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When stations become visitor attractions
Two new and exciting attractions on the history and role of railways have opened their doors to visitors – Alūksne Bānītis Station and the Dzelzceļš and Tvaiks (Railway and Steam) interactive and educational centre.
The Alūksne Bānītis Station exhibition is houses in the former luggage shed, whose architecture and functionality served as the inspiration for design studio H2E’s solution. VIsitors can learn about the history and development of railways in Europe and locally, as well as the technical side of railways.
The contemporary exhibition takes visitors on a virtual journey through photos and videos. Visitors will find out fun facts, hear the stories of ten stations and learn about the role of the narrow gauge railway in local residents’ lives.
As Alūksne Tourism Information Centre representative Dace Bumbiere-Augule explains: "The station is a wonderful addition to Alūksne's overall offering to visitors. We look forward to welcoming guests at the station every day, except Mondays!"
At the other end of the line is Gulbene Railway Station with its Railway and Steam centre consisting of over twenty interactive devices. Both kids and adults can try their hand at driving a train. Visitors can also solve different challenges related to the daily running of a railway. For example, how you can get a locomotive to its depot as fast as possible while using as few switches as possible, and how to load train carriages. Visitors can learn about the different professions within the railway industry and find out about numerous technical achievements.
The centre offers workshops and themed events. There is an onsite souvenir shop. Next to the station, visitors can book tours of the depot, try riding the handcar and other pursuits.
The Gulbene – Alūksne narrow gauge railway line is the only one of its kind in the Baltics, which is still used to run regular passenger services. The new visitor attractions pay homage to the importance of this industrial heritage.