An expensive piece of track was my current exploration target, the Miljoenenlijn. The Zuid-Limburgse Stoomtrein Maatschappij operates a beautiful museum railway at Simpelveld station in southern Limburg (Netherlands).
Between 1924 and 1934 dams were set up here across the “Dutch Swiss”, roads were cut, bridges were built and tunnels were dug to be able to lay a 12.5 km long piece of track. The construction costs amounted to 12.5 million Dutch Guldens, ie 1 million Gulden for each kilometer of track.
With the “Miljoenenlijn-arrangement” booked in advance, there was a morning bus ride from Simpelveld to Kerkrade and back.
The ticket price of € 23.50 then included a lunch. First there was a strong and delicious tomato or chicken soup with bread rolls. The first drink of your choice was also included! Then the nice boss of the restaurant said we could quietly take part in the tour of the grounds before he serves the main course. He would be there afterwards, and then we would have much more time to eat. Good idea – that’s how we do it!
So we left the restaurant to have the expert explain the equipment at the station. In the end we knew, I believe, exactly how to prevent two trains from colliding due to driving on the same track. The explanations were in Dutch, very clearly spoken, so that we could understand almost everything, and if something was unclear, we were allowed to ask in German and also got a perfect German answer.
The tour ended at the ZLSM train workshop. There we could board the railbus again, which drove us first to Vetschau and then back to Simpelveld station.
The walk and the fun train ride had brought the appetite back, so that we now returned to the offer of the funny restaurant chef and sat down with him again to have the main course: Sauerfleisch with chips and applesauce. Sound exciting, but I could not quite imagine what that would look like. It was a sour roast with fries and applesauce. Unusual, but in Limburg a probably traditional and very tasty combination.
Here I was not for the first time and surely not for the last time!
The longest museum in the Netherlands is an absolute top tigertip for all railway fans. Great railroad experience, nice people, delicious food and a great price.
Zuid-Limburgse Stoomtrein Maatschappij
6369 VJ Simpelveld, Limburg
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