Techlab XL

During the Techlab XL event, you can learn about the trains and technology all throughout the museum. How? Through all kinds of exciting demonstrations and challenging experiments!

Techlab XL

You can get hands-on at the life-sized workstations and test out all kinds of aspects relating to the themes of steam, electricity, resistance and wheels. Discover the resistance wheels encounter on the enormous test track, use air pressure to launch a bottle, see how a steam locomotive works at the steam car and do your best to avoid mistakes in the electricity game. And to top it all off: see if you can get a life-sized train moving on your own! Will you be able to do it all by yourself?

You can take part in these – and many more – activities during Techlab XL.

The event for tough kids

It’s the perfect activity for kids who love machines and hands-on learning. During the last two weeks of the summer holiday, the entire museum is devoted to technology. During Techlab XL, you’ll find fun, surprising and cool activities and experiments to do, all focusing on the themes of steam, electricity and friction. Come spend a day conducting your own tests!


Techlab XL centres on four themes that are vital to trains: steam, electricity, wheels and resistance. Exciting demonstrations and challenging experiments serve to illustrate the technology that goes into building and operating a train. You can even try a few hands-on tests outdoors on the museum grounds!

Steam & electricity

Trains in the Netherlands were pulled by steam locomotives until 1958. That’s why the first theme of Techlab XL is ‘steam’. How does it work, anyway? How strong is steam? Will you be able to use steam or air pressure to propel an object?

The steam-engine era gave way to the introduction of electric trains. The overhead wires supply electricity to the train, which requires a closed electrical circuit. Can you make your own electrical circuit? Check to see whether objects in a giant spiral have current running through them and play a life-sized electricity game to test your knowledge.


Friction is what keeps a train from rolling on forever. Rails decrease the amount of resistance and reduce friction. Which materials work the best? Test them for yourself on the long test track. How much force is required to set a train in motion? Test whether you’re strong enough on your own. Can’t do it by yourself? Then we’ll all pitch in and help! You can also perform tests involving magnetic trains.


This section will tell you all about train wheels. Why are some wheels much larger than others? What is their specific shape? And how are the wheels of a steam train attached to the rest of it? Come do all the experiments and you’ll find out!