Compiled and translated by Peter van der Mark from Het Openbaar Vervoer,
Rail Magazine and various newspaper reports.
It has now transpired that the ten 1300's will, after asbestos removal
and life extension work, only be employed until about 2005, so the reprieve
is sweet but short. They will not be repainted. The staff representation
element in the boardroom vetoed the purchase of these locos; apparently
for driver comfort related reasons, even though shortly thereafter this
veto was lifted again. On top of that, unlike the management side to whom
locos are locos are locos etc., the train rostering side has expressed
reservations as they have trouble finding passenger work which doesn't
overtax these powerful but old and not particularly agile machines on their
Athermos plain bearing axleboxes. That doesn't touch the other big problem,
the hundreds of drivers who will have to be (re) trained again. Nothing
has been heard of retraining efforts as yet, even though the work on the
locos themselves has got off to a flying start and the first should be
ready for service in November. A possible way out of the problems is to
use them on the remaining loco-hauled international trains only. The locos
are more than powerful enough, the speeds are moderate and the mileage
and trained driver requirement are limited.
The shortage of traction is so acute that NS wants to send 1735, which
was burned badly at Venlo, to Alsthom to have it virtually rebuilt. Loco
1732 was to be reverted to its role of DD-AR power pack but no automatic
coupling was available due to yet another glitch in the NS-R and NedTrain
communication pathways. And oh yes, 1733 has received the name "Boxtel" to
commemorate the opening of the new station in the tunnel in that place.
Railion, despite having sold four class 1600 locos to NS-R, still needs
them and has therefore repaired 1631 and long time dud 1628.
Class 6400 Bo-Bo' DE locos. It has been found that the Indusi fitted locos
for work into Germany have problems with their MU kit, causing emergency
brake actuation of trains hauled by two or more of these locos in multiple.
In the case of the 3500 tonne coal trains this has in a number of cases
led to some rather severe delays. Loco 6499 has been identified as the
biggest culprit and has been sent to Tilburg for remedial work. Number
6495 re-entered service after having been repaired following a rather hefty
collision. The loco lost its Indusi kit to 6494 and has not received it
back. Like 6408 after its repair, the loco has now been painted in full
Railion livery without being allowed to work internationally.
The belated alterations to the mDDM power cars to increase the reliability
of these sets have now slowly started and their unreliability due to overheating
has diminished. A large number of defective DD-AR 1700 locos prevented
these from taking over again, but that might change when they have been
sorted out. Then a comprehensive re-engineering drive around the induction
of cooling air into the traction motors and the oil cooling radiators will
start on the mDDM's, this will last two years.
DD-IRM EMU's. The earlier prospects of an end to the poor availability
of these units due to the motorbogie misery, with a resumption of full
squadron service this winter, turned out to be wishful thinking. Now the
units have developed a problem with the axle bearings in the non-motorised
SIG bogies, which lands the trailers on accommodation bogies, while the
hairline cracks in the motor bogies have reappeared. On top of this it
has transpired that oil is finding its way into the pressurised air lines,
which have to be flushed out to preserve the integrity of the systems they
serve. This is a phenomenon which is well known from other units with a
screw type air compressor which is not working at its most economical rate,
Sprinter EMU's suffer from the same ailment. Anyway, The availability of
the IRM units is declining fast again with bits and pieces standing around
at various locations.
ICM EMU's (Koploper). Wheels with tyres of a lower quality steel have already
put three sets into the sidings, 4202, 4209 and 4213, one with a disintegrated
axle, which was caused by stresses set up by a tyre which was not round
and which shifted. The background to this serious problem is a desire to
cut cost through buying cheaper spares. Otherwise the units still perform
well despite being thrashed, while they are also mercifully free of damage
through road crossing accidents, unlike plan V.
Plan T (4 car) and V (2 car) EMU's. With the re-introduction to service
of units 840 and 816 in June the series V7 is now complete in their new
high-density guise without brakevan. A similar sort of treatment for series
V8 is now being prepared, although the dire shortage of stock might prevent
execution for the time being. As a result of failures of the sliding power
doors into the brakevan of the V8 units, these doors have been taken out
of service, whereby the operating buttons have been isolated and stickers
have been applied which tell potential users the tale. The refurb and overhaul
drive of the venerable plan T sets has been increased to three sets at
any one time. The already out-shopped 502 and 503 returned to the works
for extra alterations, which will subsequently be done to all the four
NS appears happy with these units, which take lots of people and despite
their age stand up well to the increased demands put on them. This is proven
by the tenacity with which badly damaged individuals are restored to working
order, such as the Bk of unit 516 which suffered fire damage in the works
in Haarlem (see previous issue). Contrary to earlier information, which
stated that a Bk of a two-car unit would be used to get this four-car set
out on the road again, the burned carriage itself will be fully restored.
The original build quality as well as availability of spares from the scrapped
mP postal vans will undoubtedly have contributed to this decision.
SGM "Sprinter" EMU's. Another passenger carrying train has hit
a grab at work along the line, this time SGM units 2850 and 2862. It occurred
between Sliedrecht and Hardinxveld on 30-08. Somehow I cannot envisage
this sort of thing happening over here at the moment, they must be doing
something less than perfect in setting up work sites along the track in
Mat. '54 "Hondekop" EMU. Oh yes, you're reading it here all right!
The preserved four car set 766 will be brought back in service for route
learning purposes, as the still available mP's are now increasingly in
use for other purposes and are a mite too often not available when needed.
The unit passed its technical test with flying colours and in an emergency
has already been used once in passenger service. As the unit will be in
the process of being repainted in the traditional green livery again we
might be treated to the sight of a half green half yellow EMU.
Plan U DEMU's. After the decommissioning of sets 133, 134, 135 and 137
in June, ready for the upgrade, it became painfully clear in what a profound
state of neglect and deterioration these now badly needed sets are. All
were well past their exam and overhaul dates. Their work was often covered
with electric units or with DM'90 DHMU's, or the services were cancelled.
An additional problem is that it has now been found that there are still
stations in The Netherlands with lower platforms, along which the DM'90
without any lower step-boards, give the passengers trouble when boarding,
while plan U does not. Kesteren and Hemmen-Dodewaard stations along the
Betuwe line are a case in point. Incidentally, although the ATB NG line-side
equipment along this line is now operational, NS-R is working the line
with permission not to have the train borne kit in operation, as the DEMU's
do not have it as yet. In the "Gelderlander" newspaper of 30
October I read that four of these units had been set alight in Zwolle,
causing traffic to be suspended for two hours between Zwolle and 't Harde.
All four units were fully gutted by the fires, which are said to have been
caused by one or more arsonists.
mP Bo-Bo' ex-postal motor vans. The ones still around are getting an increasingly
busier life, even though ATB measuring van "Jules" (3032) is
running its last kilometres in that guise. mP 3027 received tanks and application
machinery for the well-known Sandtite adhesion gel, which has now been
adopted by NS as well. Others are being fitted with electronics for the
ETCS tests which are due to start sometime soon. The ten bought by NS-R
for plan T/V spares have all vanished after the recoverable equipment had
been taken out.
There still are no definitive statements about the purchase of German loco-hauled
rolling stock. Nevertheless there are a number of indications that NS is
about to do something in that direction, looking at the ten 1300's, the
four 1800's coming off the EC services (replaced by ICE sets) and the four
1600's to be taken over or sub-leased from Railion. The 150 coaches would
still be the DBAG Bm235 type, which are being released from services, also
replaced by the new ICE trainsets. Contrary to earlier indications the
coaches would receive NS MU cabling to work mixed with refurbished ICR.
DB will overhaul them and in groups of ten coaches per month they will
find their way on to the Dutch network, first and foremost to replace the
80 disliked K4's, then to replace the 34 plan W and ultimately in 2003
to provide the badly needed extra accommodation. In 2005 the new DD-IRM
sets would enter service and finally turn the tables on the ongoing shortage
of stock. Their main sphere of their operation will probably be the Amsterdam
to Vlissingen services even though it will mean that a number of platforms
along that route will have to be lengthened to take the necessary 12 coach
plus (two?) class 1700 trains. The biggest problem in their rostering is
the habit of NS of combining and splitting many series of services en-route,
often more than once, and the heavy use of DD stock on many routes. All
these routes would suffer from slower services or diminished seating capacity,
which is unacceptable. Incidentally, contrary to the earlier crisis, this
continuing shortage of rolling stock is now caused by declining reliability
through over use right across the spectre of train types. It includes the
1700 and 1800 electric locos, DD-IRM, DD-AR, ICM (!), SGM and plan T/V,
not to mention the hired K4's.
On the IJssel-Brabant route the push-pull sets of ICR+DDM1 topped and tailed
by working 1700 locos have been successfully in service throughout the
summer. 26 of the coaches have received MU cabling, and these are: - 6x
A; 10-77 636, 642-646, 5x BKD; 82-70 953-956, 958 and 15x B; 20-70 755,
758, 761-768, 771-775. These are combined with DDM1 vehicles Bv 26-37 812-816,
of which the MU cabling has been made 1700 compatible instead of 1600/1800.
Four sets of Bv-B-A-BKD-B-B have been formed, topped and tailed by a 1700,
and have been put into a separate diagram based at Zwolle. The question
as to how to put some of the presently unused DDM1 BvK driving trailers
to better use (1600/1800 compatible) also arises. Their allocation to normal
hauled trains is certain, whereby their static inverters will be used to
power the on-board systems of additional DDM1 coaches. Why not convert
and dedicate five of those to 1700 compatibility and save oneself four
4400 kW locos?
