Dutch Steam Railway Holiday
New for 2019 is your chance to enjoy an innovative and varied tour around central and southern Holland including railway museums, trams, steam trains and the highlight – one of the major and superb steam festivals in Europe.
The fun begins when we meet at St Pancras in time to catch the mid-morning Eurostar to Brussels. Here we change into Belgium and Dutch Railways travelling via Roosendaal to Tilburg, our base for five nights.
A day to relish as we head to the south west of Holland via Rotterdam to the amazing dykes, dams and sluices (keeping the sea at bay) that were constructed following the infamous 1953 floods. Now the area has been developed for resettlement and tourism, and our day will include an excellent and very different railway, probably the finest operating preservation exposition in Holland, lunch is included. One of I.T.’s very best days out is completed by train back to Utrecht.
A “circular” rail tour today as we head north to Utrecht – take the “museum line” to the brilliant National Railway Museum, where there is a lot more than just railway interest. There is the “Great Discovery”, the “Steel Monsters” – an atmospheric ride into the history of the Nederlands – and the “Fire Test”!! Plenty of time here to enjoy the attractions and lunchtime refreshments before we head, by train and tram to Den Haag, the political capital of the Nederlands. So, let’s take a tram trip to a place called Maduradam. Here is one of Holland’s premier attractions. Railways, towns, ports, windmills, clogs and cheesy bits are all portrayed in miniature (and totally out of scale!) as you spend an hour or so wandering around. This is the perfect place for an early evening meal before returning to Tilburg.
Without a doubt the steam/railway/carnival atmosphere of the holiday begins with N.S. travel to the forest north of Utrecht to a place called Apeldoorn. Here is the northern terminus of the V.S.M. Railway who are holding their annual steam gala. Vintage buses, vintage cars, twelve (minimum) steam loco’s in action operating to the most amazing and intensive schedule over 15 miles of standard gauge railway. This description is only the beginning of an absolutely superb event – you won’t want the day to end and past Inside Trackers have described this event as one of the best they have ever been to.
Today we will head for the “hills”, for there are some! in the Nederland’s deep south – Limburg. Here we find the major tourist attraction in the area – steam, vintage railcars and even a branch line into Germany. The Zuid-Limburgse-Stoomtrain-Maatchappij (ZLSM) operates from Simpelveld, and has main line “connections”, so this will be a “proper” rail day out.
So, sadly, it’s homeward bound and a nice, easy start to begin the journey, retracing our route via Roosendaal to Brussels then by Eurostar back into London by late afternoon.
The Mercure Central – Tilburg
A four star appointed city centre hotel. Very nice rooms with all the usual amenities. A restaurant, swimming pool and bars will complement our stay for 5 nights. Around and about is Heuvelplein (Heuvel Square) with shops, cafes and restaurants, and underground (Holland’s largest!) cycle park!