A Type 12 Atlantic locomotive on display at Train World // © 2015 SNCB/NMBS Photographe: Marie-Francoise
Feature image (above): Trains // © 2015 Melissa Karlin
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Train lovers rejoice — the immersive and extensive Train World has opened in Brussels. This new showcase, designed by Francois Schuiten, presents the history of train engineering and its revolutionary impact on the small European country.
Located partly in the historic Schaerbeek station built in 1887, which survived the devastation of both World Wars, this massive celebration of culture and engineering is awe-inspiring. Train World focuses on how far train technology has come since 1835, when Europe’s first public railway opened in Belgium, and what the future of train travel holds.
The exhibition describes itself as more than just another train museum; it’s a “train opera.” This is an apt description for the massive attraction. While it could have been overwhelming, it instead provides a well-thought-out immersive experience. With interactive media, multiple warehouses full of artifacts, train engines, royal carriages and more, the museum values visitor experience above all else. It also takes into consideration how children engage with the historical and technological aspects of the subject matter by offering spaces where exhibits can be touched and by allowing visitors to actually board some of the trains.
The museum is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Mondays, and ticket sales halt at 3:30 p.m. Visitors should give themselves half a day to have ample time to explore the exhibits.