Delve into to the history of public transport in the capital
With the Easter holidays having got under you might be looking for a interesting and inexpensive destination for a family day out. The Brussels Urban Transport Museum is one such destination. The museum that is run by volunteers charts the history of public transport in the capital from 1850. The museum is housed in two of three halls of the Woluwe Tram Depot that is a listed building.
The tram depot that now houses the museum opened at the end of the 19th century to serve the new line between the Jubel Park and Tervuren that was constructed to link the two site of the 1897 World Exhibition. The site was expanded considerably in 1907/08 and further expansions over the years meant that by 1952 the Woluwe Depot site had a total surface area of 12,000m².
In 1976 two of the depots three halls were no longer in use and it was decided that they should become a transport museum. In 1982 the Brussels public transport company MIVB handed over responsibility for running the museum to a not-for-profit group made up of (former) staff and transport enthusiasts.
What is there to see?
The building that houses the museum is in its selfs remarkable. The beautiful wooden beam roof structure is a sight to behold. In 2001 the Woluwe Tram Depot site, including the two halls that house the museum was given listed building status. Major renovation work carried out between 2006 and 2009 restored the depot to its former glory.
The museum’s collection is one of the most extensive in the world. It features not only old trams but also buses, taxis, other vehicles and transport-related objects. Visitors are taken on journey from the “Belle-Epoque” through the 1958 World Exhibition to the early days of the Brussels Metro in the 1970s.
Volunteers maintain and restore the historic vehicles to high standards. The Brussels Urban Transport Museum charts the evolution of transport in Brussels from the 1850s.
The museum is open every Saturday, Sunday and on public holidays from 1 April to 30 September from 1pm to 6:30pm.
Tram lines 8, 39 and 44 stop outside as does bus route 36. The museum is next to the Tervurenlaan and as such is easily accessible by car. The museum has wheelchair access. However, the vehicles on display do not.