Saturday, 2 October 2010

Utrecht Railway Museum

Train at Utrecht railway museum

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).

Utrecht railway museum

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.

Utrecht railway museum

Utrecht railway museum

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.


Anonymous said...

What fabulous pics! Love the raised train - very cool.

Judy Harper said...

My grandson would so enjoy this museum! He loves trains and planes, I have a feeling most eight year boys do. I'm already getting comments on your pictures!

LindyLouMac said...

My husband would definitely enjoy a visit here.

Ruth said...

Rachel, i must say your husband is a good photographer..:)

very nice pictures!!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

You're right: railway museums are fascinating. Excellent pictures.

ScoMan said...

My boss would love it there. He's such a train freak. There's pictures of trains all over the office. He flew to America to ride some old 1800's steam train on 1880s rail (or 1880's steam train on 1800s rail)

PS You need to share the recipe for that apple pie. I do enjoy apple pie.

Kelly Fletcher said...

Great pics, looks like an interesting place. Also makes me want to hop on a plane/train and head right back to the Netherlands. It's a great place and it's been nice to see a bit more of it through your blog, so thanks for that.

cornflakegirl74 said...

I would love to go to this museum. Trains have fascinated me ever since I was a young child. The raised train is definitely a selling point!

The appelgebak sounds delish, please post a recipe for your creation! I also love the Dutch language. I studied it for a year in college because I speak German fluently and knew both languages were similar. It wasn't until I took the course that I realized not so much :) But it's the cutest, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I do love trains and the sound of trains, which is why I'm glad we are only a block and a half from railroad tracks. We're close enough to hear the whistle but far enough so that there isn't any rattle except on the 3rd floor when the train load is heavy. And traffic isn't that frequent.

Melissa B. said...

Sounds like you're having a great deal of fun. I'd love to take a ride in that train!

Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish said...

Wow! That looks really amazing! I have to say I love your little travel journals. Makes me feel like I have been somewhere exciting!

A 2 Z said...

Hi Rachel,

Its been a while. I was in Holland a few times last year. For some reason the company my husband works for love KLM and we are always passing through going to some other destination. Last year I decided that I wanted to visit Delft. I loved it. I even wrote a post about it. I also loved Amsterdam but did not eat some of their famous hash/cakes LOL. This museum is so beautiful. At the moment the feeds do not work on my blog and I do not have a clue on how to fix them. I'm back at work anyway so the blogging activities are down a bit. All the best in Holland.


Kazzy said...

That looks like a cool museum. My boys would have loved it. ps... has your husband ever been in one of your photos yet?

A Cuban In London said...

That's a superb post. Loved all the photos. Thank your husband for us. :-)

Greetings from London.

Jamie said...

What a magnificent place! The photos are beautiful, thank you for sharing them.

This is my first time here, but I will be back! :)

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