The first upgraded ICR coaches are expected to have left the workshops
in August. The bad delays to this overhaul drive are put down to managerial
and organisational failings, bad subcontractors, bad quality and late delivery
of parts as well as a lack of workshop staff. Even though the vehicles
still have their old livery, they look decidedly different with their one-part
windows. The original space between the seats has been maintained in the
first class; the royal space for the second class has disappeared which
has allowed an extra row of seats to be put in. The vehicle now caters
for 84 seated passengers. All vehicles have MU cabling and have received
new door actuation gear of the DD-AR coach type.
Transport minister Tineke Netelenbosch and financial minister Mr. Zalm
have selected two consortia for the construction contracts for HSL Zuid
from Amsterdam via Schiphol, Rotterdam and Antwerpen to Brussel. The tendering
and granting are expected to have taken place before the summer of 2001.
One of these consortia is Infraspeed, with construction companies Fluor
Daniel and NBM Amstelland, Siemens and two large financial institutions.
The other group, the Zuid Rail Groep, consists of the US construction company
Bechtel, the Dura-Vermeer group, Amey constructions, Nuon energy and an
investment bank. Big works at Hoofddorp, Rotterdam and Breda have already
gone to the combination Ballast Nedam/Volker Stevin Infra. Breda, incidentally,
has expressed deep discontent with the reduced infrastructure plans around
the triangle and spur connection to that city and has gone into full-scale
non co-operation mode. Expect delays. The exploitation of this line (domestic
and international combined, incidentally) is now in the balance, as the
government has rejected the initial NS-R tender, which was reported upon
in Nieuwsbrief. NS-R has now come back with a KLM/National Express combine,
but all of a sudden DBAG has turned up in combination with the Dutch arm
of the British passenger transport operator Arriva, and appears to have
some sympathy in government circles, for reasons which can be guessed at.
Then the sluice gates opened and applications from CGEA/Vivendi, Dutch
bus operator Connexxion with Swedish operator SJ and Stagecoach flooded
in. The government will only announce who has won in 2001, a wee bit late
when looking at the fact that the line opens in 2005. Based purely on experience
I have grave doubts that the specification, design, construction, testing
and squadron delivery of the new units can be achieved between these two
As far as HSL Oost from Amsterdam via Utrecht to Arnhem and Germany is
concerned, it is clear now that the government, balking from the huge expense
for the benefit of apparently disappointing potential traveller figures,
has gone down the path of a thorough scaling down of the original four-track
HSL plans. Upgrading of the existing line, as and when necessary, (which
could keep the line in a permanent state of construction for the next fifty
years or so), is the word. Even the idea of high-speed operation has been
shelved, as that would save the expense of removing a number of AHB road
crossings and a number of accommodation crossings with their accompanying
replacement by viaducts and tunnels. It also saves having to reconstruct
line side stations to get the high-speed lines for non-stop trains away
from the platforms, unlike the way we do it in Britain as a daily routine
along our 125-mph lines. On top of that, the actual gain in travel time
between Utrecht and Arnhem at 125 mph would run to the extent of a meagre
ten minutes compared to the present day operations. The present extent
of initiatives as far as upgrading is concerned are one or two extra passing
loops, re-electrification with 25kV and heavy reliance on signalling and
operations control with ETCS level 3 for improved utilisation of the available
assets (1 to 2.5 minute headway etc.). Domestic passenger operation would
see longer double deck trains rather than more frequent trains. The present
track charging regime is already geared up to weeding out high frequency
short train operation. The KAN organisation around Arnhem (see below) is
far from happy, and Dutch efficiency bureau Berenschot sent a torpedo into
the governmental cost-cutting arguments by bringing out a report, stating
that the government's reliance on control systems rather than physical
space for trains along this corridor is bound to come unstuck too easily.
It doesn't require calamities to achieve that, everyday delays will do.
In the meantime the various authorities in Gelderland are certain about
one thing, they want the Utrecht to Arnhem main line, in any of its guises,
to disappear into the ground, I have mentioned this increasing tunnelling
desire in The Netherlands in earlier articles. If the Arnhem and Renkum
municipalities have it their way, then the trip through the woods at Wolfheze
will be replaced by a trip through the tunnels. Arnhem also added the wish
to sink the line through the city, which would make another tunnel in the
Oosterbeek area not too much to ask. This would reconnect the northern
area around the Airborne Cemetery with the rest of the village again, where
there is now the cutting East of Oosterbeek station. This cutting could,
after a fairly simple segment tunnel construction and filling in with spoil
from the tunnels elsewhere, release quite a number of sought after housing
plots in the area, a tasty prospect for the councillors. But whether rail
travel still has the same appeal remains to be seen. Stay tuned.
This autumn, the lines from Arnhem to Tiel, Zutphen to Apeldoorn and Zutphen
to Hengelo, all single line diesel operated branches, will receive ATB-NG
line-side kit after which they may only be worked by traction units with
compatible on-board equipment. The DH1 and 2 units have visited the workshops
to receive this kit and the DM'90 units have already been equipped (see
the article about my ATP fact finding trip on NS in the previous issue).
NoordNed has taken back the DH units they initially put off lease and now
NS-R is a bit short on diesel stock, hence the decision to fit the old
DEMU's with ATB-NG kit. Contrary to earlier proposals these units will
initially spend less time working electric duties under the wires than
doing their old jobs on the diesel branch lines. The shortage amongst the
NS-R diesel units will be eased when Syntus starts operating its LinT units
in June 2001 and the sets on the Heerlen to Aachen run are replaced by
Talent units from the Aachener Verkehrsverbund, which will release a number
of DM'90. The overhauled plan U will then finally become available for
The railway drawbridge across the Prinses Margrietkanaal at Grou has been
replaced by a new revolving example on a new alignment. Traffic, notably
the ACTS container shuttle (you can't send that many containers by bus)
made closure of the line not an option to facilitate the work with a long
possession. Therefore ingenious shifting single line working arrangements
made sure that the line was kept open.
The twenties vintage steel bridges across the Wilhelminakanaal at Tilburg
have reached the end of their useful lives and will be replaced with concrete
bridges. This is also being done to be able to lift the axle load to 22.5
tonnes at 100 km/h (60 mph) as is prescribed in European legislation for
main freight arteries. Similar bridges at Best across the same canal have
already been changed for concrete structures, in line with the ongoing
total upgrade of this route.
The widened Western tunnel at Amsterdam Centraal station has been brought
into use. All the shops are already doing business, but the signage and
the departure indicators were left out at the time, which gives a somewhat
strange picture of the priorities of the NS-Stations business!
A poll among Dutch businesspeople, organised by the magazine Management
Team, voted NS the worst business for 2000. Ahold, an international supermarket
chain operator, ING bank and Philips electrical industries were voted first,
second and third best. The polled managers and other assorted businesspeople
gave a hearty thumbs down to the national passenger train operator, whose
management and customer service and friendliness came in for the hardest
thrashing. They also said that if NS-R actually had a business strategy,
they would not be able to analyse it from the way the company operates.
Funnily enough, the second worst operator is another ex-state monopoly,
KPN, the former PTT Telecom telephone network operator. Could this ex-state
operation thing be at the root of the problem? On top of all this, the
Dutch media have discovered the joys of bashing the national railways the
British way. To anyone in Britain who is able to read both languages there
is a definite sense of I've seen all this before. Not telling the public
what their own role is in the problems is, such as rampant vandalism and
the often brutal behaviour toward staff when services pack up. This makes
good front line staff hard to find and is now impacting on service provision.
The reality is that the NS problems with new rolling stock -class 6400,
SM'90 and DM'90- are the same that has been experienced everywhere in Europe.
The Norwegian, French, German, British and Belgian railways are all complaining
about it. It seems something particularly European to be unable to have
new trains working within agreed time scales. It is basically the reason
that Brush lost the EWS order for the new DE locos class 66 and 67 to General
Motors, after the four years it took them to get their class 60 working
reliably. And what a roaring success the GM locos are and Japanese kit
has a tendency to work straightaway too!
Not only is NS-R squandering the support of its customer base, it also
solicits ill will from the business world as is proven by the above-mentioned
-quite serious- poll. And with both groups teaming up, NS will lose the
current support from the politicians who are being handed arguments blaming
NS for business failure due to lack of operating savvy and never like to
be associated with losers. There is also the issue of their transport policies,
which aim to get all aspects of society into trains rather than their cars.
NS fairly gratuitously savaged these on financial grounds, which clearly
still rankles and is about to trigger a monumental folly in the operations
on the High Speed Lines.
It is worrying that NS, with all the troubles described at home, is about
to scatter focus through looking around in Britain to run South West Trains
in co-operation with Firstgroup. The crux of their plan is a solid winner,
a continental loading gauge double track deep tunnel under London from
Wimbledon to King's Cross and beyond, to be worked with double deck rolling
stock as is common in many other European conurbation’s. There is
no doubt that this is badly needed! London would benefit from better cross-town
transport facilities with bigger trains, bypassing the inconvenient historic
termini. But has the scope of operation of those double deckers elsewhere
on the SWT network; really had enough consideration on its implications?
