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Nieuwsbrief Issue 33
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DUTCH RAILWAY NEWS
By Peter van der Mark
This news section was compiled using the English language magazines Today’s Railways and Modern Railways and the Dutch publications Rail Magazine and Het Openbaar Vervoer.

LOCOMOTIVES

Class 1600/1800 B-B' AND CLASS 1300 Co-Co' E-locos
The way things are being handled concerning the described swap of ten of these machines between NS-R and NS-C is decidedly lacking clarity. Why did the bank that owns the NS-Cargo 1600's on a sale and leaseback basis object to the swap, for instance? It cannot make a blind bit of difference to them who operates the machines as long as the money keeps coming in. Why does NS-Cargo not hire them to NS-Reizigers while remaining the nominal operator etc? At the same time NS-R appeared to have indicated that their hunger for loco traction has abated. Certainly when all the wheelset and bogie problems have been solved, the refurbished plan T and V EMU's and DE3 DEMU's come on stream and the new ICE's finally get to work (which might take some time yet, see above). Only to announce shortly afterward that they have hired more coaches to solve the ongoing capacity problems (100 SNCF USI and UIC coaches of the same variety of which 80 have been hired from Belgian Rail) which clearly increases the need for extra loco traction again. And so, unexpectedly, NS-R has hired the still available 1300's for this summer of EC 2000 jobs. This means training and re-certification on 1300's for a lot of drivers. The area of operation could be the EC trains series 3500 or the Den Haag Centraal to Venlo and Heerlen runs. Sure-fire candidates are 1302, 1304, 1312 and 1315; work to remove asbestos is in progress on 1315 and 1304, with 1302 and 1312 booked into the workshops for this job. Work on the others has as yet neither started nor been announced.

The 1600 and 1800 locos (the same machine, remember, only NS-R reclassified them) are still in mutual service despite the initial fanaticism in splitting and renumbering the fleet. The NS-C locos must have working ETS and MU equipment for push-pull jobs and the NS-R machines still must have their emergency escape gas masks on board. So do not wonder when a 1600 instead of an 1800 works your DDM train, or conversely an 1800 rumbles past with freight. It is just a railway maintaining its operational normality by limiting long distance light moves and long idle hours of traction.

NS Cargo/Railion Class 200 Bo (Sik).

When NS was split up the class 200 locotractors were shared out between the three infrastructure construction and maintenance companies. Rail logistics provider RailPro, NS rolling stock maintenance company NS Materieel (NedTrain) and Freight transporter NS Cargo (Railion). The allocation of the units took place more or less based on where they actually were at that moment, which led to confusion as the clusters of machines which were standing defective or OOU at depots and all of a sudden ended up in the hands of the nearest recipient who had no use whatsoever for them. In the case of companies being based close together the actual ownership was never very clear, a situation lasting up to today. It just shows what a very common user machine the Siks were, as long as they were around and could be used nobody in the days of NS of old was bothered about where they belonged. The situation is changing now, the Siks, like the class 600 shunters, are losing favour due to the fact that transporting them around from location to location, is fraught with cost and frustration. This moving around clearly is an everyday need for infrastructure maintenance people who before would always find local Siks standing around ready for use but now have to bring their own. The machines can not be transported at anything like the speed a modern freight train can reach, so road transport has to be hired and then of course offloading can’t take place right at the spot where they are needed, which still means waiting for a suitable slot to get the slow machine to its work location. Hence the coming of the much faster machines like the Mosi's (which, incidentally, stands for "Modern Sik").

NS-Cargo is not using Siks any more except at a few larger terminals as a local pilot to shunt cripples out of a train etc. They do not scrap their allocation, however, like the other locos they are kept as strategic reserve and are gently mouldering away. RailPro doesn't use them either and is getting rid of them, Strukton is handing them out on loan to museum operators (where they are ideal machines for their P-Way and pilot purposes), Volker Stevin sells them for scrap but NBM seems to still regularly use them. NedTrain, the new name of NS Materieel, uses them as of old as shed pilots around their various work sites. The situation at 01-01-2000 was, to the best of our knowledge: -

Strukton: 7 with grab; 242, 248, 250, 284, 309, 361 and 362. The rest; 204, 209, 218, 222, 223, 231, 234, 238, 244, 249, 253, 254, 259, 260, 262, 264, 267, 271, 285, 288, 289, 291, 306, 314, 316, 320, 326, 327, 328, 340, 343, 346, 349, 353, 359, 366. Twelve on loan to museum operators, 204, 249 and 353 to STAR, 231 and 327 to GSS, 259 to MBS, 262 and 264 to SGB, 218, 289 and 306 to VSM and 316 to the Steamclub Hoogovens.

Volker Stevin Rail & Traffic, 4 with grab; 246, 265, 276, 368. 368 was donated to MBS. The others, 203, 210, 214, 232, 241, 256, 263, 278, 281, 283, 297, 305, 307, 315, 323, 329, 331, 342 and 369 have been taken OOU and five have arrived at the site of scrap metal dealer van den Heuvel in Spijk (241, 256, 278, 305 and 331).

NBM Rail: 4 with grab; 227, 252, 274 and 344. Of the 13 others 228 is on loan to SSN. 213, 217, 228, 299, 308, 318, 330, 332, 347, 348, 352, 358, 363.

RailPro: 245, 270, 279, 319, 335. Number 270 is standing as a monument at GOLS in Winterswijk. The only serviceable Sik here is 245 and shunts their Crailoo yard.

NedTrain: 211, 243, 255, 257, 292, 296, 301, 334, 338, 339, 357 and 247 OOU at Breda.

NS Cargo: 215, 219, 226, 229, 230, 235, 290, 298, 300, 302, 303, 310, 312, 313, 322, 324, 325, 336, 337, 341, 345, 350, 351. A lot of these are in the scrap lines.

