On the occasion of 175 years of railways in the Netherlands a Rail Parade was held at the end of October 2014 in Amersfoort.
1 The first thing to see was a steam train parading up and down alongside the exhibition area. With a German 23 Class steam locomotive at each this train may be a nice sight on its own, but a disgrace to the Dutch preservation movement. We simply don't have one single Dutch locomotive of this size operational anymore.
2 As it happens this steam locomotive was one of the youngest exhibits, younger by years than the diesels and electric stock.
7 The other one at the back end
8 We boarded the train. It was supposed to run a scant one (!) kilometre. Well, that turned out to be 500 metres up and 500 metres down.
12 We took a ride on the Ferris wheel
13 The exhibition was on the site of the old wagon works of the Dutch railways. Much of the old buildings remained after its closure in 2000 and are now in varied use.This is the main wagon hall.
14 A view towards the other side.
18 Centre piece of the exhibition was the actual parade
19 It started with a Laurel & Hardy act, showing a handcar.
20 Next in line was an early diesel. Built in 1956-57 the ten members of this class were intended to replace steam on the remaining overland tramway lines in Friesland and Groningen. The overland tramway era ended pretty abruptly in the sixties though and these engines were relegated to minor shunting services due to their light construction. They were withdrawn as early as 1972.
22 The 7700 class counted 44 members, built for the HSM between 1905 and 1914. This particular locomotive celebrated its 100th birthday this year. This is the largest operational Dutch steam locomotive! All larger steam loco's originate from other countries (mainly Germany).
23 But admittedly it is a gem, showing off HSM's taste for a bit more than just functionality
25 A recently restored 1930s internal combustion locomotive. 52 were built for leight shunting service at stations between 1927 and 1932 with a petrol engine.
30 Later in the thirties a heavier class followed suit. 169 were built from 1934-1940 and after the war from 1949-1951. Their whistle was powered by the exhaust of the diesel engine deserving them their nickname "goatee". Although not in service anymore, 77 members of the class still survive
33 A crane version for light lifting and rail maintenance duties
34 Next in line was the locomotive that I really came for: this US built war locomotive came to Europe after the invasion to provide shunting services behind the frontline. It was sold to a coal mine in South Limburg in 1947 and survived into preservation. It was restored to full working order in 2013
46 This is another warbaby, originating from the British Isles this time. Built in 1941 they were intended for shunting duties in the ammunition depots. Because of their simple and undemanding construction fifteen members of the class were assigned for duties immediately following the invasion. Number 33 landed on Juno Beach in Normandy on the 26th of July 1944. Five of the class eventually ended up in the Netherlands. After the war they were used for freight services on overland tramlines. After a varied history the sole survivor is now operational again.
47 This loco dating from 1901 is the oldest operational steam locomotive in the Netherlands. 31 were built for light shunting duties. Their jumpy nature deserved them their nickname "Kikker", Frog.
53 This Blue Angel, so named after it original colour and its wing shaped manufacturer's plate on the nose, was built for the relief of steam on branchlines. 30 single car and 46 double cars sets were built in 1953-1955. They lasted well into the nineties at the Dutch Railways, and some served a few more years after sale to other companies. The last one was withdrawn in 2002 having set the record for the longest operating railcar to 48 years
55 There were a few model railroads on display
56 This loco from the NBDS was the first six-coupled express class in the Netherlands
58 The site of the old wagon works was in itself a beautiful exhibit
60 The bridge near Rhenen, destroyed in 1945 by the retreating German troops and never restored.
72 The latest addition to the Dutch fleet, the E186 for high speed services, the first new NS locomotive in twenty years.
73 A Dutch American. Designed and built by Baldwin and Werkspoor in 1951-193. This museum engine shows off its original livery. The turquoise soon proved very impractical and was quickly replaced by dark blue. Personally I think this class 1200 is the most characteristic Dutch electrical locomotive.
87 The Class '34 DE3 three car diesel sets caused a stir when they hit the metals in 1934. Built as a stopgap measure to replace steam on not yet electrified mainlines, their sleek and modern appearance drew a lot of attention. Soon however their engines started to fail. All of them needed replacement and two years were lost, steam filling in the gap succesfully. Their star never really rose again. Their re-entrance was overshadowed by the advent of war and they served rather modest services after the war, being forced out of their mainline duties by the rapidly advancing electrification. They survived the end of steam (1958) by a mere six years.
90 Gas mask?
91 The two Blue Angel classes I discussed before had a solitary member in a third class. No 20 was derived from the single car class and used as inspection and representation vehicle for the board of NS. Because of its two raised operating cabines it was aptly named "The Camel". Built in 1954 it served its original purpose until 1973 whereafter it was used as a partytrain up for private hire. It was withdrawn in 1991 and led a cumbersome existence in the open air at the national Railway museum in Utrecht. After a thorough restoration in the Tilburg workshop it made a glamorous comeback in 2008, again as a vehicle for the board of NS, and has been a highly regarded guest on many occasions since.