It touches the one major problem on the present day British railway, the
failure to extend the loading gauge. The continentals did it in the course
of their operation through the centuries. Bare in mind that The Netherlands,
Belgium and Germany once operated trains at the original British loading
gauge, go take a look in the museums!
UK based AEA Technology, itself partially consisting of what was British
Rail Research in those distant days of nationalised passenger transport,
has bought the NS technical research arm NSTO, NS Technisch Onderzoek,
with all of its 125 employees for NLG 3m. The new name for the BRR/NSTO
bit will be AEA Technology Rail.
As indicated previously, the wagon repair workshops at Amersfoort have
closed, albeit on the 23rd of June 2000 instead of the 1st of January 2001.
Work now goes to the Duisburg workshops in Germany and the small facility
kept at Fijenoord near Rotterdam. The remaining local facility at Susteren
in Limburg has been closed down as well and we are now awaiting movement
around the promised new construction of the works in the South Western
Rotterdam harbour area.
Syntus finally gets the green light for the Doetinchem to Arnhem operation.
It was a long time coming, but the old Winterswijk to Arnhem trains will
soon ride throughout again and the change in Doetinchem from the NS DM'90
unit into the Syntus DM'90 unit will be nothing but an irritating memory.
The biggest cog in the wheel was a regional co-operation institution, KAN,
which stands for Hub Arnhem Nijmegen. One of their objectives is to operate
the local trains on existing and re-opened lines in this area and they
felt that the Syntus ambitions were intruding into their back yard. However,
the frayed tempers are calming down again and future integration of the
various local train services in the Gelderland area, regardless of the
operator, are now tentatively being discussed. The reason for this is,
of course, that these small operators know who butters their bread while
the local authorities involved are well aware who keeps them in a job.
As the granting authority of the regional passenger transport contract
with NoordNed, the provincial authorities of Groningen have fined NoordNed
NLG 350.000 for failing to provide sufficient rolling stock during several
months last year, causing a substantial number of passengers to be left
behind at stations. Groningen has also indicated that other potential operators
such as Connexxion (not of CGEA/Vivendi Connex fame!) and CGEA (of Vivendi/Connex
fame) could be invited to tender. NoordNed won its concession based on
the assumptions of total transport integration, driver only operation and
that through clever rostering they would need less stock than NS-R to run
the same services, the last of which notably has proven itself a patent
fallacy. The "Wadloper" DH stock which they put off-lease, and
including unit 3201 which stood in Tilburg in a cannibalised state with
no intention to bring it back into service again, have returned to their
former stomping ground, leaving NS presently somewhat short on Diesel units.
In the previous issue it was reported that ShortLines had taken over the
five times a week DSM tanker trains to Rotterdam Botlek from Railion. On
the third of July this work started, without any hitches, although ShortLines
is badly hindered by the fact that not many of their HGK owned locos are
ATP fitted. They circumvented this problem by working the Intermodal Born
Shuttle from Rotterdam six hours earlier, which makes the loco with ATP
available for the tanker trip back from Limburg. It meant that ShortLines
had to find a second set of intermodal transporters for the Born Shuttle,
which given the situation on the hire market for these vehicles must have
been a bit of a job. Various locos, including one of the GM class 66 variants,
are presently at Tilburg having ATB fitted. HGK/HGK is going for the ATP
equipment covering ATB EG, NG and the future ETCS (ATB-L), to provide maximum
flexibility as far as the use of the Maas line (NG) as a diversionary route
is concerned. The Dutch 66 has made test rides but the new ATP equipment
did not work entirely as planned and the Indusi also played up. Loco DE
83 gave the same trouble during its test trips, so it has nothing to do
with the Co-Co’s being US built. Incidentally, the other GM loco
has now been accepted for traffic in Germany, no mean feat at all. When
the Dutch 66 is OK the locos will be swapped and the German 66 will come
to Tilburg to have ATP fitted. ATP will also keep the ordered CargoSprinter
units off their jobs until well into 2001.
In the meantime the work at Born, for which an ex-NS -now DSM owned no.
7- shunting loco was used, ran into minor trouble when the above-mentioned
loco failed and then had to have new wheel sets. This last item can be
traced to the bad condition of the track at Born yard, for which no one
dares to take responsibility. It is not RailNed owned. The jobs have been
done with an assortment of other traction, mainly Strukton Railinfra machinery,
amongst which is a "Ravot" vehicle which is comparable to the
Tramm vehicles with which British P-Way maintenance operations grace the
rails every once in a while. Presently a Strukton owned ex-NS shunting
loco of the same type is busy.
Due to lightning strikes the Leeuwarden shuttle had be re-routed via Groningen
when the heavens opened up again and the catenary came crashing down just
as loco 1254 with 6703 behind it came in at Onnen. The loco lost both pantographs
and had to go into Onnen workshops to have the damage mended. ACTS has
also been busy on P-Way ballast jobs, like Freightliner and GB Rail who
are taking over such duties in the UK.
The Netherlands Railway Museum has managed to find covered space to stable
their non-exhibited examples of rolling stock reasonably secure against
the weather and vandalism. The former rail connected transit shed of parcels
delivery company van Gend & Loos in Zaandam, complete with two tracks,
will be reconnected to the sidings to enable quick and easy exchange of
the rolling stock as and when needed. Part of the collection from Utrecht
will also find lodgings here during the previously mentioned refurb of
the museum premises.
Another operator has asked for a licence to operate trains from Haarlem
to IJmuiden. The name of the organisation is one with strong hints toward
the past, HIJSM, the Haarlem IJmuiden Spoorweg Maatschappij (instead of
the Hollandsche IJzeren Spoorweg Maatschappij). They want to run a tourist
train for visitors on a daily basis during the summer and at weekends during
the winter. Surprisingly, the potential of beach traffic and a regular
service for the benefit of the IJmuiden residents are not considered. There
is a problem, though. As I could see for myself during my cabbing trip,
the turnouts for the IJmuiden "Vis" line at Santpoort Noord have
been removed for cost cutting reasons and would have to be put back in
by Rail Infra Beheer (RIB). In fact, this is the big bone of contention
between the above-mentioned organisation and RailNed, which asserts that
the turnouts should never have been removed in the first place. RIB, however,
doesn't count some tourist train operator's plans as a valid reason to
spend many times the amount that the business of working trains will generate.
No one expected that, but no one accepts the argument either, as the line
is still officially open for traffic. Anyway, do not hold your breath on
the assumption that you can travel by rail to IJmuiden again next year,
it's going to take time.
The ZLSM in Zuid Limburg near Maastricht, has a long-standing wish to reconnect
their "miljoenen" line operation to the national network near
Schin op Geul, in order to be able to reach the well-known tourist resort
of Valkenburg. Rail Infra Beheer (RIB) and RailNed have tentatively calculated
that this single turnout and its incorporation into the signalling will
cost NLG 5m, increased to NLG 7m if a crossover to the up line to Maastricht
is added which would avoid the 3.5 km of wrong line running to Valkenburg.
This latter would be impossible anyway if the plans for frequent light
rail operation come to fruition. ZLSM asserts that this infrastructure
was available until very recently and that therefore RIB, not ZLSM would
have to furnish the funds for reconnection. The difference between this
case and that of the HIJSM is that the miljoenen line is officially declared
out of use.
EU regeneration funds have allocated €1.2m to the revival of the 14
km long Eysden via As to Waterschei line in Belgium, as a tourist line,
to be operated as a museum line. The Maldeghem museum provided a British
built 0-4-0 steam loco to work a number of specials to celebrate the completion
of the reconstruction work. Planned operation is scheduled to start in
Stichting RoMeO Rotterdam. This organisation has taken up the initiative
to set up a National Transport Park in Rotterdam. The plans actually date
back to 1980 when the RET depot at Delfshaven was abandoned and became
available, but instead it was demolished to be replaced with a park which
in the end did not materialise. Another attempt was made in 1986 during
the Rotterdam 650 year’s celebrations. On the Mullerpier, a "Scientopia" would
be set up of which the RoMeO plans would be part but it sank without a
trace. In January 2000 an information workshop was held for the benefit
of those individuals and organisations who could contribute materially
and/or financially. Their problem is that of exhibition space, or even
proper storage space, and they would benefit in that sense from the proposed
co-operation. Sixteen organisations have now been brought together under
the RoMeO banner, representing major items in the fields of air, water
and land transport. The problem is that the organisation needs premises
where the road, navigable water, light and heavy rail access is available
without a problem. A list of five locations has been brought down to a
shortlist of three; an area on the northern edge of Rotterdam Airport has
the best prospects. The others are the former Allan/ RET complex and a
location next to the new premises of the Stoom Stichting Nederland. The
latter obviously has advantages all of its own. At the moment RoMeO works
the no 10-tourist tramline through Rotterdam, and hopes to be able to be
more specific about the extension of their work at the end of this year.
In case you would like to support the initiative; Stichting RoMeO, P.O.
Box 156, NL 3000 AD Rotterdam, Netherlands. Minimum contribution is NLG
50 per year, which gets you a regular newsletter and information about
events, preference when buying and booking as well as a discount on prices.
