The Dutch National Railway Museum, Het Spoorwegmuseum, in Utrecht got on board with Medialon show control for its four innovative exhibit areas. Using Medialon Manager V3, V3 Lite, and Ethernet, Rapenburg Plaza created show-control systems for the 49-year-old museum, which reopened two years ago as a crossover between an historical museum environment and a themed amusement park. The network crafted by Rapenburg Plaza, which includes three Medialon servers, three Richmond Sound Design AudioBoxes, five Ecue media engines, and multiple Kiss Boxes, enables all the lighting, sound, special effects, video and show-control equipment to work together.

The Dutch National Railway Museum features four individual worlds, each run by Medialon, where visitors can enjoy trains and railroads in very different ways. The first world, The Great Discovery, is an audio-guided walk through beautifully lit and decorated scenery where visitors learn about the early days of steam trains and railroads in Holland. Medialon controls the audio components, steam and smoke effects, and an elevator.

Dream Journeys illustrates the luxury of The Orient Express in a replica station complete with original carriages. The multimedia environment features video hard disk players, several screens, and a Beamsystems projection screen controller; a full-scale theatre offers a show combining live actors, lighting, audio, smoke, and a revolving stage, all controlled by Medialon.

A theme park-style dark ride has visitors stepping into four-person train wagons to trace all the jobs of a Dutch railroad-working family over the years. The cars also take the museum-goers behind the scenes of big steam engines with hundreds of special effects and show effects, all controlled by Medialon. Medialon also controls the lights and smoke effects throughout the final exhibit, The Workshop.

Medialon also provides overall control of the lighting in the entire museum. To provide energy efficiency in the large facility, all fixed lighting is controlled through Medialon with Kiss-Box units boxes so lights can be lowered in rooms without visitors. Medialon also controls the subsystem and checks all the worlds to ensure the lighting is running properly. In addition, it tallies the burning hours of lamps and video projectors.

Gertjan Dijkstra, one of the employees responsible for museum maintenance and operations says, “For us it’s great to have an overall view of the whole building concerning all technical installations. Even when the museum has more 3,000 visitors a day we still can check if the dark ride or the theatre show is running without walking around the whole building. The fact that every lighting fixture and piece of audiovisual equipment is hooked to the same Medialon network is really great! I couldn’t live without it anymore.”