Sunday, September 12, 2021

Exhibition : From Peking to Hankow

Train World is the official museum of the NMBS/SNCB, the National Railway Company of Belgium. It is situated in the old but renovated Schaerbeek railway station in the Brussels-Capital Region.

Until 10 October 2021, the museum hosts an interesting temporary exhibition about the history of one of China's most remarkable railways, the Peking–Hankow railway. The exhibit includes several antique government railway bonds.

From Peking to Hankow : a Belgian adventure in China tells the surprising story of China’s longest railway line, from Peking (Beijing) to Hankow (today Wuhan), connecting the North to the South in the early 20th century.

Thousands of people laboured on this immense operation for seven years. This feat was achieved by engineers, technicians and workmen, and Western and Chinese diplomats and financiers. Jean Jadot, a Belgian engineer coordinated and implemented this massive project.

During your visit, the main players in the saga, embodied by talking figures, will tell you some fascinating tales and take you back in time so that you can relive grand moments in the history of the railway.

The exhibition also showcases the impressive development of China’s current high-speed railways. Original works relating to the construction of the Peking-Hankow line and created by artists Li Kunwu (China) and François Schuiten (Belgium) add a contemporary artistic touch to the exhibition. 

Train World is over 8,000 square metres and displays 22 locomotives, royal train carriages, 1/10 scale models and 1,200 other railway related objects, including an original 19th century railway bridge. One of the principal objects to see is the oldest preserved locomotive (1845) in Continental Europe.

A large format hardcover catalog has been published in French and Dutch. The volume counts more than 270 pages and depicts some large illustrations from antique securities. The museum has these scripophily objects on loan from various lenders such as the National Bank of Belgium and BNP Paribas-Fortis. A small number of bonds and shares are actually on display.

Practical info :
  • Opening hours : 10:00 - 17:00, but closed on Mondays, the Peking-Hankow exhibition runs till 10 October 2021
  • Location : Princess Elisabeth place 5, Schaerbeek
  • More info here in English, in Dutch, in French and in German  


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