The long-awaited railway museum in Schaerbeek was officially opened on 24 September 2015 in the presence of His Majesty King Philippe of Belgium, and with the participation of Mrs Jacqueline Galant, Federal Minister of Mobility, Mr Jo Cornu, CEO of Belgian Railways SNCB, and Mr Luc Lallemand, CEO of the Belgian rail infrastructure manager Infrabel.
For the general public, Train World offers a spectacular panorama of Belgium’s history as a pioneer of railways on the European continent and a fascinating tale of the role of railways today and in the future. The past, present and future come together as one at Train World, in a central location next to the historic railway line between Mechelen and Brussels where, on 5 May 1835, 180 years ago, passengers in Belgium travelled by steam train for the first time.
Visitors will be able to admire the most precious artefacts of railway heritage, which were previously spread across five different sites in Belgium. For example, 22 pieces of rolling stock will be on display, along with 1.250 other items, 64 projections and over 20 interactive installations. School groups will receive customised learning packs and families with young children can explore Train World with the help of a cartoon strip.
The famous comic-book artist François Schuiten, a Schaerbeek resident, designed the scenography in partnership with Expoduo. This turns Train World into a real story, a succession of tableaux that sweeps visitors through the past, present and future of our railways. The experience opens up a whole world of railways and trains to discover.
The foyer of Train World will be located inside Schaerbeek Station, constructed in 1887 and extended in the 1920s. It is a building in the “Flemish Renaissance” style, a typical railway building style.
The new building, with a surface area of 8,000 m², has an industrial look with a saw-tooth roof reminiscent of railway workshops. This building is composed of four large halls that will accommodate legendary trains and railway memorabilia. Two of the halls also have train tracks (connected to the main railway lines) to allow rolling stock to move in and out of the building.
UIC was represented at the official inauguration on 24 September by Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux and several directors who were involved in the preparation of Train World, in particular in the production of the joint film “Train in the Future”.