Standing around without a proper owner, in a defective state are 286 at Watergraafsmeer, 225 somewhere along the VSM line, 360 at Tilburg, 294 somewhere in Amsterdam and 207, which, however, now has ended up in the hands of the SGB who will scrap the machine after cannibalisation of spares. SGB has 251 as a monument, MBS has 293 still in service, and 311 has arrived via a long way round at the Utrecht museum in a serviceable state. Number 317 is still in use with Hoechst Holland, 321 is at the VSM premises and 355 is a climbing frame for children in the Zuiderpark in Den Haag. Number 328 is at work for the points construction factory at Utrecht, either borrowed or bought from Strukton. Someone private owns 354 who has plinthed the machine in a garden at Waterhuizen Junction.


MULTIPLE UNITS


Two-car EMU's plan V of the first series.
As it looks like the growth in ridership seems likely to keep developing along the lines of the past years, there is now a stream of thought within rolling stock resources management that taking the oldest plan V units series 1-3 out of service just because they have reached the proper age to do so seems a bit at odds with the every day reality. Certainly now that the refurb of the equally aged four-car plan T version has proved such an unqualified success, that these capacious units are proving able to bear the brunt of their overly heavy working days with good reliability. Another factor in the decision making process is that the plan V 1-3 units have received their new interiors already, their life enhancement is a purely technical matter of no great consequence.

Class 3000 Mp Bo-Bo' electric postal power cars (MotorPost) for cannibalisation
10 of these units have been sold by NS-Cargo to NS-Reizigers, expressly to be cannibalised and then scrapped. These power cars are technically speaking in fact the motor coaches of the plan T 4-car EMU's, which have now all been refurbished. In order to increase the number of spares for the plan T and V units the bogies and all the necessary traction and peripheral parts of these mP's will be taken off, reconditioned and then taken in stock for re-use. The numbers of the mP's included in this deal are; 3002, 3003, 3006, 3011, 3015, 3018, 3019, 3025, 3026 and 3028.

Numbers 3024 and 3029 have been sent off for overhaul and rebuilding into research vehicles. Numbers 3033 and 3034 preceded them and the overhaul of 3033 has been finished. NS-R used NS-C 3030 (red NS-C livery when not graffittied) and 3027 for driver road learning. These last two might soon be the only working mP's left in their original form, as number 3031 is the example reserved for the Utrecht museum. However, it is said that the museum wants to keep this vehicle in a serviceable condition. The last working example outside these spheres is 3032 "Jules", a research vehicle for ATB measuring duties.

DD-AR and cowcatchers
Like many of the other types of rolling stock in the Netherlands, the DD-AR driving trailers will receive what can only be described as cowcatchers under the bufferbeam. The primary function these days is to keep cars, hit on crossings, from wedging themselves under the rail vehicle and the front bogie. The crumpled wreck is in that position able to lift wheels out of the track while deceleration to an emergency stop takes place, with potentially disastrous results.

No more DD-AR to be ordered
NS-R has decided that it is no use ordering more local DD-AR push-pull double deck sets as there is no certainty that NS-R will continue to be active in local and regional types of work, and the operator who takes over might not be interested in this very expensive type of stock. It gets clearer and clearer that the Mat '64 (plan T and V) as well as the DE3 sets will be with us for some time to come.

DH1 and DH2 DHMU's (Wadloper), DM'90 DHMU's, DE3 DEMU's
NoordNed has indicated that they do not now need all the available units of these types for the services on the northern branch lines around Groningen and Leeuwarden. Five two car Wadloper units are left in the hands of NS-R and they have started instruction to staff on the Zwolle to Kampen line with a view to using some of the sets there. This might see the first use of this stock outside the Groningen and Friesland area.

The DM'90 units coming off the Northern branch lines and the Hanze line will come to Arnhem to reinforce the Arnhem to Tiel and to Zutphen for the Zutphen to Hengelo services. It is possible that even DH2 units might appear on the Arnhem to Tiel services in exchange for DM'90 as five units is a bit much on the Hanze circuit but would do fine on the longer run to Tiel. ATB-NG will be installed on the Tiel line from this year, which will cut the use of DE3 units there.

The previously reported overhaul of the 19 ageing DE3 sets starts soon. They will travel to Amsterdam under their own power (probably the last time they will use their present SACM-MGO engine with NS class 2400 pedigree, which in turn replaced the original Werkspoor RUHB with TEE power car pedigree about 20 years ago) to get stripped of asbestos. They will then be hauled to Tilburg works where the power car will be thoroughly done up and receive its new engine. The new interiors will very likely be installed in Haarlem.

SGM 2-car EMU's (Sprinter)
In a short period there were three instances of fires in and around traction motors, indicating that during the shortage of rolling stock period witnessed recently these sets have probably been pushed a bit too hard as far as overhaul holidays are concerned. Other types of EMU's are also showing signs of not having had the rest and attention needed as well, even the ICM "Koploper" sets. Good news is that there is the expectation that the DD-IRM sets will be back to full strength by the end of this year, relieving the pressure on other types.


ROLLING STOCK

Loco-hauled coaches type ICR.
One of the ideas brought forward is to fit MU connectors for class 1600/1800 instead of class 1700. This would enable push pull services to be started up with a DDM1 double deck driving trailer and worked by a single 1600/1800 instead of topping and tailing with two 1700's. Since the increased use of DDM1 stock for bicycle transporters in the summer a number of DDM1 DT's are standing around. It certainly should look interesting, whilst an added advantage is that reinforcement of services with DDM1 trailers becomes a realistic option without having all sorts of trouble with the additional static converters of dodgy quality. In fact, conversion of DDM1 interiors to longer distance status with the seats coming out of the ICR coaches to be refurbished had been mooted, so it just might come off. It would also benefit summertime beach traffic no end.


INFRASTRUCTURE

IJmuiden line disconnected.
During renewal and maintenance activities at Santpoort Noord junction the points connecting the IJmuiden line to the Haarlem to Alkmaar line have been removed. Formally the line is still, open but apparently a competence struggle between RailInfraBeheer and RailNed is behind this move. RailNed wants the line to be accessible as long as it is a designated public railway line; RailInfraBeheer assesses the chance that rail traffic will be reinstated on this line to be too remote to make any further spending on it viable. RailNed, however, expects the connection to be restored as soon as traffic has need of it, and CargoSprinters with reefer containers full of fish from IJmuiden appear to be a possibility.

