The city of Kassel was the home of Henschel, the largest maker in the world of railway locomotives: by 1900 it had built 10,000. Henschel Plant II, begun in 1871, is now the Technical Museum. It continued to develop into the 1960s making railway vehicles and aircraft. The company later integrated with Thyssen, Mercedes-Benz and Bombardier. The museum association took over parts of the plant and offices in 2004.
Objects are set out thematically in the huge halls. Henschel is represented by over 40 locomotives – including a replica of its first from 1848, an electric locomotive of 1905 and a steam locomotive of 1942. However, the collection represents many aspects of technology in the Hesse region, for example AEG electrical equipment, machine tools, precision instruments, trams, medical equipment, fire-engines and aircraft. A popular attraction is a working model with more than 500 m of track depicting Bebra railway junction, one of Germany’s most important.
The separate Henschel-Museum Association also has a museum on the site (building R11) and cares for the archives of the company and family.