RTM Ouddorp. The Sperwer foundation has facilitated the purchase of a former
Belgian narrow gauge carriage. It is the former NMVB vehicle 19391, which
was built in 1946 by Anglo Franco Belge. The vehicle is identical to three
similar AFB vehicles RTM brought into service in 1962, 1522/24. The Belgian
vehicle was taken OOU in 1972 and spent some time on the Li Trembleur tourist
line before coming into the possession of the Museum of City Transport
in Brussel. It is expected that the carriage will arrive on the RTM premises
BELGIAN RAILWAY NEWS
Compiled by Peter van der Mark and Neil Sutton
Belgian Rail class 11 Benelux Bo-Bo' E loco. These locos are very prone
to failures at this moment; on several days in September only 5 of the
12 locos were available for service. This led to termination at Rotterdam,
while the shorter sets have led to some rather severe overcrowding on these
services as well. Staff and rolling stock shortages compounded the misery,
as NS-R could not offer extra connecting services to Amsterdam.
Belgian Rail Cargo are having 5 of their seventies vintage General Motors
class 55 Co-Co' DE locos fitted with ATB as well as Indusi for work along
the Iron Rhine through Limburg into Germany. Loco 5526 will be the first
to visit Tilburg works. On top of that B-Cargo has a number of NS-ATB logic
boxes on order to be fitted into the new class 77 B ‘B’ DH
locos. This comes at the time when NS is fitting more of their locos with
Belgian Memor ATP. Something tells me that the Belgians are a bit more
serious about this Iron Rhine thing than the Dutch minister envisaged when
she finally gave in to their wishes, in order to get HSL Zuid started.
B-Cargo is also substantially more aggressive as far as working abroad
is concerned than either the Dutch or the Germans, their traction now appears
on a regular basis in France, Germany and The Netherlands.
The order for the new class 77 machines with Vossloh Industries has been
extended by another 90, and might well rise to 280. Clearly, B-Cargo is
over the moon with these machines. At this moment any of the old diesels
failing badly or getting damaged receives its death warrant; a 77 will
take over. Loner 7501, collision damaged in the Antwerpen port area, has
had it already. The wealth of Belgian types and classes will be reduced
completely in the years to come.
The new Alsthom Asytrit based class 13 Bo-Bo' E-Locos are now finally appearing
in multiple on freight jobs as well as in push pull mode with the dedicated
new coaching stock. In September testing under 25 kV catenary near Thionville
in France recommenced to gain approval for traffic into France with freight
trains from Antwerpen to Metz.
The roaring success of the line to Lille and beyond as well as the good
progress and high expectations around the line via Liege to Germany have
led to a serious study on more of the same. The first problem was initiated
by the fact that the Brussel municipal authorities want an RER type of
network for which lines need to be quadrupled. In the urban area's this
will either lead to a lot of tunnelling or wholesale destruction of housing,
as indeed happened earlier with the connection of the Noord and Midi stations
via Centraal. The disenchantment of wide swathes of the population with
that in itself very necessary job is still rumbling and the authorities
have certainly wised up to that. So, what about giving existing lines up
to the RER plus some freight, and creating fewer but much faster exit/entry
corridors for the main line, much of it in tunnel but at a deeper level
as no intermediate stations are wanted in the Brussel urban area? They
would be paralleling the E411 motorway from Brussel to Dassoulx. This would
enable a Brussel to Namur timing of a mere 25 mins, while a branch from
Dassoulx to Gosselies would enable a Brussel to Charleroi timing of 35
mins. Clearly, this opens up the possibility of a second high-speed line
from Brussel to Liege and beyond.
Class 13. Deliveries are currently ahead of schedule with 1337 entering
traffic at the end of November. Locomotives 1338 to 1341 are awaiting acceptance
at the factory at Brugge. After a lot of testing with 1330 around Dijon
in October / November the type has gained SNCF approval to operate in northern
France and is currently diagrammed to Metz Sablon Yard daily on a freight
from Stockem. The type has also been driver training between Gouvy and
Liege practising the voltage changeover just south of Rivage station. The
aim is for the class to take over freight work on the route, which is still
in the hands of class 55 diesel locomotives. A class 13 has been out-based
at Charleroi Sud during the summer this has also been for driver training.
Class 14. SNCB are looking to place an order initially for a small batch
of locomotives. The original idea of basing the type on a class 13 is now
very unlikely. Belgian Railways have stated that the class must be based
on proven technology; this tends to limit things quite a bit. One magazine
even mentioned that the final build total could be as high at 200; this
would enable the withdrawal of all class 16, 22, 23, 25 and 26 locomotives.
Class 41. The new 2 car DMU's were launched to the general public on 24th
September when 4104 at Bruxelles Midi. On the TTB Day (30 September) a
unit was operating Neerpelt - Mol - Hasselt additionals. The class commenced
passenger service on the 9th October. Currently workings are confined to
a few peak hour Monday to Friday trains between Mol and Hasselt.
Booked Trains are: - 06:12 Hasselt - Mol L3076
08:10 Mol - Hasselt L3058
17:12 Hasselt - Mol L3087
18:10 Mol - Hasselt L3068
Class 55. GPS Tracking equipment has been fitted to 5503 and 5507 to trial
the equipment. 5526 is the first to be out-shopped from Salzinnes Works
in the Grey livery, which is similar to that carried by the class 77. 5526
has also been fitted with ATB and Indusi systems, it is planned to fit
another four class 55 locomotives with this kit for working IJzeren Rijn
Class 77. All class 77's up to number 22 are in now in traffic, all locomotives
so far are based at Antwerpen Dam and spend most of their time working
in the docks area. The first 28 engines are all fitted with radio control
equipment, for shunting duties.
B-Cargo are the freight division of SNCB, at the moment they use Belgian
Railways motive power for their trains. They are currently looking at ordering
30 high-horse power diesel locomotives, these would be for working Antwerpen
- Ruhr Area freights, no class designation is known at this time. The type
must be acceptable to the EBA (the German Railways Safety Authority) as
it is planned for the locomotives to operate on DB metals. Again a proven
type is wanted. I would expect that the locos would be based on the EWS
class 66, which is currently being used by several private railway companies
in Europe and already has EBA approval.
At the beginning of December the line between Fleurus and Auvelais (part
of former line 147) will re-open to freight traffic. The Belgian enthusiast
group PFT had planned to run a charter train over the line on the 16th
December. SNCB have postponed the tour, as they don't want the first train
over the route to be a passenger service as they are not planning to re-open
the line to passengers.
The electrified Line 36A (between Voroux and Kinkempois) has re-opened
following construction works on a section of the high-speed line around
Ans. This line is used by freight trains, which avoid Liege; the route
will also be used for LGV construction trains.
Virgin Trains. (Not a new competitor for SNCB, although Virgin once had
a plan to paint all the Eurostar fleet red!!). The first new class 220
DMU for Virgin Trains, which are being built at Brugge, was tested between
Ath and Silly on the 20/21 October The set was hauled to and from Ath by
electric locomotive 2157. This is the stretch of line SNCB use for testing
their own rolling stock. Press launch of the new DMU is planned to take
place at Brugge on Friday 1st December.
By Paul Stoddart-van der Maaden
New Trams for RET … Somewhat surprisingly, RET has decided to order
60 new Citadis trams from the French manufacturer Alsthom. It involves
an investment of around 180m Dfl. The first will be supplied in July 2002
and will run on the so-called TramPluslijnen (the current line 20). The
Citadis is a low-floor tram with 4 double-doors, a wide aisle and capacity
for 190 passengers.
New Trams – Antwerpen … Politician Stevaert has received the
go-ahead to order another 47 low-floor trams. It involves an investment
of 3,5 bn Bfr from 2001 – 2005. It is intended that the first units
will enter service in 2003 and the last to be delivered in 2007. Gent wants
to see its public transport passengers double by 2010.
The GVB has plans to purchase another 60 Combino trams. There are also
discussions to have some of the units already on order built for bi-directional
operations, to run on line 5.
Compiled by Peter van der Mark and Paul Stoddart-van der Maaden
Jouef HO has issued a very good looking model of the CIWL T2 sleeper in
various liveries, amongst which are the original CIWL blue as well as the
present day Belgian Rail blue with a red underside. There are quite a lot
of separate details that have to be added to the vehicle, which includes
the underside of the body. Importers Maarten van der Burgt, 0031 40 2453408.
Piko has brought out a set of two historic looking Dutch refrigerated vans.
They are short in comparison to the original and sport brakeman’s
huts, which look interesting but had already disappeared by the time in
which the inscriptions place the vehicles. Both Philotrain and MK Modelbouwstudios
will sell you the correct item.
The surprising range of HO scale Dutch historic lorries and buses keeps
growing, a Leyland Verheul bus with luggage rack on top from 1958 is available
from HB Models, as is a Hanomag L28 Minibus of 1952 vintage. Lorries from
those heady days leading up to the Beatles are in the shops from Brekina,
A Merc. O 6600 and a Buessing 8000 from Verwer's Expresse and a similar
Buessing from InterLimburg. Furthermore there is an Opel Blitz delivery
van of the Rijks Automobiel Centrale and a Tempo Matador van in yellow
with Dutch Kodak Laboratories inscriptions. Herpa has issued a blue Volkswagen
LT minibus with KLM inscriptions, a Scania 144 low loader with v.d. Vlist
inscriptions with some sort of a bulky looking barrel on the trailer and
a MAN F2000 rubbish truck with ROVA inscriptions.
Arnold have recently launched their version of the ICE 3 – NS (photo).
Built with a new motor, the unit can easily be rebuilt for digital systems.