Platform extensions along the Den Helder to Nijmegen route
This fairly recent service is proving so popular that even when using DD-IRM stock the need for longer trains has established itself clearly. In order to be able to extend the trains to 12 coaches the platforms North of Amsterdam CS at Sloterdijk, Castricum, Heiloo and Alkmaar had to be lengthened from 10 to 12 coaches. North of Alkmaar only 10 car platforms are needed. Some of the extensions have been built as temporary structures, to be replaced with the definitive platforms sometime in the future.

Works to accommodate Northbound freight from Arnhem.
Now that the northern branch of the Betuwe line has been cancelled works have started to enable the northbound freights to use the existing lines from Arnhem. NLG 300m track renewal is taking place between Arnhem, Deventer and Oldenzaal while sound walls will be built and a number of road crossings will be replaced with viaducts. In Deventer a third track will be laid for overtaking and run round moves. In about 15 years 21 freights of the heaviest category are foreseen to be using this line per day, even though trains carrying very dangerous products are banned between Arnhem and Deventer and the regional light rail plans may not be endangered through flooding the track with heavy freights. Additional funding of up to NLG 210m is needed for safety and sound screening measures along alternative lines which will now also be used for this freight traffic, such as the Rotterdam, Harmelen, Breukelen to Bijlmermeer line and the Gooi/Flevo/Hanze line.

Maasvlakte further extended.
Without any fuss the first seven tracks of the new Maasvlakte West yard were brought into use. Usable length of these tracks is 700 to 800 metres and they are connected to the Rail Service Centre and the line leading to Kijfhoek. One of the drawbacks of the size and location is the time it takes the shunting locos to travel from the service building -where the coffee is- to where the work is. This is longer than the trip to the older Maasvlakte yard, which remains in full use. At the same time, incidentally, the Rail Service Centre was extended with three equally long roads, of which the use awaited the thorough testing of the new container gantry cranes. These are important steps on the way to the future success of the Betuwe line, as the loading and the sorting of the trains takes place here and processing speed is of the utmost importance.

"Iron Rhine" to be reactivated
The Belgo-Dutch political soap opera surrounding the reactivation of this never officially closed bit of the Antwerpen to Germany connection, for freight traffic seems to be getting results in that the Dutch Minister has advised that the stretch from Roermond to Dalheim could be used for traffic with a limit of 15 trains a day. In fact the Minister appears to estimate that 15 trains a day is something that is by no means likely to happen anyway, but she did buy peace with Belgium and some concessions concerning the Southern High Speed line with it. The following day NLG 4.15 bn was signed away in HSL contracts to start the work at the Southern end. Limburg, in the meantime, went into the "thundering freight train" NIMBY overdrive.

HSL Zuid works contracts signed.
As mentioned above the works on HSL Zuid has now started in earnest. The biggest changes will be seen around the Breda to Prinsenbeek area where HSL chords feed into the classical network. One of the results of this job is that a whole fleet of dead locos will have to be moved to somewhere else. If you want atmospheric pictures of decay then do not wait too long.

Two more Betuwe line contracts signed.
NLG 293m was signed away for 24.4 km of formation along the A15 motorway between Gorinchem and Buren. The ensuing stretch of 24 km along the A15 has been bought for NLG 131m. The rest of the contracts for the formation are expected to be signed before the summer of this year. They concern the drilled tunnel under the Rhine (called Pannerdensch Kanaal at that location) and the stretches from Zevenaar to Valburg and Buren to Kesteren either side of this tunnel, connecting with the work already under way.

Barendrecht widening under way
Works to extend the lay out from the present four tracks to nine at Barendrecht have started. Added to the present two passenger and two freight lines will be another two normal passenger lines, a Betuwe line spur and the two HSL South lines, everything to be completed in 2006 at a cost of Ecu 182m. This entire lay out will be covered over; a park is planned on top of the railway lines and in the immediate vicinity.

Hemboog works under way.
This NLG 246m chord, connecting the North of Noord Holland (Den Helder, Hoorn, Zaanstad and Alkmaar) with Schiphol Airport bypassing Amsterdam CS in the West is now well under way. The De Vlugtlaan station has been closed and will be taken out. The entire loop will be built on viaducts, and it will pass close to Sloterdijk station, but connection to this important interchange is as yet not included even though the structure will be able to take platforms. Connection with the Zaanlijn is simple, as the space to do this was reserved during the Sloterdijk remodelling in 1983. The connection with the Western branch of the Amsterdam Ring Line will be between Sloterdijk and De Vlugtlaan. Opening foreseen in 2003, in time for the 2004 timetable.

Positive Hanze line construction decision taken "in principle"
The government has decided "in principle" to build the Hanze line connection from Lelystad to Zwolle via Kampen, extending the present Lelystad line to Kampen to pick up the present diesel branch to Zwolle there. The formation for the line has been carefully guarded and is available without any major demolition works. Opening foreseen in 2007, though 2010 is a more likely date. Upgrading to true high-speed line is mooted, probably in competition with the Ministers and Northern officials’ love affair with the Transrapid MagLev operation, which, however, finds little interest from MP's and their electorate.

Maastricht to Lanaken reopening
The already mentioned reopening of the Maastricht to Lanaken line is a demand of the paper manufacturer Sappi who intend to build a brand new factory in this area, which is badly hit by unemployment, provided it can use rail for its logistical needs. It would require RailNed and Belgian Rail to relay the track completely and to recommission the presently fixed in open position railway lifting bridge across the Maas river between Maastricht and Maastricht Boschpoort. The prospects look good for this initiative.

The Newest on the Nieuweschans line
The opening of the renewed line via Nieuweschans to Weener in Germany has been postponed to the 28th of May, the date the new Summer Timetable kicks in and NoordNed takes over. This way NS-R did not have to bother requesting licences to run trains and NoordNed had the time to work on this item. ACTS has applied for licences to run freight trains along this corridor, connecting Rotterdam and Amsterdam with the ports of Bremen and Hamburg in Germany, probably on behalf of Vos Logistics. Question; what traction will they use? Stay tuned!

