Cité du Train in Mulhouse is the largest railway museum in Europe with more than 1,000 cars,locomotives, and other train memorabilia. It also is very probably the best. The museum first opened in 1964 and reopened in January 2016 after a complete renovation. The expanded exhibition space holds a huge collection of French railway history.
The Train Trail takes you on a mix of entertaining adventures “Holiday Train” starts in a resort by the sea. André Micheline is on his way by train to a beach vacation when he has an ah-ha moment. Unable to doze off in the sleeping car, he has the idea to build a train with rubber wheels to prevent the constant clatter of the steel wheels on the rail joints.
In a not so pleasant “Railways and War” scenario, a loud explosion leads to a derailed locomotive. The twisted rails reveal sabotage. From wartime photos and film you see and hear the role of railways in the World Wars. A more comfortable ride is found in the plush Pullman first class car found in “The Journey” display. It can be compared with the 4th class cars’ wooden benches and the 3rd class faux leather seats. “Railroads and Mountains” may cause you to skip a wintertime train trip. The wheezing and panting of the steam engine as it pushes a rotary snowplow up a steep slope until it stalls is almost too real.
Guided tours are available or you can take a self-guided tour with or without an audio guide.