An exciting day out at Museum Railway STAR

Take a special time travel by train at Museum Railway STAR. De Stichting Stadskanaal Rail, as the railway is officially called, was established in June 1992. The main goal is to preserve the historic railway line between Veendam-Stadskanaal and Stadkanaal-Musselkanaal as an industrial monument of the Peat colonies. The addition of STAR to the name of the mobile museum is a nod to the ‘Stadskanaal-Ter Apel-Rijksgrens’. In the 1920s this was the Groningen-Drentsche Spoorwegmaatschappij.

Museum Railway STAR, how it all started

The current railway line of the section between Veendam and Musselkanaal is a remnant of what was built at the beginning of the last century. Both STAR and NOLS, the North-Eastern Local Railway Company, have focused on this. Starting in 1905, this enabled Stadkanaal to be reached from the direction of the Drentse Gieten. In the years that followed, the line network was expanded with both the line Emmen to Stadskanaal and the line Stadskanaal to Veendam. When the Musselkanaal-Ter Apel railway line was completed, Stadskanaal became the most important junction. In addition to people, goods were also transported by line from Stadskanaal.

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Deployment of many volunteers

Although the museum train was established in 1992, the first train did not run until 1994. There was a lot of overdue maintenance and the 27 kilometer long railway line also had to be cleared of the necessary trees and shrubs. Until 1991, the Dutch Railways had kept the railway line accessible with minimal effort, but numerous platforms, level crossings and stations had already been demolished. Thanks to the efforts of many volunteers, the first museum train ran in 1994, which meant that 25 years of the STAR Museum Railway could be celebrated at the end of 2017. Today, the museum train is a popular attraction in the region and far beyond.

A colored timetable

On the website of the museum railway you will discover a colored timetable that tells you exactly when the trains will depart. For example, trains run the route between Stadskanaal and Veendam on green driving days and also between Stadskanaal and Musselkanaal on red driving days. On yellow driving days, an event is scheduled and the train is not running. On blue driving days, there is a special timetable in force that is announced on the website at least one month in advance. You will also find all the information about the Stadskanaal, Veendam and Musselkanaal stations on the website, as well as the Bareveld and Wildervank stops.

Museum and permanent exhibition

In addition to a special train journey, you can also visit the museum at Museum Railway STAR. Here you can, among other things, view a real steam locomotive from the inside and take a seat in the driver’s seat. In addition, there is a permanent exhibition about the history of the railway and films are shown regularly. When you have purchased a train ticket, entrance to the museum is also free.

Arrangements and combination tickets

If you really want to get the most out of your visit to Museumspoorlijn STAR, choose one of the various packages or combination tickets. For example, with the Blauwestad package you travel in both an electric train and a classic bus. This package also includes a boat trip on the beautiful Oldambtmeer and you visit the impressive sand sculptures of the Blauwestad. In addition, combinations with, for example, a visit to the Veenkoloniaal Museum in Veendam are also possible.

Lots to experience for children

Naturally, ample attention has also been paid to the youngest visitors of the museum railway. For example, they can work as a conductor for one day, or travel by steam train from Stadskanaal to Veendam to visit the Museum. For older children and of course adults, there is also the Gaststoker arrangement. You will participate on the steam locomotive and learn, under the guidance of an experienced fireman, how to get these imposing machines moving.

Out and about in your own train

Imagine you have a family reunion, a staff outing, a children’s party or otherwise something to celebrate. What could be better than getting out and about in your own steam or diesel train? Museumspoorlijn STAR offers you this unique opportunity and organizes an unforgettable day for your company and you. From train ride to buffet and from museum visit to coffee table, everything is possible. In addition, the media room in the carriage shed is ideal for business presentations and you can have a drink together to round off the beautiful station restaurant.

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