Lifting Bridge across Zuid Willemsvaart decommissioned and fixed.
The lifting bridge across the Zuid Willemsvaart at Helmond has been changed into a normal fixed bridge by removing the four lifting towers. The opportunity has also been used to silence the rumbling of passing trains with the newly developed cast in rubber track and also to reinforce the bridge deck which can now handle axle weights of 22.5 tonnes at 100 kph (60 mph) as is prescribed for the international main freight arteries. The canal bypass around Helmond, opened in the early nineties, was the cause of this move.

Bridge replacement in the "Oude" line Amsterdam to Rotterdam.
In the autumn of this year two bridges, both dating from the 1920's, will be replaced by new structures. The bridges concerned are to be found between Den Haag HS and Den Haag Mariahoeve, they are the flyover viaducts across the Den Haag CS loops from Gouda and from Mariahoeve. As the density of the traffic does not allow a one fell swoop move with a prefabricated structure, the new bridges will be assembled from prefabricated sections on location during one weekend possession.

Extension Amsterdam CS started.
Not only is Amsterdam CS a hive of building activity due to the extension of the Western passenger tunnel under the platforms, but also without any fuss the next project, Amsterdam CS 10-15, kicked off with the moving of ducts, pipes and cables at the Western end. The objective of this exercise is to extend the number of platform faces at CS by substantially lengthening the Western ends of platforms 10a, 11a, 13a, 14a and 15a and the construction of a new platform 16 above the De Ruyterkade, the road at the harbour side. Some years ago this plan failed to pass muster with the Amsterdam bureaucracy which led to the lengthening of platforms 10 and 11, which NS-R (or NS proper in those days) accepted under duress given the rather marathon-like walks their customers have had to negotiate since.

The fact that the track layout of the throat at the Western end of the station will have to be relocated for about three quarters of its present extent means that it is an extremely costly exercise with a lot of scope for some whopping delays throughout the period of the work taking place. On top of that, all the buildings at the West side of the station will be scrapped, among which is the old NS district office, which can be seen on a lot of pictures. Work is scheduled to be finished in 2004.

Plans for a railway "Ecoduct"
Users of the motorway between Arnhem and Apeldoorn will probably have wondered what the two tunnel like viaducts with vegetation growing on the top are for. These are so called Ecoducts; designed to re-connect the two sides of the road for exchange of wildlife without exposing the various sorts of animals to the many hazards associated with road traffic. It has been proven that these viaducts work and aid the maintenance of gene pool variety in the larger animal species in the area, so preventing in breeding. Plans have been drawn up for a similar Ecoduct to span the railway between Hilversum and Bussum across the Gooi line. It would be 800 metres long and 150 metres wide, spanning the railway as well as some neighbouring roads. Completion has been scheduled for 2003. Finally a prototypical tunnel to let the train disappear at the edge of the layout! Deer are available in N and HO for super-realism!

Amsterdam Metro Ring line platforms to be modified
When visiting Amsterdam and using its Metro network it might have struck the average visitor that the first LHB built generation of metro vehicles and the tunnel which they use are wider than those of the average metro vehicle, and that the following generation of BN built Metro/Sneltram vehicles are much narrower and need retractable steps to work the tunnel. The reason for this is that the tunnel was actually designed with a view to ultimately work main line stock through them; in fact the NS SGM Sprinter EMU was designed with a view to just that sort of traffic. Unfortunately this did not come to fruition for peculiarly Amsterdam type political reasons. This however, makes the first generation Amsterdam Metro vehicles a sort of white elephant, as continuing to build lines to this loading gauge is very expensive and was thus discontinued.

The new ring line has been built at the narrow loading gauge of 2.65m car width, to which all the second generation BN and the purpose built third generation CAF built cars conform. The line is proving a success and for the EC 2000 festivities there is a wish to run trains to CS from the section between the Henk Sneevlietweg and the Isolatorweg, but the stock will have to be of the first generation for stock availability as well as tunnel train control system reasons. This stock is, as described, built to a 3m body width loading gauge, which obviously interferes with the platforms on the ring line section. Therefore, it has now been decided to cut back the platform faces on the section mentioned to allow wide bodied stock to be used and to equip the CAF narrow bodied vehicles with retractable steps for this section. Four of those, however, which also operate on the Amstelveen sneltram service with the second generation BN built stock, will not be altered. And so we have a lovely mix of stock, additional equipment and loading gauges, which is patently set to cause problems at some time or another. Never mind the situation when the first generation of vehicles finally get pensioned off and disappear, after which all the platforms will have to be extended to accommodate the narrower gauge again. Admittedly it keeps people in work, but preserving a first generation unit and running it from time to time will be impossible. In fact, GVB Amsterdam wanted to get rid of them before but could not sell them as no other operator could use them and GVB did not get the funding for replacement stock.

Compare this to Rotterdam were stock of all generations can be used on all the metro lines with 3rd rail feed, but only a pantograph fitted sub-class of second generation stock is needed for use on their surface sneltram route, and we are about to discover what makes Amsterdam and Rotterdam so different. This is why I cannot take seriously the GVB bid to run the domestic services on the HSL Zuid, and have a gnawing feeling about that Amsterdam decision to buy those expensive Combino trams which Rotterdam in the end did not go ahead with.


PRIVATE OPERATORS

SHORTLINES

Order for CargoSprinter unit’s definitive.
In combination with Rail Development Partners, ShortLines has won traffic from Philips Industries for containers between Rotterdam and Eindhoven-Acht. More potential users for this link are being sought but the order for two three-car Windhoff CargoSprinter units has been confirmed, start up end 2000 or early 2001. The engines in the two end power-cars will be Volvo Diesel lorry motors with a standard electrically remote controlled gearbox, the unpowered intermediate trailers can be any type of container carrier but need to be provided with MU links. Three four-car units can be worked in multiple offering 30 TEU capacity.

ShortLines were once again badly let down by their traction. Two of the three big Siemens/MaK Co-Co’s went defect, the DSM shunter No. 7, which works the train on its last leg into Born, had to go for repairs and so the sole remaining Co-Co' DE13 and Bo-Bo' DE82 were used to do all the available jobs. Hope the 9901 and 9902, the HSK 66s; will come on stream fast, in fact they are reported out and about in Germany. GM has sold two of these machines to a Swedish operator, by the way and the Foster Yeoman 59 in Germany has been seen in use with private operator KEG on wood products trains.

