To complete this mini series of posts on features that can be used as corridors for urban exploration, I focus on one last bit of substantial infrastructure that traverses the city: the railway tracks.
Quite a barrier they are in the cityscape, but their redeeming feature is that larger stretches of the tracks are lined at one or the other side by a green (often linear park) corridor.
Lets first go North, following the tracks from Fellenoord at the Woensel side, because that stretch of railway line is a great green corridor :
A linear park starts at the Elizabethtunnel (next to the PSV stadium). This becomes a ‘real’ park after you cross the Steenstraat (first the Philips playground, then the Antoni van Leeuwenhoeklaan park – with its beautiful tree avenue). After you have crossed the Marconilaan and passed the Jewish cemetary, another linear park continues all the way to Vredeoord. You need to turn East for approx. 300m on that road before the Grote Beek estate can be entered. Find your way back to trails close to the railway line. At the end one needs to hit a road to the North entrance, cross the Anthony Fokkerweg, hit the cycle lane opposite behind the gas station, which takes you back to the railway line and a great green zone all the way to the Waalstraat. Anyone interested in more and willing to stay on pavement for a bit can follow the tracks through the industrial zone North of the Waalstraat and then continue of an unpaved road past Best golf all the way to the Wilhelmina canal
Going East, the green corridor idea works only once you’re on your way out of the city centre. Still there are several worthwhile stretches:
- From the Berenkuil – Eindhoven’s grafitti free port, worth a visit in itself! – the natural area of Wasven takes you to Tongelre, one of the original constituent villages making up the city, architecturally and in terms of landscapes surprisingly diverse, while still topping the list of best preserved village feel of the five village that merged with the market centre hub that gave its name to the new city. You can more or less follow the tracks on trails all the way to the end of the village, The South side of these tracks can also be followed but are roads, mostly quiet but without much to distinguish them.
- Just after the Fuutlaan crosses the Ring you can follow the tracks to Heeze – on either side – all the way to the Eindhovensch canal. Some of it is just a narrow trail, not particularly scenic, but still making for great unpaved, hidden outdoors, but other parts are surprisingly well-developed local area parks and green zones. And you’ll pass some architecturally interesting stuff too.
And if you’ve read any other of my corridor suggestion you’ll know that I think you should at least once walk/run the stretches from the railway station – North and South – to the Berenkuil/Ring. The Southern bit, from the Silly Walks tunnel East, takes you along the Villa park, one of Eindhoven’s most remarkable 1930s bourgeois neighbourhoods, the Northern bit takes you along the TU/E campus, which fully merits an exploratory visit on its own! You don’t really live in Eindhoven if these two parts of town don’t feel like home.