It will be available as a 4-car set (Article No. 0400) containing 2 end
units (one of which is the driving unit) 1st and 2nd class, and 2 carriages
1st and 2nd class. The unit has a total length of 632 mm, and can be extended
to the normal 8-car unit with a restaurant and 2nd class carriages added.
THS … their n-scale Hondekop appears to be available in the near
future, having solved various production problems, including sourcing appropriate
MTK … have recently launched their version of the PlanU in red-livery.
The motor is based on that of the Arnold MotorPost and is produced to scale.
Also under development is a HO version of the PlanU to 1:87 scale. Contact
Modelspooratelier MTK on Tel. 0031 38 3321988.
Stoom & Spoor … manufacturers of their own models (and not rebuilt
LGB models), have recently developed new models (45 mm gauge) including
an NS 1200 and NS 2200.
Contact: Stoom & Spoor Tel. 0031 70 3838444.
KleiNSpoor Kit no. 819a – VAM container wagon type Slpps. Containing
around 30 parts, this kit is described as being user-friendly, and should
be capable of being built in a few evenings. Contact KleiNSpoor Tel. 0031
13 5420375. Kits are also available for the ACTS wagons type Slpps liveried
with ‘Essent Milieu’ and ‘Afvalsturing Brabant’ (with
smaller containers than those of Essent and VAM, as per prototype).
Rivarossi … available end-2000, they are now promoting their mDDM
motor unit, which has replaced the 1700’s on push-pull operations
with double-deck stock.
The model can be ordered from most Dutch dealers, quoting the following
1614 – mDDM direct current.
1614W – mDDM alternate current.
615 Set mDDM including 3 carriages direct current.
616 Set mDDM including 3 carriages alternate current.
Herpa have introduced their version of the VW LT van in KLM colours.
Busch have recently introduced 3 new models; a Smart Car liveried police
of Flevoland, a Smart Car with sunroof and a Mercedes A-Class liveried ‘Broeder
Marklin/ Minitrix/ Trix … if you would like an A4 photocopy of models
(inc. model numbers) of Dutch ‘available’ models from this
manufacturer, then send the Secretary an sae.
LSM (Limited Scale Models) … have released their version of the couchette
carriage type T2 of the NMBS (based on a Jouef model). The T2 carriages
were developed at the end of the 1960’s by Compagnie Internationale
des Wagon-Lits. The design creates for an interesting window pattern.
Lima … have launched their versions of the NMBS B-Cargo wagon type
By Paul Stoddart-van der Maaden
Simply an assortment of new models available for the Benelux scene, some
of which may already be available in the shops, compiled from Dutch model
magazines from Jan-August 2000.
Marklin In the shops since last Christmas, the Marklin NS 6513 has been
worth waiting for if reports are to be believed. With an excellent motor
and interior within easy reach, an excellent paint-job and correct length
make this 6513 a must for all of you modelling Marklin. Also from Marklin
is a new grey/yellow NS 6400, which can also be found in the Trix catalogue.
A set of 2 coil wagons with the NS Cargo and CAIB insignias.
NS 1637 in NS Cargo-red livery.
Minitrix are planning a ‘brown-liveried’ 1200 series this year.
It is to be a replica of the eleven 1200’s that carried this livery
in the 1950’s.
Also, the popular NoHab ‘Bolle Neus’ of the NMBS numbered 204
will be available during 2000. The Danish version will also be available.
Roco NS 1737 in Cargo red livery.
Goods wagons type CHO are also new and are available in two running numbers.
Also new is a version of the long goods wagon type Habbillns. These wagons
are currently on hire to the NS from the Ahaus Alstatter Eisenbahn, and
as with the models, have an NS Cargo-sticker on the side.
For scale-N, there is also a new coil wagon, in the red CAIB livery.
The 6705 ACTS with 3 accompanying container wagons with ACTS and VAM logos.
Type W2 InterCity first-class carriage.
4-axle kettlewagon type ZACAS with EVA insignias.
Liliput/ Bachmann NS 4300.
NS 6400 in Railion livery.
NS kettlewagon in TEEPOL (Shell) livery.
Lima/ Rivarossi/ Arnold From Lima an open goods wagon type Eaos with Railion
insignia and a Railion type Fad167. Type Fad167 is also planned in a B-Cargo
Arnold has made the Eaos and Fad167 available in scale-N, together with
a DB loco series 152 also carrying the Railion livery.
KleiNSpoor/ THS * NEW ADDRESS * Hendrik de Keijserstraat 3, 5041 JA Tilburg.
Their version of the ACTS container wagon with VAM containers.
KleiNSpoor, in conjunction with THS are now developing their own motors
for scale-N, as the new owners of Trix are apparently no longer ‘helpful’.
BRAWA Recently launched both in scale HO and N, the ‘Talent’ will
be in service between Enschede and Gronau.
Also in HO, an Interfrigo - Coolwagon seen throughout The Benelux.
Philotrain * NEW ADDRESS * De Hare 22, 8375 GD, Oldemarkt.
NS goods wagon type CHE, both in ready-to-run and kit form.
NS cattle wagon type FVAL, also available in both forms.
LSM Type Eanos wagon with ‘SeaLand’ insignia as is currently
in use on trains running between Rotterdam and Antwerpen.
Brekina Models Available now are a VW Golf (Mark I) of the Dutch police
and fire brigade.
Models for 2000 also include lorries from Frans Maas (seen on the UK roads),
various ambulance and army VW vans.
Herpa have recently launched their version of a ‘train-taxi’ now
common in Holland. Their version is of a Mercedes V-Class in blue with
yellow ‘TreinTaxi’ insignias.
Dutch Models from CW Modelbouw Contact: Kees van der Vis, CW Modelbouw,
Oostereind 14, 9444 XD Grolloo. Tel. 0592-501519.
CW Modelbouw design and build models out of brass, their portfolio includes
kits and -ready-to-run Dutch Rail & Tramway models (apparently mainly
pre W.W.II), and also an assortment of Swiss models. Catalogue available.
SEEN IN THE READING
Compiled by Ralph Hanley
JOURNAL DU CHEMIN DE FER ISSUE # 117
Main Articles. Le “Keukenhof” dans le Midi de la France describes
the work of ex NS Diesel type 2200 locos in constructing the SNCF TGV Mediterranie
line building. [Included are ex BR locos]. Model construction of SNCB type
catenary. Activities on the NS Steam tramway from Hoorn to Medemblik. NS “Reizigers” investment
of 1 billion Guilders.
Other Items. Ex NS 1221 is now in service as La 1255 in “Vos” logistics
livery, that is black with an orange band. A true “Benelux” working
was spotted on an Amsterdam - Luxembourg passenger train 1139 near Rivage,
a SNCB driver in charge of CFL 3004 hauling NS stock. SNCB “Budd” stainless
units withdrawn earlier by SNCB [January], have found a new home on a
private secondary Italian network. A specialist company at Bruges has
EN LIGNES ISSUE # 43
Main Articles. An article on TGV line signalling, with photographs from
the Bruxelles - Lille line. Shunting locomotive 9901 of the SNCB. Along
the Ligne # 37 [Liege to Koln] in 1962. Ligne # 42 [Liege to Trios Ponts],
the epilogue of electrification.
Other items. CFL have hired 6 ex Norwegian type 26 diesels for both passenger
and freight rosters. These are constructed by MaK-Siemens from 1995.
Overall details are: MaK 12 M motor of 2,650 kW with electric transmission
layout. Total weight of 122 tons with maximum speed of 140 km/h. Length
is 21 m. As from end November, SNCB/CFL series 13 and 3000 locomotives
will work freight trains over SNCF network to Metz. SNCB “B” Cargo
are evaluating new more powerful diesel locos, [series 30 & 40],
to work the Antwerp to Ruhr heavy freight trains. These could be similar
the English EWS General Motors 3,300 Hp engines.
Misc. Motive Power No. 5145 was withdrawn in July to avoid an engine
replacement. No. 5319 was involved in an accident 10 July in Luxembourg.
has been made to repair this engine. The undamaged cabin of 6205 has
replaced the cabin of 6315, which was in a level crossing collision with
Delivery of the SNCB series 441-490 and 501-570 were completed with #
570 from Brugge works the end May. The 50 units [441-490] are bi-current
kV / 25 kV], whilst the 70 units [501-570] are 3 kV. SNCB are planning
a new locomotive, Series 14 to replace the earlier Series: 22, 23, 25
and 26. The Series 14 will be quadruple voltage, 1.5, 3, 15 & 25 kV. First
choice appears to be the Siemens “EuroSprinter”, which is based
on DB’s series 152. The new conversion of SNCB restaurant car is
in new livery, the first being seen at Schaerbeek in yellow [upper] and
purple / blue [lower] Latest SNCB withdrawals from service are: 6205
[following a collision at Merelbeke workshop, 5124, 8504/06/12/13/14/17/25.
EMU 66 unit 716 was involved in an accident at Aiseau, caused by juvenile
vandalism, [a concrete block on the points]. The driver was killed and
several passengers seriously injured. One unit was damaged beyond repair.
The undamaged unit will be paired up with another undamaged unit from
an earlier accident.
TGV work update The Belgian parliament have opposed SNCB’s proposal
for a new TGV station at Bruxelles close to Schaerbeek - to be known as “Bruxelles
- Europa”. SNCB estimate that Bruxelles Midi and Nord will become
saturated by 2010. A group, of international experts will report independently
on SNCB’s estimates to confirm or otherwise. Foundations have be
laid for a new “Liege - Guillemins”, this will be located
150 m towards the river Meuse. Planned completion date is 2005; about
later than initially planned.