ACTS.
The first 1200 has had a full service overhaul again (1254) since the original demise of the class, during which the final asbestos on board has been removed from the high-tension switches. On 17-03 the loco departed on a delivery test trip and worked fine, but failed on the 23rd with a burned weak-field switch and heat damage to a lot of the surrounding wiring. On the 25th the loco was back at Tilburg works under warranty. In the meantime 1221, the loco swapped with Werkgroep 1501 for 1208, has entered Tilburg works for its return to traffic as 1255. It will very probably receive the black and orange Vos Logistics livery.

Of the ex-Belgian GM diesel locos, 6705, returned from Merelbeke works after repair of substantial defects and 6703 went back to Belgium for scheduled overhaul. 6003, the third of the ex-Czech DH shunting locos, has as yet not been returned to traffic but is badly needed as the hired VSM V 100 is getting unreliable due to the number of defects. Ex NS (now Strukton) loco 302328 has been used several times for the ACTS transfer work in the Rotterdam harbour. On the 1st of April (no joke) ACTS 1252 was used to pull a Benelux set with failed loco 1186 onwards to Roosendaal where a Belgian electric took over. The train was ECS by then.


MISCELLANEOUS

DBAG Boss slams Railion brand.
New DBAG supremo Hartmuth Mehdorfer, who in a short time has upset quite a number of people by being publicly scathing about their pet-projects (among them that Transrapid MagLev thing), has now decided that as far as he is concerned the Railion brand is a no go area. He wants to stick to the DB-Cargo brand because it is a well-known name with a lot of goodwill and it says what it does. One of the problems with Railion in daily life is the pronunciation, as the German and Dutch ways of saying it does not really stress the "rail", the "rely on" and "lion" bit. The name does, in all honesty, sound a bit daft in both languages, like: "ryeleeon", and quite understandably this is just one thing about the name which irritates the no-nonsense people a wee bit. The fact that a sort of funny English is misused is another. Cargo is widely used in the transport world, is neutral and international, so why not stick to it?

NS-supremo Rob den Besten retires.
On the 1st of August Mr. Rob den Besten will retire as chairman of the board on reaching his 60th birthday. He led NS from being a full state owned undertaking into the age of commercial and independent operation in the eight years of his reign. When he leaves a substantially smaller and streamlined but profitable concern will be taken over by Mr. Hans Huisinga.

The expectation is that under Mr. Huisinga the barely disguised state of war with Minister Tineke Netelenbosch is set to continue. According to both Mr. den Besten and Mr. Huisinga; NS has been sent on the path of being commercially viable as the result of a democratic process. That nice government espoused public transport policy function of NS is all right as long as it does not interfere with the commercial reality of profitability and the health of the bank balance. Otherwise the various public transport policy making government bodies dealing with NS will have to open their purses and find the cash to fund the shortfall plus the profit element. Another few points of view which Mr. Huisinga has quite openly expressed; People CAN be crammed into trains for a short duration during rush hours, it is nonsense to hire expensive crews and purchase expensive rolling stock only to keep it on hold in sidings -with depreciation ticking away- awaiting the barely three hours of rush hour every day. It is also patent nonsense to allow discounted tickets on rush hour trains when the demand for space is wildly peaking. Furthermore, the train is purposely meant for mass transit and not really fit for limited special duties, such as travel for the disabled. Thus it cannot be expected that NS is going to fork out for costly alterations needed to its rolling stock which diminish the commercially needed available seating capacity. If this, however, is what is desired by some organisations, then once again, they pay for it.

Just as a matter of interest, NS is one of the bidders for the South West Trains franchise renewal. Taking on one of the most hard line old-style RMT union dominated train operating outfits of them all, with their guards in the back cabs who cost a lot and produce as good as nothing in the way of safety, customer help and revenue protection, while being responsible for a fair bit of aggro to commuters through industrial action. Stagecoach has singularly failed to adjust this anomaly on Southern territory and as a result of this has been left with little public support by a very disgruntled clientele. If NS -unexpectedly, in all frankness- makes the grade then I am looking forward to the near future with a certain relish, knowing I am not dependent on SWT for my travel needs!

The yearly figures of NS-Group
NS-Groep NV, consisting of NS-Reizigers, NS-Cargo (Railion), NS-Stations, NS-Vastgoed (Real Estate), NS-Materieel (NedTrain) and a number of other involvement’s such as Holland Railconsult engineering and Strukton construction activities has made a profit of NLG 258m in 1999, which is a 31% better result than in 1998. Included in these figures is the NLG 30m from the sale of advertising group Alrecon to TDI and the sale of their share of NS-Security (the railway police) to Randon services. As the loss-making local activities are hived off to regional operators and equally loss making freight activities are now on the way to a fully independent state of operations under the Railion banner, NS-Groep will soon only consist of the International and InterCity passenger transport leg plus a number of related and profitable activities such as station and real estate management. Evidence of this direction of doing business was found in the little bit of attention for NS-Cargo and in the fact that an administrative one-off bout of investment took place in that all modern DHMU rolling stock has been depreciated completely in order to make it available to Syntus, NoordNed and the still existing and non-profitable branch line activities of NS-Reizigers itself (ominous, this) at current low market prices. In the case of DM'90 this did cost an arm and a leg indeed.

The activities with British Telecom in Telfort telecommunications, the former NS internal railway phone system now linked to the main KPN Telecom network and competing with it, brought in NLG 365m (1998 NLG 153m) but it still made a loss of NLG 500m. In the meantime it has been announced that NS-Group has sold its 50% stake in Telfort for NLG 4.2 bn to BT, so now NS is a BT customer for its internal telecommunications requirements and BT operates its own independent telecomms landline infrastructure in the Netherlands. Remarkably, figures for NedTrain (now actively trying to expand its activities on foreign markets) were not included, rumours have it that sale could well be on the cards as NS apparently is not overly happy with the results of its co-operation. The reported wheelset fiasco might have something to do with that.

