Hengelo is easily reached by train. One can travel from Hengelo railway station, the main station of Hengelo and get directly and regularly to:
Apeldoorn, Amersfoort, Hilversum, Southern Amsterdam, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Utrecht, Gouda, Rotterdam, Den Haag, Zwolle, Zutphen, Oldenzaal, Almelo, Deventer, Enschede. There are international trains daily to Bad Bentheim, Rheine, Osnabrück, Hannover, and Berlin.
For information on the train services see Hengelo railway station. One can also plan a journey on the website of Dutch Railways. For Amsterdam, passengers should use the train to Schiphol and change at Amersfoort, where there are regular trains to Amsterdam Centraal railway station, which is the nearest station to the city.
Hengelo Oost railway station and Hengelo Gezondheidspark railway station are also located in Hengelo. Just beside Hengelo Oost railway station is the football club Juliana '32 and the Groot Driene tennis club.Within the city limits, the only means of public transport is the bus. Some parts of the route are on bus lanes, specifically built for buses to travel faster.
The A1/E30 from Amsterdam to Moscow goes right through the city.
The A35 from Enschede to Wierden goes along the west side of the city.
Hengelo has a relatively large harbour in the Twentekanaal, a heavily used canal from the Twente region to the IJssel.
Although archeological research indicates the location has been inhabited for thousands of years, the municipality was founded in 1802. At that time it merely consisted of a few hundred farms and agricultural workers' houses.
Hengelo was never granted city rights as it was only a small village that expanded in the 19th century during the industrial revolution. In the late 19th century it rapidly developed after the construction of an important railway junction. This attracted industry with a focus on technology: Stork B.V., Hazemeyer, N.V. Heemaf (now part of France's Alstom, Brush HMA, Brush-Barclay, the United States' Eaton, Essent, Heemaf BV, NV Nuon, and Wabtec), KHZ (now AkzoNobel), and Hollandse Signaal Apparaten, now taken over by the Thales Group. Hengelo was the home town of Hengelo Bier, a local brewery. Nowadays, the beer brand Twents is produced in Hengelo, brewed by De Twentse Bierbrouwerij. This brewery is founded in 2007 and located in the monumental factory complex Hazemeijer.
During World War II, the city was often bombed by the Allies because of the presence of the railways and the war industry activities of local factories. The heart of the town was accidentally destroyed during the Bombing of Hengelo on 6 and 7 October 1944, killing several hundred people.
In addition, after World War II the synagogue that survived the war, an entire block called de Telgen, a monastery at the Thiemsbrug, the farm dating from the 17th century where Wolter ten Cate was born, and the 19th-century town hall were all demolished. This has also left the city without much of an historical centre.
One of the most prominent buildings is the Lambertusbasiliek, a Roman Catholic basilica built in 1890 devoted to Saint Lambert.
Like most of the Netherlands, Hengelo features an oceanic climate (Cfb in the Köppen classification); however, winters tend to be less mild than the rest of the Netherlands due to its inland location. Summer is also warmer than places near the coast. Although the former military airport is derelict and plans to revive the place were canceled in 2012, the weather station of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute is still located there.On February 11, 1992, a Dutch F16 crashed into the district Hasseler Es.
The Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip mention Hengelo in their song "At the Hundredth Meridian", where they "remember Hengelo" after a glorious gig in Metropool (concert hall in Hengelo).
The British indie rock band Spring Offensive on their first studio album "Young Animal Hearts" mention Hengelo in their song "Hengelo".
Hengelo has six big high schools. These high schools are: the Montessori College Twente, the Bataafs Lyceum, the Twickel College, the Gilde College, Grundel Lyceum and the Grundel Parkcollege.Henk Kamp (b. 1952), former Dutch Minister of Defence (12-12-2002 until 21-02-2007) and current Dutch Minister of Social Affairs in the VVD-CDA minority coalition (2010 - )
Niels Oude Kamphuis (b. 1977), Dutch soccer player
Joris Keizer (b. 1979), Dutch butterfly swimmer
Ad Kolnaar (b. 1942), Dutch economist
Joost Posthuma (b. 1981), Dutch cyclist
Kirsten Vlieghuis (b. 1976), Dutch freestyle swimmer
Theo Wolvecamp (b. 1925), Dutch painter, member of Cobra
Jan Olde Riekerink, (b. 1963), football coach and former professional player