L-1 [French border to Bruxelles], signalling improvements are underway
to increase speeds above 200 Kph between Lembeek to Bruxelles.
L-2 [Bruxelles to German border], earth works and grading are well advanced
with some track already laid with the first sections planned to be in
service 2 Q 2001. Approaches to Leuven and Ath are completed. Earlier
locos # 5917 and 5936 have a “reprise” working the TGV construction
L-3 [Bruxelles to Holland border], earth work and subterranean wall construction
is well underway between Antwerp Dam and Luchtbal. Platform “relocations” continue
at Antwerp Central, with platforms 4 to 6 soon back in service. In the
meantime tunnelling continues with a 21m-diameter machine.
Other Items. The proposed new “Strand” station at Zeebrugge
will apparently be only in use at the weekends. Local opposition, [schools,
commuter’s etc.], have persuaded SNCB to retain weekday services
to the existing station. SNCB are studying a new high speed, [200 Kph],
line between Bruxelles - Namur to Charleroi running alongside the Autoroute
RAIL PASSION ISSUE # 43
This contains a 6-page article, with detailed track layout, of the rail
system in the port of Antwerp. Daily there are 280 trains with approximately
2,000 wagons running over 1,000 Km of track
Loco Revue October
Loco Revue for October lists several new SNCB models, they are: -
Rivarossi type T2 coach in Trans Europe Night livery (similar to SNCF
TEN livery) price 300 Ffr.
LS –Models [Jouef] type T2 coach in blue livery with a red band
at the base, price 300 Ffr.
Lima type Rils covered wagon in B Cargo turquoise livery, price 170 Ffr.
LS –Models [Lima] type Rils covered wagon grey livery, price 170
LS –Models [Lima] type Rils covered wagon grey livery but for CFL,
price 170 Ffr.
DUTCH RAIL MUSEUMS (PART II)
By Paul Stoddart-van der Maaden
Are you interested in visiting Dutch historical lines and museums? Then
read on. I have listed (split over 2 Nieuwsbrief issues) details of 18
rail museums and an accompanying map. If you are connected to the Internet,
then you can also access this information at the following address: www.railmusea.nl,
although the information provided will be in Dutch. Do contact the organisations
before planning your visit, as many of them only operate between April
and October, and some only offer rides on certain dates.
Electrische Museumtramlijn Amsterdam EMA (map ref. 10) …
On the line from Amsterdam Haarlemmermeerstation to Amstelveen-Bovenkerk
the EMA operate their electric museum trams. Not only will you be able
to see and ride on Amsterdam's trams, but also examples from Bonn, Groningen,
Den Haag, Prague, Rotterdam and Vienna. For those of you who enjoy Dutch
herring, ‘Ome Roel’ has his herring stall by the side of
Address: Haarlemmermeerstation, Amstelveenseweg 264, 1075 XV Amsterdam.
Contact: Tel. 020-6737538 (Sundays only) or 020-4231100.
Travel: Tram lines 6 and 16 and buses including 15, 23, 145, 146,147,
170, 171 and 172.
Stoomtrein Valkenburgse Meer SVM (map ref. 11) …
Running through the Valkenburgse Meer recreation area (between Leiden,
Katwijk and Wassenaar), and located near the Nationaal Smalspoormuseum,
the SVM have over 80 locos either on display in the museum or running
on the lines. The steam train departs from the museum for a 45-minute
past the lake. With a museum containing locos, model railways, photos
and films, it is worth a visit even on a bad day.
Address: Jan Pellenbargweg 1, 2335 SP Valkenburg.
Contact: Tel. 071-5724275, Email: email@example.com (www.smalspoormuseum.nl).
Travel: Bus ZWN#43 or by car via A44, exit Leiden Zuid.
Rotterdamsch Trammuseum (map ref. 12) …
The museum has on display a number of historic Rotterdamse trams including
a collection of tickets, photos and other objects relating to public
transport in and around Rotterdam. Entrance is free, but be aware disabled
appears to be limited. During the summer months historic trams offer
a ride to/from the Centraal Station.
Address: Tramweg Stichting TS, Nieuwe Binnenweg 362, 3023 ET Rotterdam.
Contact: Tel. 010-4330762.
Travel: NS Rotterdam CS and Tram line 4 to Heemraadsplein. Or, metro
Oost-westlijn to Delfshaven station.
Haags Openbaar Vervoer Museum HOVM (map ref. 13) …
The museum displays the history of public transport in and around Rotterdam.
The museum has on display 25 HTM trams and around 10 busses from various
companies. The museum offers rides on the trams and busses through Den
Haag and surrounding areas.
Address: Parallelweg 224, Den Haag.
Contact: Tel. 070-4451559.
Travel: NS Station Den Haag followed by tramlines 9 and 12.
Stoom Stichting Nederland SSN (map ref. 14) …
This museum depot has on display historical railway carriages of the
SSN. The SSN carries out ‘chartered’ journeys across the NS network.
Special attractions are held on ‘Hemelvaartsdag’ (Ascension
Day) and in October.
Address: Bosdreef 75.
Contact: Tel 010-2829282 (www.stoomstichting.nl).
Travel: Bust RET#38 to eindpunt Crooswijk, followed by a 10 min walk.
Stichting RTM Ouddorp (map ref. 15) …
On display is the collection from the former Rotterdamsche Tramweg Maatschappij.
Rides take you on a 7 km journey from the dune areas of Ouddorp passed
the Brouwersdam and finally to Gran Dorado-park Port Zelande.
Address: De Punt Remise, Port Zelande te Ouddorp.
Contact: Tel. 0187-689911, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travel: Connexxion#104 (Spijkenisse Metro/Centrum-Vlissingen v.v.).
Zuid-Limburgse Stoomtrein Maatschappij ZLSM (map ref. 16) …
The ZLSM occupies the infamous ‘Miljoenenlijn’ between Schin
op Geul and Kerkrade. The route of around 16 km is the only ‘mountain
line’ through hilly areas running both steam trains and a railbus
(Schienenbus). There are six stops along the way … Kerkrade, Spekholzerheide,
Simpelveld, Eys, Wijlre/Gulpen and Schin op Geul. Only recently the ZLSM
has reopened The Netherlands oldest ‘international’ line
between Simpelveld and Vetschau (Germany). They also run a winter timetable
November 05 onwards.
Address: Stationstraat 20-22, Simpelveld.
Contact: Tel. 045-5440018, (www.zlsm.nl).
Travel: Stations NS Kerkrade and Schin op Geul, or by bus Hermes#33,
42, 43 and 47.
Tramweg Stichting (TS) Depot Scheveningen (map ref. 17) …
They carry out restorations and display trams from the Blauwe Tram (NZH)
and the Haagse Tram. Frequent rides are made with museum stock NZH A327
Address: Pekelremise HTM/ Harstenhoekplein, Scheveningen.
Contact: Tel. 0348-501545.
Travel: Directions given upon request.
NZH Bedrijfsmuseum (map ref. 18) …
Visit the ‘Haarlem of bygone days’ … by viewing the four ‘Blauwe
trams’ including the famous ‘Budapester’ from 1923 and
an extensive collection portraying ‘old’ Haarlem. There is
no entrance fee.
Address: Leidsevaart 396, Haarlem.
Contact: Tel. 023-5152607.
Travel: Haarlem NS-Museum Connexxion#90, or Amsterdam-Museum Connexxion#80.
EUROSPOOR – A PERSONAL VIEWPOINT
By Mike Denman
Autumn in Utrecht is marked by a weekend for the railway modeller at
EuroSpoor. EuroSpoor is advertised as the biggest model railway show
in Europe (covering
200,000 square feet) and its location is of special interest to NRS members
because of its Dutch location. EuroSpoor is more than a model railway
show because it includes a large presence of new and second-hand dealers
make up a good sized toy fair, and Eurospel which concentrates on children's'
toys such as Lego, Playtime, Meccano and over 30 others. My view of the
event is, of course, a personal one and follows visits in two consecutive
years. Because of its size, the show gives a good opportunity to maximise
the value of the investment in the trip to Holland. Plenty of layouts
(the claim is "over 60"), plenty of dealers and a children's
area where there are hands on displays and entertainment, a bonus if
be a family day out.
First some practicalities, the exhibition centre, Jaarbeurs, is just
a few minutes from the back entrance to Utrecht station. Last year the
ticket could be bought with the rail ticket at any NS station. I was
impressed by this and surprised to find that the arrangement has been
meant two queues at the show, one for the ticket and one at admission.
There is a cloakroom and its well worth leaving coats for the day. It
makes such a difference when strolling round. The aisles are wide so
not feel crowded although, naturally, the best layouts and stalls attract
the most people. There are two main café areas and some other
take-away stalls. The range of food is limited but if you just need something
keep you going through the day the exhibition hall will suffice.
One of my objectives was to gain an understanding of Dutch modelling.
The approach does appear quite different from the typical UK output. Layouts
in UK shows could be described as mostly small to medium, end-to-end with
an emphasis on steam. Layouts at EuroSpoor are mainly long and based on
a continuous run. Steam models are on view but diesels and electrics dominate.