Renewed attention demanded for increasing aggression against staff.
Another dangerous attempt at the life of a conductor by a fare-dodger at the beginning of January has led to renewed talks between NS-R and the unions involved. The number of cases of violence against staff rose slightly to about 5000 in 1999. As a result of these talks NS-R announced that NLG 40m will be invested in 500 additional on train staff, these having the status of conductor but to be employed in roving pickets for extra ticket control and incident support duties, most of all on known so called "risk trains". On top of this the CCTV security option on stations will be introduced with increased speed. The main problem is finding the 500 extra staff. NS has had trouble filling the ranks for years now due to the high demands posed on education (fluency in one foreign language is a must, for example), character, and mental and physical qualities.

NS-ATB, the train operators have taken action in court.
The previously described decision by RailNed to enforce ATB in working order on ATB fitted lines has now led to NS-Cargo (Railion), SSN and BVS and the Union of Rail Transport Operators (on behalf of its members such as ShortLines, ACTS, Strukton, Historical Rail Transport Nederland and the Utrecht Museum but not Lovers Rail) formally issuing a protest in court against the State Traffic Inspection Department. There is no grudge against running with ATP as such, but fitting three or four (if EBA Indusi is incorporated, virtually a must for Dutch operators these days) is considered a bit much. The running of steam traction on any fitted line is out of the question full stop in the present state of things, as fitting any of the ATP systems to traction also requires the provision of some sort of reliable and enduring electrical feed, with which no Dutch steam loco is equipped. Interesting times, see what is going to happen next.

Overnight Express.
The preparations for the launch of this parcels cum sleeper train are progressing nicely. The newly refurbished modern sleeping coaches have been spotted on other duties (Motorail) as far away as Irun on the Franco-Spanish border and the 17 German ex-postal vehicles for high speeds have arrived. These, incidentally, are owned by NS-Int., not by NS-Cargo. NS-Cargo provides and handles the sales facilities for the freight side. The first action is to remove the asbestos, which is done at the premises of HKS Metals in Amsterdam. Normally rolling stock ends up here for scrap but they are specialists in asbestos removal from scrap stock so they know a thing or two about that sort of job and they have the licensed facilities to do it. Meanwhile it became known that only 12 of these vehicles will be refurbished and that for the time being flowers will be the main commodity transported. Next to Haarlem works the Wagons Lits works in Oostende will do part of the interior alterations.

The international locos at work.
The coal trains between Amsterdam Westhaven and Oberhausen have ceased running. The traffic collapsed quite suddenly, why I do not know. This means that "Alsatian dogs" 6494 - 6499 in their Railion livery are by no means overtaxed at this moment and are regularly seen on jobs well away from the German border. The trip work between Arnhem and Oberhausen is still in their capable hands though. DBAG class 241 are doing what they always do, they haul the steel trains between Hagen and Amsterdam (Friday and Saturday Beverwijk).
INDUSTRY
NS-Ultrasoon renamed Eurailscout.
NS-Ultrasoon, the company which keeps an eye on the state of track with two self-propelled ultrasonic track measuring machines, has now changed its name into Eurailscout. The company works throughout Europe. The success of the two self propelled machines and the ongoing work to extend their operating possibilities will lead to the end of the line for the NSTO meetwagen, the former plan D restaurant / brake vehicle, which in this form has served fifteen years beyond the life span of its classmates, including the second generation Benelux push-pull driving trailers. So far nothing is known of preservation attempts for this by now fairly unique vehicle.

Traxis bought by Alsthom.
Traxis BV, formerly Holec Ridderkerk, has been bought by Alsthom. The company designs and builds state of the art electric public transport propulsion systems with electronic control and has annual sales running up to $35m on a world wide basis. This is generally recognised as set to increase.


MUSEUM ACTIVITIES

Class 2400 Bo-Bo' DE locos.
Not all of these have been sold to SNCF, museum organisations or to scrappers. Rumours that a number had ended up in Saudi Arabia turned out to be true. Construction company Adriaan Volker, at present part of the Volker Stevin combine, bought seven of the type from NS in 1976 and shipped them to Saudi Arabia to assist in the construction works on the harbour of Jubail. During this work one sustained such damage that it was declared a total loss, but the rest were sold to Greek contractor Archirodon together with a number of ex-DB V-200 B-B' DH locos from Dutch construction company Heitkamp and a number of P-Way machines from Volker. The Greek company repainted its fleet in orange and blue with a broad white waistband and white roofs, allocating the numbers 276-04 to 09 to the remaining 2400's. The 06 and 07 were scrapped in 1983; the rest went OOU in 1994 and are somewhere in the desert in company of the V-200's and the P-Way machines, eating dust. Sold to Volker were 2427, 2445, 2485, 2497, 2499, 2519 and 2523. It is not known which of these still survive and in what state they are. Usually the dry desert climate fosters good preservation.

Werkgroep 1501 / The Classic Locomotive Foundation
Loco 1501 "Diana" finished its scheduled Sandtite application activities on the Hoek van Holland line on 01-04 with a working trip from Den Haag Centraal to Venlo and back, a regular occurrence now to keep the locos muscles and the driver traction experience in running condition. The loco was then meant to go into Tilburg works for overhaul and repainting in the NS yellow and grey livery, but had to come to the rescue of yet another failed Benelux set on 13-04 (loco 1192). It brought the train all the way from Lage Zwaluwe to Watergraafsmeer. In the end she went to Tilburg on 17-04, together with preserved 1211, which has a traction motor with an earth fault and a bad compressor.

Stibans / SGB
It still happens, old rolling stock still gets found and salvaged. An old HSM travelling post office (P 6028 from 1915) has been saved from demolition. After WWII the coach had been used as an emergency dwelling in Beesd and, hidden within a pile of extensions and other carpentry of sorts, remained in use until 1999. Early in 2000 it was discovered and bought, after which dismantling of the surrounding DIY revealed an unexpectedly good body. On 13-03 it was hoisted onto a low-loader and brought to Watergraafsmeer. SGB will restore the vehicle back to its former glory.

