredible appelgebak (a kind of apple pie, which I'm going to try and recreate at home this afternoon) in the lovely cafe.
If you enjoy trains even a fraction as much as we do, you'd love this museum. Admission is expensive, but you can buy a whole-year Dutch museum pass for about 45 Euros, which makes it all a bit more affordable. I think it'd be a great place for kids, too.
With thanks to my husband, who was mostly in charge of the camera whilst we were visiting the museum.