This difference was made more obvious because the 3 or 4 guest layouts
from Britain were of the more compact type. Indeed the local TV crew was
concentrating on the Powys based layout "Tanygrisiau" on the
The continuous circuit of the Dutch layouts also means a different approach
in operations. For the main part the layouts had a number of trains going
round and round on a space interval basis. Operators acted as observers
watching for problems. The operator drives trains on UK layouts, which
is essential for end-to-end lines. But because driving the model is the
traditional approach it usually carries through to the larger layouts too.
The effect at EuroSpoor is that when viewing a layout the same trains will
pass by in a repeating sequence. UK layouts favour the hidden sidings or
fiddle yard approach. Again this leads to the need to drive the train,
which creates the idea that trains are travelling from one place to another.
The continental layout may be based on an oval but it is more likely to
use a return loop at each end forming a dumb-bell. This feature is very
effective if continuous running is the main means of exhibiting stock.
The large layouts at the show meant that there needed to be a large amount
of scenic detail. Large layouts provide the opportunity for all sorts of
features. On view were oil refineries, townscapes, farms, villages, working
fairgrounds, pumping stations, a volcano (working!) and every variation
of water from beaches to canals. Not all the layouts follow the typical
pattern. The smaller scenic layout Loek Bronkhorst (Continental Modeller,
December 1999) always had an enthralled group viewing the detail. But to
re-enforce the approach to running the same 4 trains passed through the
scene. Nevertheless a star of a layout. I wanted to spend time studying
the settings for all the layouts because this is so important to capturing
the essence of NS modelling. There is plenty to see and inspire.
However, I have to say that I prefer the hands on approach to train operation.
As an N scale modeller one of my favourites was from the Delft club. It
has to be said, however, that reliable running was no better this year
than last. It's all part of the round and round approach and trains running
into each other. Certainly the layout has a very interesting selection
of N scale stock. I think the bulk of my points have to be awarded to Schraepen.
This HO layout must be some 50 to 60 feet long in 5 self-contained scenic
sections. The Belgian stock is run at realistic speeds through very detailed
scenery. It includes working road traffic and level crossings. It follows
the normal pattern of out and back via dumb-bell loops but at such a length
that is not noticeable. A goods train takes over 4 minutes to complete
I should say something about the trade stands. There are dozens of retailers
in two basic groups. There are those who concentrate on new models and
there is the large number of stalls at the far end of the exhibition mainly
dealing in the second-hand market. I will express my personal niggle here
because at a premier Dutch show I had hoped to find plenty of NS in N scale.
I found only two coaches (new or s/h) in yellow/blue. However, I was delighted
to find a KLM Koploper.
The experience for the HO modeller is quite different. The event is
a treasure-trove of new and used NS and some Belgian locos. Even casual
however, shows the dominance of DB. There were the latest releases -NS
ICE, ACTS and Koplopers in every livery. All the major manufactures could
be found on the stalls. This show is worth a visit but the core exhibits
remain the same from year to year. It’s essential to set aside the
whole day to make it all worthwhile. If waiting a year is rather long there
is another EuroSpoor at Maastricht on 23, 24 and 25 March 2001. In this
case a mere 180,000 square feet and "over 50" layouts.
NS REIZIGERS FUTURE PLANS
By Paul Stoddart-van der Maaden
(Editors note. This article was held over from the last issue due to lack
of space and some of the ideas have now either moved on or been revised
as may have been reported elsewhere).
NS-R is expecting a substantial increase in traffic over the next few years.
Initially, the upturn in passenger traffic experienced recently has been
met by an increase in train frequency. This has brought its own negative
aspect, that of more km's resulting in an increase in servicing frequencies.
More wear ‘n tear has in turn led to an increased demand for spare
parts, some of which could not be supplied in the time span required, resulting
in some rolling stock standing idle and hence a reduction in badly needed
seating capacity. Ordering extra trains was also not the answer, as you
do not just buy them ‘off the shelf’. The following steps have
been implemented to try and avoid escalating capacity shortages, now and
in the future: -
In-service life of Plan T and V has been extended.
34 Plan W coaches brought back into service.
80 type K4 carriages hired from the SNCB.
Planned in-service life for ICR extended.
In-service life of 19 Plan U diesel units extended.
An order placed for 252 new IRM coaches.
To hire extra carriages in addition to the K4’s.
Extension of In-service life of Plan U. Initially planned to be scrapped
by 2001; a total of 19 Plan U units will now be overhauled in order to
extend their ‘in-service’ life. Some of the units will come
out of retirement; others will first of all have to finish their contract
period with Syntus. This will cost around 57M Dfl, most of which will be
spent on installing new diesel motors and updating the interiors. It is
the intention that these units will be placed on existing lines, where
they can relieve over-congestion, thus we will start to see these diesels
on electrified lines. It is thought that they will be placed in either
the Zwolle or Arnhem regions or Northern Holland. The Tilburg Revisie works
will start work at the end of this year, and NS-R hopes this measure will
account for an extra 4000 seating capacity for a period of 5 years.
Orders for 252 new IRM’s. NS-R has also placed an order for 252 Double-deckers
type IRM with Bombardier Transportation. The intention is to increase the
IRM 3-car units to 4-car and use them on lines where currently only single-deck
carriages are used. This measure should mean an extra 25000 seating capacity
by 2002. 128 of the 252 order will be used to lengthen the current units
and the remainder will make up a planned 13 4-car and 12 6-car units. These
6-car units will provide a 600 seating capacity, and at 160m in length
are the longest units ever to run on the NS network. Even so they will
still achieve speeds of around 160 km/h. Deliveries of the new units are
expected between April 2002 and August 2004, aiming for 9 units per month.
The IRM units will be used for the InterCity lines, with Plan V and T replacing
the IRM’s on other lines such as Zwolle and Roosendaal.
The hire of extra carriages. NS-R would dearly love to own more passenger
carriages, but finding sufficient useable units in Europe will not be an
easy task. Even if they do find enough, they would also have to meet the
stringent Dutch safety requirements. It is however likely that we will
start to see more ‘foreign’ rolling stock in Holland.
In Conclusion. The above measures should cover the increase in passenger
traffic until around 2005, after this NS-R is looking to introduce new
high-speed trains currently code-named HS IC. These will apparently reach
speeds of 220 km/h and will have to be double-deckers to cope with an ever-increasing
capacity, which is expected for the foreseeable future.
BENELUX RAILWAYS ON THE INTERNET
Part 2: Model manufacturers and retailers
By David Halsall
This theme is intended to link with my review article on Dutch models in
this issue, and to be an apt theme as Christmas draws near. The nature
of material presented by railway model manufacturers and retailers is explored
with examples for readers to assess themselves. In Nieuwsbrief 33, I introduced
the scope of the Internet as a source of data, presented in written descriptions
and visual images which can be continually revised and updated as required,
utilising the example of the Dutch National Railway Museum in Utrecht.
There are similar elements within the web sites suggested as useful sources
for continental modellers in this review.
Model Railway manufacturers. Most of the well-known manufacturers have
web sites to broadcast their products, thus complementing their other advertising,
especially their catalogues, and strengthening their competitive positions.
They also advise on the services that they provide, and alert enthusiasts/consumers
to future developments (e.g. new releases, limited additions) and to events
(e.g. large model exhibitions) in which the company is a participant, sponsor,
etc. Crucially, most of these web sites are updated, and have the ability
to provide the reader with up to the minute information, compared with
printed sources such as the annual catalogues and magazine reviews and
advertisements. Some companies set out a particular image. Fleischmann
continues its claim to be 'the model railway for experts', linking this
phrase with the visual glamour and modernity of its models of the ICE 3
on its home page and the covers of its 2000/2001 catalogues (www.Fleischmann.de/english/index/texte.html).
Roco draws upon the romance of the reputation of the capital city in which
it is located - 'Welcome at Roco. Modeltoys in Salzburg' (www.Roco.co.at/ROCO-HomepageEnglisch/home/e-homepage.html)
is the heading on its home page. Other companies, for e.g. Liliput, Piko,
describe their company history, thus presenting the idea of tradition,
an emotive link with the enthusiastic nostalgia, which underpins much interest
in model railways.
The web sites contain much informative material in lists and classifications
- news and new items, limited editions, locomotives, freight and passenger
rolling stock, sets, accessories, digital, events, societies and magazines,
after sales services - provide a wealth of information, often with pictorial
support. Piko's detailed lists contain a full high quality colour coverage
of the available models (including Ex-assortment) together with detailed
tabulations, indicating price in DM, US Dollars and Euros. The logic and
clarity of this format betters many a hard copy catalogue www.Piko.de/e/artikel/50001.htm
shows one example - DR 01.5 Reconstruction (coal-fired). Roco has an impressive
pictorial display which through its utilisation of movement - e.g. a steam
locomotive with steam writhing around it - and change - with series of
high quality pictures, which dissolve into each other. The quality of photographs
of other models is also high. The cover of the 1999/2000 catalogue, featuring
the Vienna Technical Museum's 2-6-4 310.23, is enhanced by its illumination
on the computer monitor, as is the preview of the 2001 calendar, which
creates a feeling of anticipation to own one. The emphasis in these web
sites is not surprisingly German; it would be nice to see some Benelux!