ZLSM
The line from Simpelveld to Richterich has been reopened. The Governor of the Queen for the province of Zuid Limburg, baron van Voorst tot Voorst, and the mayor of Aachen, Mr. Linden, cut the ribbon together and thus (probably) the worlds first international scheduled heritage rail operation has taken off. As mentioned before in Nieuwsbrief, although Vetschau will be the terminus for some time, the plan is to continue into Aachen. Ex-DB railbuses will be used and the layout at Wijlre will be altered with the addition of a loop in order to be able to cross up and down trains. Think of taking your passport when travelling this service!

RTM
In the first week of May the acquired gearbox of an NS class 200 "Sik" was built into the RTM narrow gauge "Sik" M1651 and a test ride confirmed the success of this job. For diesel loco M67 one of the wood-built head ends was finished. All these wooden bits of skin are pre-fabricated and made to fit first, after which thorough conservation measures will be taken, as much of the work cannot be reached once all the panels have been fitted on the frame. Only then will the exterior be finished in its final state.

Another rescue; on the 8th of April the body of the RTM van 1155, found in Burgh-Haamstede, was transported to Ouddorp and placed on the frame of AB 376. The overall condition of the remains of this vehicle is bad, the main frame members, running gear, centre buffers and couplings and the floor are missing. The roof is as all right as a roof can be after so many years in the open without maintenance (OOU in 1954!) and the remains of the sides and bulkheads, as far as they are actually there, is not too despondent but the sliding doors are missing. The remains contain a lot of details which disappeared from RTM vans of later years.

The first motor bogie frame of the DE three car set "Sperwer", recently repatriated from the Zillertalbahn in Austria, has been finished after gauge widening from 750 mm to metre gauge. Tests revealed the need for a number of adjustments but a satisfactory fit was finally obtained. Work on the second motor bogie of the power vehicle has been started. The funds for the work on the bogies of the driving trailers are still short.

SHM
On the 14th of April LTM (B) steam loco 26 from 1922 was finally put back in service again after its lengthy but thorough overhaul. In the meantime the loco has been entered onto the register of rail historical vehicles and now sports an A status as a listed museum object. The work on travelling post office D6 continues apace, the steam heating still has to be fitted. Round about September the vehicle should be back in service again. An inventory of required work to restore AB24 to working order from pigeon coop status is now being made.

Most interesting for British fans, GSTM No. 18, a square four wheeled (B) steam tram loco of the type known as koffiemolen (coffee grinder) in the Netherlands, is coming to the Bluebell Railway and will perform amidst their collection. I do not know whether any coaches will come with it or whether an adapter van will be used to enable the loco to pull British coaches. Another rescue, in Munnikeburen in Friesland a body has been found which turned out to be an NTM type E 4 metre open tram wagon. In February this hulk was brought to the SHM storage in Beverwijk.

The National Narrow Gauge Museum
The Utrecht Museum has released its rather famous GTW narrow gauge steam tram set to have it exhibited at this new museum in Valkenburg (ZH), in the dunes not far from Leiden. The reason behind these moves from the Utrecht Museum is to gain space for its rapidly increasing amount of main line rolling stock, much of which is dispersed throughout the country and sometimes in rather dire open-air circumstances. The GTW set consists of Backer & Rueb built loco 13 with the name Silvolde, four wheel van GZ 41 and bogie carriage AB 48.

Spoorweg museum Utrecht
The Utrecht Museum has received locos 1107 and 1111, 2264 and 2352 and 1201 and 1202 from NS-Cargo, excuse me, Railion. Loco 1312 has also been offered but as described in this issue this machine will still be active at least for this year. Of these locos 1107 and 2264 can fairly easily be made to run again, 1111 and 2264 are for stripping. Plan K coach 38-37 082, one of the coaches of the former royal train, has had an overhaul in Roosendaal and is now awaiting a move toward another place in the open air where it can quietly corrode again. The other plan K in Roosendaal, half-stripped 38-37 061, has been brought to the VSM, a renowned collector of these roundhead coaches, for restoration.

Rail Catering Museum, Utrecht
This private organisation has bought two coaches type Bmy, numbers 61 50 20-70 000 and 006 from the DBAG. These were prototypes for pre-Berlin wall DR InterCity coaches type UIC Y of 26.4 m length and they cost the princely sum (including rail transport) of NLG 18,000 apiece. They were meant to be the exhibition space for this museum and were delivered by NS-C on 11-02 at Tiel, after which they were left alone a mite too long. This resulted in vandals doing the usual thing, graffiti, smashing all the windows and then setting light to 006, resulting in a collapsed, burnt out shell on bogies ready for the local scrap dealer. Coach 000 is severely damaged.


BELGIAN RAILWAY NEWS


By Peter van der Mark, Ralph Hanley and Neil Sutton
Class 71
Only loco currently in service is 7103; 7102 is planned to be moved to Salzinnes for overhaul and possible sale.

Class 76/77
These locomotives are due to be moved to Voroux, towards the end of the summer for working construction trains on the LGV between Bruxelles and Liege. A number are currently in store at Schaerbeek depot (Bruxelles). Deliveries of class 77 are currently up to 7709.

Belgian class 85 shunting locos withdrawn.
The coming of the new class 77 DH locos has pushed, through cascading, the class 85 on to the scrap lines. Class 74 has taken over their work which themselves were replaced from their multiple worked hump duties at Antwerpen Noord by the new locos. By now one should spot the newcomers on any trip through Belgium.

Class 41 DMU's
The first set to be delivered 4101 left Alsthom in Spain and arrived at Hasselt depot on the 14 April; the unit ran several test runs in the area and is currently working test trains from Merelbeke depot. They are two car DHMU's, 80 are on order and they are planned for phased introduction commencing with the winter 2000 timetable, they will replace all the present class 44/45 MU and all the M2 stock plus class 62 DE loco hauled services. The first line to be operated will be Antwerpen to Neerpelt and Mol to Hasselt. In May 2001 operation should commence between Dinant and Bertrix, Libramont and Virton. September 2001 the units will start operation around Gent working trains to Geraardsbergen, Ronse and Eeklo. The final line to be operated by class 62's will be Charleroi to Couvin, which will be fully worked by class 41 DMU's from January 2003.

