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NS 6200 class

Project NS 6300, a short history

In 1922 the newly formed Dutch Railways formulated an ambitious electrification programme that foresaw the end of steam in the late 1930s. Consequently the building of steam locomotives ceased. Development of suitable electric locomotives lagged behind expectations though and as traffic picked up by the end of the 1920s it became obvious that ordering more steam locomotives became inevitable. Two very similar classes were developed, the 3900 class for express traffic and the 6300 class, sharing the same boiler and many design features, for mixed traffic.

The 6300 class was the last steam locomotive class to be developed by the Dutch Railways. What a difference with DB (Germany) and BR (UK) who made their last design 25 years later! When the 6300 hit the metals in 1930 it was the heaviest single frame steam locomotive in Europe. Their main task was hauling coal trains in the hilly area of South Limburg. Because these lines were relatively short and turning was deemed too inconvenient these engine were designed as tank engines.Weighing a hefty 127 metric tons and still being hand fired it did little to enchant the crews. They were nicknamed "beulen", torturers, because a 6300 working to its full potential tested the fireman to the limits of the physically possible. They proved to be excellent engines in daily operation. Three engines fell victim to WWII, the others were withdrawn between 1955 and 1957. 6317 survived but has been entombed in the amusement park that calls itself National Railway Museum in Utrecht. The engine is inaccesible and only visible for a very short moment during a tour. It could just as well have been scrapped.

Grate area 3.16 m2

Probably the most famous photo of any 6300.
NS6322 in the locomotive crane in the Tilburg workshop in 1937

Boiler pressure 14 Bar
Cylinders 420 mm
Stroke 660 mm
Wheel diameter 1550 mm
Valve gear Walschaerts
Water capacity 14 m3
Coal capacity 4,5 ton
Total operative weight 127 ton
Total length 17.385 m
Top speed 90 km/h
Tractive force 14,720 kg
Builder Henschel and
Berliner Machinenbau

No 6318 undergoing trials at the Tilburg Workshop