In the spotlight #1 – Steam trains in the Netherlands

Sven Peeters
Sven Peeters12-05-2023

Groningen: Stichting Stadskanaal Rail (STAR) Veendam-Stadskanaal

Museumspoorlijn STAR (Stichting Stadskanaal Rail) - Stadskanaal - Nederland
Museumspoorlijn STAR (Stichting Stadskanaal Rail) - Stadskanaal - Nederland
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Museumspoorlijn STAR (Stichting Stadskanaal Rail) steam train - Stadskanaal
The museum offers visitors a unique opportunity to become acquainted with the history of rail transport in the Netherlands and in particular the region around Stadskanaal. The museum has a large colle

This beautiful museum railway takes you on a journey back in time, on the border of Groningen and Drenthe. In just 40 minutes you can travel by train from Stadskanaal to Veendam, or vice versa, passing through the stations Bareveld and Wildervank (although you cannot get on or off at these stations). On certain days, the train also runs between Stadskanaal and Nieuw-Buinen. At Stadskanaal station you get the unique opportunity to view an authentic steam locomotive from the inside and even sit in the driver's seat. There is also an extensive exhibition about the history of this railway.

Groningen: Stichting Stadskanaal Rail (STAR) Veendam-Stadskanaal

When purchasing a train ticket, you also have free access to the STAR Museum in Stadskanaal. At the STAR you can also participate in some special arrangements, such as a day as a conductor, diesel engine driver or guest stoker. Even an overnight stay in the STAR wagon is possible. In short, this museum railway offers a unique and unforgettable experience for anyone interested in railway history and fascinated by historic trains and locomotives.

Overijssel: Museum Buurtspoorweg (MBS) Haaksbergen-Boekelo

Museum Buurtspoorweg - Haaksbergen - Nederland
Museum Buurtspoorweg - Haaksbergen - Nederland
Museum Buurtspoorweg - Haaksbergen - Nederland
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Museum Buurtspoorweg steam train - Haaksbergen
Go back in time and discover the exciting history of our local railway. At Haaksbergen station you will meet station master Laponder, feel like a real driver in a steam locomotive from 1896, help the

The railway line of the MBS between Haaksbergen and Boekelo in Overijssel has a length of more than seven kilometers. The MBS has an extensive collection of small Dutch diesel locomotives. Both stations in Haaksbergen and Boekelo have museums. As soon as you enter the station in Haaksbergen, you are immediately immersed in the atmosphere of the past. Here you can buy train tickets and in the waiting room you will meet travelers of yesteryear. There is much to see in and around the station, such as the workshop and the goods shed. For questions you can contact the depot assistant, for example about the operation of a boiler of the steam locomotive or if your child wants to fill a bucket of coal himself. In the goods shed you can enjoy coffee, tea, cakes and soft drinks, and there is a museum shop.

Buy a ticket

At the railway crossing in Boekelo you will find a small building where you can buy a ticket from the station master of Boekelo on driving days. Here is the museum depot where most of the locomotives and wagons are still to be restored. For children there is a wagon specially equipped with play areas, and there are several large model railways. Of course, children can also cut their own card and there are numerous interactive assignments in which they can participate.

North Holland: Museum Steam Tram Hoorn-Medemblik (SHM)

Stoomtram Hoorn-Medemblik - Hoorn - Nederland
Stoomtram Hoorn-Medemblik - Hoorn - Nederland
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Stoomtram Hoorn-Medemblik steam train - Hoorn
Discover the steam trams in the Historical Triangle between Hoorn, Medemblik and Enkhuizen. With Bello or one of our other locomotives you drive through the West Frisian landscape from Hoorn to Medemb

On May 23, 1968, the first journeys with museum equipment were made on the former goods and shunting yard of Hoorn station, including the famous Blokkendoos carriages of the NS. Although this is not a steam train, this museum and tourist steam tram company still offers a unique experience. Visitors can discover everything about the history of steam trams in the Netherlands, from the tram station and signal box to the exhibition 'De Tijdlijn' and the beautiful Bello Atelier, where historic locomotives and carriages can be admired. The steam trams make stops along the way at the historic stations of Wognum, Twisk, Opperdoes and Medemblik. At Wognum station there is even time to look around.


