I'm considering a visit to Utrecht for Modelspoor in late October. Has
anyone else been? Is it as good as it looks? It looks bigger than Warley
and seems to include a very large trading area. Correct? The idea would
be go Thursday from the UK attend Friday and probably Saturday and return
home Saturday late.
I'd like to fit in a visit to the Utrecht Railway Museum as well and would
probably do that Friday PM.
The timing is flexible at the moment, if it's worthwhile I'd happily stay an
extra day (could tack on either end). What would make it worthwhile
staying the extra day? Another museum (trains/trams/planes); maybe a local
model show somewhere else in the Amsterdam/Utrecht/Rotterdam triangle.
The Utrecht museum is well worth a visit. Some fine old locos, including
a few old British ones, mainly WD iirc.
If they are doing the ghost train talk, see that - even though it is all
in Dutch, you get the idea, and the kids love it - it is quite funny.
I've been there 3 times, and would gladly go again.
It's been a couple of years since I last went but I don't suppose
things have changed much. I don't think the layout quality quite
matches that of the best UK exhibitions. I've seen some stunning
layouts but I've seen some rubbish. The "flea market" trading area
tends to concentrate on second hand ready to run, not too many of the
specialist traders that you get at Warley. It's different to Warley
but well worth a visit if you've not been before. Take plenty of cash
if you intend to buy as a lot of the second hand traders don't take
Also worth checking out what's on in the other halls. Last time I
went, there was a cycling exhibition on next door. I enjoyed that
nearly as much as the trains!
I find that it's not as good as it was 5/6 years ago. A lot of the
layouts I've seen there are the same as 5 years ago. Having said that
it's one of the better ones over here although I found that the
exhibition in Den Bosch was much more interesting when I went to it a
couple of years ago, probably aided by the fact that there were more
British outline layouts there, EM/P4 even, and there was more of a
variation in the layouts. Don't think it's been held recently tho'.
It's certainly big enough to spend all day there if you arrive at
opening time and stay until closing and probably at least half the next
day as well. I keep forgetting to take butties with me when I go
(although seeing as how I lived 20 minutes walk away for many years
it wasn't really a problem - nowadays I've got a 2 hour train ride).
As someone else said, take plenty of cash. The traders there are made
up of Dutch and German shops. Whilst the Dutch traders will usually take
a card on a Dutch bank account (the act of which is called Pinnen), the
German ones usually won't and I don't recall most of them taking
You can get cash at the hole-in-the-wall machines but there's always
a long line at the ones in the Jaarbeurs itself. If you can, use some
others (depending on where you stay). If you use any in the shopping
centre, be very careful. I lived there, I know.
Also, the traders tend to be generic box shops. Lots of HO, N, Z,
second-hand, not many specialists (GMS tends to be the only one for
train stuff; I invariably spend lots of time looking at his stuff but
you can probably get it cheaper in the UK; the rest tend to be
electronics experts). You might find it expensive - I'm used to the
prices now and invariably have a list of what I want.
I used to frequent the railway museum a lot. I'm undecided if it's
better now that it's been renovated. It's certainly different than
before and I liked the trip round the trains in the cart :-)
The tram museum has had a lot of work done in recent years and was shut.
The website implies that it's open again. However buried away in
their flyer is a disclaimer that says that there will be a lot of
work on the line this year and that the trams may not be running on
certain days and that you should check the local press (!) and the
website to be certain.
Finally a disclaimer: I now live in the south of NL and I'm not as
attached to Utrecht and what's going on there as I used to be so I
may be out of date. I still miss the model shop there though :-(
I went to the museum last year, it's well worth a visit and it really good
for kids....wish I had a wide angle lens with me when I was there, some of
the exhibits are quite close together.....
There's a WD 2-10-0 - "Longmoor" there.
The Massive 1:24(ish) model village Madurodam is also well worth a
visit....you can spend best part of a day there too.
(google it for images)
The Hague's about an hour from amsterdam from memory.....
I've yet to see a decent model shop in amsterdam, but the Marklin shop in
Utrecht (and the one just opposite it) are pretty good.
The Marklin shop there is pretty new. Kuijpers' hobby shop (opposite)
has been there for years and is pretty good as model shops here go (I
still miss it).
There are a few decent model shops in Amsterdam but you have to know
where to find them. One of the best is near to where I used to live
but I can't remember the name now... hang on, let me look it up...
right, I believe it's SchaalTreinenHuis, Bilderdijkstraat 94,
Amsterdam. Not bad as shops over here go but it's closed on Sundays.