1 This weekend Coen and I took two days for walking. We chose to follow the trackbed of the former tramwayline from Maastricht Railway station (at Wijck on the map) to Vaals. This tramwayline had a short and unfortunate existance between 1922 and 1939. Costing way too much and built 25 years too late this line simply had no reason to exist but for the political will to make it exist. The line more or less followed the pre-existing road (now N278) from Maastricht to Vaals via Cadier en Keer, Margraten, Gulpen, where it had a triangle stub to Wijlre, and Nijswiller.
2 The tramwayline Maastricht to Vaals has major points of interest for me. First it was a line with steep grades, almost mountainous, which is very uncommon in the Netherlands. Second it was the line on which the only ever Dutch Garratt operated. Built in 1932 by Henschel this loco had a brief life. When the line was closed in 1939 it was sold with all other loco's. It was stored for further use on a scrapyard. It seems have been sold to Germany in 1941 were it disappeared without a trace. The loco was unique. It was the only ever Garratt with inside cylinders!! On the photo, on which it seems as good as new, it is shown with the hatches open that give access to the inside motion.
4 The same area via Google Maps. The hotel is somewhat to the left. North of the road you can see a line of trees heading dead east where the line bent away from the the road to follow its own route over the incline towards the Margraten plateau. The Weg van Heer naar Bemelen is laid on the former trackbed of the tramway.
32 If we take a more distant look though, discoloration in the green field seems to indicate the course of the trackbed. You lose track when reaching the light colored field (after the third arrow). The fourth arrow indicates the restart of the recognisable part of the line.
34 A. the smal viaduct B. Breach in the embankment C. Abuttment of the Gulpdal viaduct
38 I could only find this photo on the internet. This is the viaduct over the Gulp valley, 600 m long and 22 m high.
39 The embankment on the other side of the valley, the bridge is on the right hand side.