This article seeks to whet the reader's appetite to browse amongst the
manufacturers' web pages. Try the following:
When you find material you like, would wish to use again, or see an update
in due course, put its URL in your Favourites file, so that it can be retrieved
Model Railway Retailers. Growing numbers of retailers have web sites as
many are also adopting e-mail, and it is worth investigating these for
particular models you wish to purchase, price levels, events, etc. I am
leaving readers to explore the retail scene. Use appropriate advertisements
in magazines such as Continental Modeller, which has its own web site – www.peco-uk.com,
and Rail Magazine. Spoorwegen & Modelspoor (ISSN: 0926-3489). Good
A DUTCH MODEL REVIEW: THOUGHTS FOR CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS IN HO
By David Halsall
NB: Bold type is reserved for material examined in greater depth.
The Benelux railway systems have continued to show rapid changes during
the last twelve to eighteen months. These are reflected in the valiant
efforts by continental model railway manufacturers to keep up with modern
developments in motive power and rolling stock with a flow of appropriate
new models. With Christmas approaching rapidly, this necessarily selective
overview presents a series of notes and comments on new HO (mainly Dutch)
models introduced in late 1999/2000. In particular it follows the trends
of change in motive power, modernisation, privatisation, amalgamation,
re-organisation and competition, which now affect specific Dutch freight
and passenger transit.
Passenger traffic. In the Netherlands, visual evidence of change in passenger
provision reflects increasing congestion. The reincarnation of Plan W Inter
City coaches by NS-R (Roco 44287 and 44287.1: Open 2nd class, plan W2,
50 84 21-37 507-4), and use of coaching stock from Belgium, France and
Germany, is noted in earlier issues of Nieuwsbrief this year. Roco's Plan
W is an impressive model which captures the essential character of the
prototype, with its fixed steps and distinctive window shapes. It is precisely
detailed, coloured and lettered and has visible, realistic interiors. The
adopted 1:100 scale rather than 1:87 has led to the contraction of window
widths but overall this is a very convincing model, a good companion to
Marklin's equally excellent 1:100 scale Inter City (ICR) stock. 42651 is
a Kitchen Brake Open 2nd, 50 84 82-70 918-7, 4264, an Open 2nd 50 84 20-77
728-8 and 4265, a Semi-Open 1st, 50 84 10-70 662-8. These also are impressive
vehicles, with beautifully detailed mouldings in the plastic body, under-floor
equipment and bogies, with excellent clear printing and paintwork, and
appropriate interiors. Both Roco and Marklin couplings eliminate noticeable
gaps between corridor connections; both sets of wheels (Marklin are easily
changed for 2-rail operation) and bogies run smoothly. Such good looking
and smooth running vehicles are a worthy investment.
A new component of high-speed travel is the impressive scale length ICE
high-speed train of five vehicles, now produced by Marklin with NS logos,
complementing similar offerings with DBAG identity by Marklin and Fleischmann.
A very large layout will be needed to run these trains (and the French
TGV PBA and PBKA units), suitably lengthened to realistic proportions using
extension sets (e.g. Lima, Mehano) effectively with a sense of realism
With the withdrawal of Lovers Rail, SNCB/NMBS 25/5s no longer visit
Amsterdam Centraal, Haarlem or IJmuiden. To the author's knowledge, bus
liveries of secondary line new providers (e.g. NoordNed and Syntus) are
yet to be portrayed in the model world in HO scale. Indeed modellers of
the Dutch scene await HO design and production of the multiple units themselves
which presently wear these colours. 'Wadlopers' and DM’90 'Railhoppers',
for example, would be welcome extensions to the HO range. I look forward
to the possibilities of model double deck services powered by a mDDM Bo-Bo-Bo
driving unit (Rivarossi 1614) rather than a 1600 or 1700. (Lima 149868/149817)
Freight traffic. Developments in Dutch freight traffic reflect competition
from 'new' private companies/operators - ACTS, HGK (HGK) - and the amalgamation
of DB Cargo and NS Cargo to form the controversially named 'Railion'. The
growing number of goods vehicle models in the red liveries of the freight
sectors of DBAG and NS-C reflects the changing national and international
situations and organisation of rail freight. Red liveried wagons are becoming
increasingly apparent in the real and model worlds although many older
liveries persist. Introductions of larger more individual model wagons
in 2000 include: -
A Marklin (46552) set of two bogie petroleum tank wagons, of WASCOSA operated
by SBB and of Firma AVIA, jointly with NS Cargo. These are ideal for trains
serving the oil trade areas of the port of Rotterdam, are well built and
detailed and with smooth running wheels (can be replaced for 2-rail).
A 4-wheel, long wheelbase Cargowagon, and bogie NS-C van, both effectively
moulded and with superb printed details (Roco 46934,47143).
A Fleischmann (5427 NL) set of two container bogie wagons with two removable
40-foot containers of ECS and P&O-Nedlloyd, again beautifully constructed
and presented products, typical of such wagons and loads using the Netherlands
as a gateway from the North Sea to inland Europe.
A Piko bogie stake wagon and three 20-foot Frans Maas containers (95481)
Readers who need older models are advised to seek these before they become
too scarce as they are deleted by the new models. All the above models
are attractive and well constructed, as the collector comes to expect from
such quality manufacturers, but don't forget the modern humble day-to-day
traffic such as covered steel wagons. It may indeed be these wagons which
you will use with much greater frequency.
Short Lines (Hafen und Guteverkehr Kohn (HGK). Locomotives new to the Netherlands
freight services are the fleet of three experimental MaK DE1024 diesel
electric Co-Co evaluated by DBAG then sold to HGK. Loco DE13 in HGK red
and white livery is portrayed with two bogie DBAG flat wagons, each with
one 20 foot and one 40 foot containers in appropriate IBC livery by Lima
set 149943 (reviewed in Continental Modeller 21/11 (1999), p.491). The
set is well detailed with many small plastic parts to fit. The separate
components - loco and wagons - appear not to be available separately although
I have purchased (second hand) loco DE12, and alternative 4-wheel flat
wagons complete with two 20 foot IBC containers each. (Lima L302846-1)
The set provides a starter for accumulating longer container trains as
run by HGK between Koln and Rotterdam (Europoort), and often hauled by
MaK Bo-Bo’s (L112401), similar to but smaller than the NS 6400 class.
The Adtranz/GETS diesel electric Co-Co demonstrator locomotive ‘Blue
Tiger’ has also powered this service, as well as two GM Class 66
(EWS type) freight locomotives. The 3,300 hp (DBAG number 250 001-5) 'Blue
Tiger' has an impressive presence gained through its size, length, striking
design and silver/blue livery with large blue and silver tiger logo on
each side of the hood. The Mehano HO model of the 'Blue Tiger' (ART. T
166"DC") creates the same impression, and is undoubtedly the
most striking locomotive in my collection. It is also reviewed in the Continental
Modeller [22/9 (2000), page 407] - the reviewer enthuses about the model's
performance, finish, markings, detailing (especially the bogies), and much,
much more. I cannot but agree with these sentiments; 'Blue Tiger' is a
magnificent model, eye-catching and with impressive performance. At £79-95,
it is superb value and as a visitor or permanent resident 'could be justified
on almost any modern image European layout' (CM, 2000, p.407)
ACTS. Both versions of the 1200 (ex NS) Co-Co can be recommended as a reasonably
priced locomotive popular with many Dutch railway enthusiasts. Since my
review of the ACTS loco from NS (Lima 208212), a new version (Lima 208212-1)
is now available with a modified livery incorporating two ACTS logos each
side (under the cab side windows) and the company title, 'Vos Logistics'
between the ventilator panels on the body sides. Not surprisingly, the
loco sides appear packed with logos and words on the recent version. Also,
much awaited is the Roco model (43597) of ACTS 6700 Class Bo-Bo no. 6705
(formerly SNCB/NMBS 62 Class). The model looks excellent in the Roco Nederland
Materieel 1999/2000 brochure of new editions for the Dutch market. It will
be good to see the real thing!
DB Cargo + NS Cargo = Railion. The increasing numbers of red wagons and
locomotives representing this combined fleet in HO is growing (see above).
In the field of locomotives, Roco's first red NS loco, Class 2200 number
2384 (Roco 43749) is joined by NS Cargo liveried Class 1600 number 1637
(Roco 43787), competing with a model of the same loco, also in NS-C red
(Marklin 37262; also Trix). Marklin/Trix scale length 6400 Bo-Bo’s,
6503 in yellow/grey and 6513 (red), produced by Marklin (33644/and Trix
(22722/22545) are to scale, solidly built with metal frame and loco body,
DELTA fitted and with NEM pockets. The weight helps to create a powerful
model locomotive, and the factory-attached metal handrails are much stronger
and resilient than those provided as parts to be fitted on Roco's 2200
and Liliput's 6400. The paint work and detailing is excellent. The new
Railion livery is available on a selection of Dutch wagons and the 6400
Class (Liliput L112461) and ex-DB BR 152-087-3 (Lima 208665) but I have
seen neither of these.
The last year has proved a challenging one for model railway manufacturers
to produce models of significant new locomotives, and locos and rolling
stock in fresh liveries, indicative of the changing organisation, investment
policies and strategies of European railways. The result is a plethora
of exciting models at a time when the value of the Pound is high compared
with other currencies. Thus, the British enthusiast who wants to keep up
to date has a range of modern models to choose from, at more competitive
prices - presenting challenges of selection and implications of choice
in deciding what we hope will go into our Christmas stockings!