europe_transport_museums: Preserved motor-trailer tram set near Schwarzenbergplatz, Vienna (Default)
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Address: Prinses Elisabethplein 5, 1030 Schaarbeek
Opening times: Tue-Sun 10:00-17:00 (last admission 15:30)
Admission: 10 euros, concessions 7.50 euros

Visit date: March 2016

Access by public transport: The museum is based at Schaarbeek railway station, a major railway junction in the inner suburbs of Brussels, served by many local rail services and by city bus and tram routes.

Collection: The museum has a medium sized collection of steam and modern traction locomotives on static display, as well as a selection of assorted small exhibits. Highlights include the oldest surviving locomotive to run in Belgium, Pays de Waes, the Pacific 10.018 with its oddly short boiler, and the streamlined Atlantic 12.004. The collection is chosen for historical significance rather than maximum size. The oddest inclusion is a genuine railwayman's cottage, still on its original site and with the museum constructed around it. The interior is restored in post-war style.

Presentation: The museum is atmospherically but controversially designed by the celebrated Belgian comic creator Fran├žois Schuiten, with distinctive lighting effects that have aroused the hostility of people whose main objective when visiting a railway museum is to take photos. Some technical detail is lacking in the labelling, but the museum gives a good idea of the general and social history of the railways. A box van used for the deportation of Belgium's Jews to the Holocaust houses affecting newsreel footage of the events. On another macabre note, a display on level crossings is accompanied by a "scare 'em straight" son et lumiere depiction of a car being hit by a train!


europe_transport_museums: Preserved motor-trailer tram set near Schwarzenbergplatz, Vienna (Default)

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