The venue for the international round of INESPO 2016 is ‘Het Spoorwegmuseum’ (the Railway museum) in Utrecht. On May Monday 30. and Tuesday 31. the olympiad will be held in this beautiful location.

More information about the museum;

The Railway Museum (Dutch: Spoorwegmuseum) in Utrecht is the Dutch national railway museum. It was established in 1927 and since 1954 has been housed in the “Maliebaan station”, a former railway station. The museum was established in 1927 and was initially located in one of the main buildings of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch National Railroad) in Utrecht. At that time, the collection consisted mostly of pictures, documents, and small objects. In the 1930s the first steps were taken to conserve old historically significant rail equipment. A portion of this collection was lost during World War II.

Over the years, more rail equipment and also tram equipment was added to the museum, and in the 1960s the plaza in front of the building was filled with rolling stock, which suffered much from the weather. An initial improvement, in 1975, was the construction of a roofed platform behind the building. In 1977 the museum was expanded with a pedestrian bridge, allowing access to an exhibit area on the other side of the freight rail tracks behind the main building. The space in front of the building was then converted to a parking lot.

The right wing of the main building contained the “historic” department, with the “modern” department located in the left wing. Among the distinctive parts of the collection are models of bridges from early on in the development of the Dutch railroads, and models of various train types. In addition there are paintings, prints, and railway equipment to be seen. The “modern” section was changed in the 1980s when it was updated to include the most recent developments, including the front of a “Sprinter” train.

Between 1988 and 1989 a major renovation was undertaken. The interior of the station building was completely redone according to the modern views of that time. This version was in place through 2003. In addition, the back lot was integrated into the museum and a “railway landscape” was built there. It also became possible to take rides, both in model trains and full sized ones. Additional buildings were added, such as the signal house from Hoogezand-Sappemeer, and a crossing guard house from Elst (in the province of Gelderland). One of the oldest railroad bridges, from Halfweg, was also included. Finally, rail service between the main railroad station of Utrecht and the Maliebaan station(the museum) was established.

Later additions, in the 1990s, were two cargo barns, one of which now houses a restaurant, and a new building on the back lot with a large model railroad. The growing collection of rolling stock was largely restored, and partly returned to operating condition. Some of the trains had suffered due to being stored out in the open, so there has been an ongoing effort to have the entire exhibit area roofed over.

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