The railway dates back to 1887 and the tram journey from Hoorn to Medemblik takes about 1.5 hours. Upon arrival in Medemblik, visitors can choose to sail across the IJsselmeer to Enkhuizen on the 1956 museum ship 'Friesland', which takes another 1.5 hours. The museum ship moors at the Zuiderzee Museum, which is also worth a visit. If you plan to travel from Hoorn to Medemblik and back, you should definitely take into account at least 4 hours. But it is of course also possible to look around the city and not travel back immediately.

Gelderland: Veluwse Stoomtrein Maatschappij (VSM) Apeldoorn-Animals

De Veluwsche Stoomtrein Maatschappij - Beekbergen - Nederland
De Veluwsche Stoomtrein Maatschappij - Beekbergen - Nederland
De Veluwsche Stoomtrein Maatschappij - Beekbergen - Nederland
De Veluwsche Stoomtrein Maatschappij - Beekbergen - Nederland
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De Veluwsche Stoomtrein Maatschappij Culture - Beekbergen
Every Sunday in October, young and old will have the chance to ride the VSM steam train.' The steam train will depart from Apeldoorn at 11:45 am and will then leave Beekbergen at 12:15 pm for a journe

The 22 kilometer long route between Dieren and Apeldoorn has been active since 1975 and has its headquarters in Beekbergen. The railway line on which the steam trains run is more than a hundred years old and runs between Apeldoorn and Dieren. During the tourist season, which runs from the beginning of April to the end of October, this train runs every Sunday and even six days a week in the summer. During the summer, the steam train also continues to Dieren three days a week. During the normal timetable, the train stops at the stations Apeldoorn, Beekbergen, Halte Immenbergweg, Loenen and Eerbeek. There is a Museum steam depot of the VSM at Beekbergen station, where travelers have 40 minutes to look around before returning to Eerbeek.

A fun fact

During the Sinterklaas arrival in Apeldoorn in 2019, Sinterklaas used the VSM because the Apeldoorn canal was too narrow for Pakjesboot 12. The VSM also organizes special packages, rides and events, such as at Halloween, Sinterklaas and Christmas. Visitors can enjoy unique experiences and activities, such as taking a ride on a steam train in a fairytale winter setting. In short, the VSM offers a unique and unforgettable experience for anyone interested in the history of Dutch railways and who shares the fascination for historic trains and locomotives.

Limburg: South Limburg Steam Train Company (ZLSM) Kerkrade-Schin op Geul

Miljoenenlijn - Zomeravond Expres Simpelveld - Simpelveld - Nederland
Miljoenenlijn - Zomeravond Expres Simpelveld - Simpelveld - Nederland
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Miljoenenlijn - Zomeravond Expres Simpelveld steam train - Simpelveld
The Miljoenenlijn is operated by the South Limburg Steam Train Company (ZLSM). During the ride, travelers can enjoy the spectacular view of the hilly landscape and historic villages, such as Valkenbur

The Miljoenenlijn is a popular tourist railway between Kerkrade and Schin op Geul, which is operated by the Zuid-Limburgse Stoomtrein Maatschappij (ZLSM). The ZLSM has an impressive collection of historic trains, including steam locomotives from Sweden and carriages from the Belgian Railways, the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits and the Dutch Railways.

Boarding and disembarking at various stations

Visitors can choose from a ride on the steam train or the diesel train, each of which has its own timetable. Along the way, travelers can disembark and re-board later to continue their journey. In the past, Simpelveld border station was the economic center on the railway line from Aachen to Maastricht, where customs officers checked all travellers. Smugglers traded their goods in one of the eight cafes opposite the station. Today there is a small museum, a restaurant with a terrace, play equipment and a mini train.

Various events

Various events are organized on the Miljoenenlijn during the year. In November there are the Sinterklaas rides, where children and parents go on a trip with the Pieten to visit the Sint. From mid to late December there is the Christmas Expres, where visitors can enjoy the beautiful winter landscape of South Limburg and visit the Christmas markets in Valkenburg, Heerlen or Maastricht.

A visit to the Continium in Kerkrade is highly recommended before you continue your journey with an Arriva train from Schin op Geul to Valkenburg, Heerlen or Maastricht. The Christmas Express departs every two hours from Simpelveld and travelers with a day ticket can also travel from Simpelveld by Railbus to Kerkrade or the German Vetschau.

In short, the Miljoenenlijn is a fascinating and unique experience for anyone interested in historic trains and locomotives and who wants to explore the beautiful landscape of South Limburg.

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