SNCB's new 2 car DMU 4101 has recently failed with serious mechanical problems, and is currently on Merelbeke depot awaiting replacement parts from the builders in Spain. This means the testing and commissioning program has been stopped, which could well mean that the units will not be available for introduction onto Table 15 (Antwerpen - Neerpelt) from September as planned. Unit 4102 is complete at the factory in Barcelona and 4103 should be ready for delivery in next few weeks.

Belgian coaches’ type I10 to be refurbished, other types sold.
Five I10 open standards are to be converted for use in overnight Motorail trains. Interestingly, Belgian Rail, who have a knack of getting rid of old traction and rolling stock to the most unlikely corners of the world, have managed to sell 30 K3 open standard coaches and four type 14 to RCFM, the railways of Mali in Africa.

Belgian Rail buys Hi-Load freight bogies.
Adtranz was ordered to deliver 1000 type Y25 Hi-Load bogies to Belgian Rail, with an option on 400 more. These new generations of so called track-friendly freight bogies are set to become the railfreight bee's knees in Europe for the years to come. They allow operators to exceed the set weight on the wheels by a few more tonnes payload (25 instead of 22.5 tonnes per axle, 10 tonnes per bogie vehicle) at better speeds, as they do not transmit the shock weight on rail-joints etc. in the way that normal bogies do. In a long train this can make a substantial difference in unit load transported and thus makes the train that much more profitable. Various types are on offer; a well-known British maker is Powell Duffryn who, strangely enough, manufactures their types in France. You can see their LTF bogies under the ARC -now Hanson- JHA hoppers and their TF bogies under the new grey bogie opens working for Railtrack.

Liege - Luxembourg
This line will finally go over to 25 kV electric operation from the start of the summer 2000 timetable after the final section from Rivage to Gouvy had been completed. It has cost 900m Bfr and involved modifying 9 tunnels and erecting 85 Km of catenary. Signalling is controlled from a new cabin at Rivage. Completion was celebrated on 27th/28th May by free travel between stations on the line and on 3rd/4th June by return travel to Luxembourg at single fares. The current IR service will be extended from Liege to start at Liers, services will be worked by SNCB class 13's and CFL 3000's hauling SNCB non air-conditioned I10 stock.

Bruxelles - Luxembourg
There are rumblings reported in Le Soir concerning the upgrading of the track between Bruxelles and Luxembourg to increase the line speed from 140 to 160 Kph. The cost of Bfr 12 bn to gain 10 minutes is thought to be too costly per minute saved. Opponents believe that for a smaller additional investment, speeds of 200 Kph would be possible with much greater timesavings. The possibility of using Pendulum trains is to be reviewed.

Zeebrugge station
There are plans to relocate Zeebrugge station closer to the beach and ferry terminals. This would significantly reduce the existing 3 Km walk to these places and the SNCB hopes to increase passenger traffic.

Book review
One new book that's worth a mention, "Les Locomotives Diesel Type 201 -Serie 59" an excellent book priced at 1995 BF it is also available in the UK from Motor Book's priced #29.95. The book is a complete history of the class from design through to the withdrawal and resurrection to use on LGV construction trains; the book has 280 pages and is full of photographs and drawings including a section at the back in colour. My version of the book is in French I assume there is also Dutch language version.

MODEL NEWS

By Ralph Hanley
Modelbouw Centre, West Vlaanderen in Bruge now stocks new fibre optic Belgian signal lights [HO] operated using fibre optics, with lights below the baseboard. These looked very effective and true to scale. In addition the shop stocks current catenary systems and a limited number of hand made Belgian model locomotives [HO], both steam and diesel. Prices range from 8,000 to 15,000 Bfr. Address is: -
Langestraat 163, B-8000 Bruge, Tel / Fax: 00.32.5.034.2071
Closed: open all weekdays.
Located close to Kruispoort [gate] North East entrance to old Bruge. A tidy walk from the SNCB station [+ 2,000m], head towards centre until Steenstraat, [right turn], past Belfort Tower into Market Square, NE corner is Hoogstraat [right] which becomes Langestraat. Alternatively bus lijn # 1 or 11 go to Kruispoort, with stop almost outside shop.


NEW MODELS FOR BELGIUM
By Neil Sutton

Following on from my article last year, I am repeating the exercise for the year 2000. This time however I am sticking only to Belgium as I was unable to obtain a comprehensive list for Holland. Again most information has come from the Internet and also the new Belgian model magazine "Train Miniature".

I will list each manufacturer in turn, and what new items they have to offer the Belgian modeller in HO scale. Where I have shown “??” the catalogue number is not known.

Fleischmann
Another two repaints of German locomotives, I am afraid my knowledge of Belgian steam is limited so I am unable to say how accurate these models are.
?? Type 93 steam loco.
?? Type 64 steam loco, one in 2-rail, one 3-rail.

Heljan
New entry into the Belgian market, they plan to introduce a class 52, 53 and 54, all with original cabs in various liveries. These are planned for release towards the end of the year. Prices should be about 7000 BF. This means I will have a couple of Fleischmann "NoHabs" up for sale in the near future.

Jouef
The models of the class 13 and the CFL 3000 were listed last year but failed to appear, they are listed again as new this year.
838300 1304 (2-rail)
838309 1304 (2-rail digital)
838330 1304 (3-rail)
838339 1304 (3-rail digital)

Klein-Modellbahn
Have announced that they are planning to produce models of M2 coaching stock, three versions are planned, a 2nd class coach, 1st class coach and a 2nd brake. These models are being produced in conjunction with Marklin Belgique. Release is planned for early 2001.

Lemaco
Have introduced a model of the class 18 electric, this is available in a choice of liveries for 50,000 BF (about £800!!). Lemaco are planning to release only 50 of each version. These models are to be available only from Jocadis of Enghein, and unless I win the lottery I won't be having one!!
097/2 1804 (Blue Front Era IV)
097/3 1802 (Yellow Front Era IV / V)

Lima
The Fals hopper in "B cargo" livery is listed again for this year, Lima also listed this model as new last year. The models below are planned for release between April and August. The release of the two train packs means that my 1/100 Roco CFL coaches are soon to be surplus to requirements, as is my Marklin "Velo" coach. I am not sure how easy it will be to obtain the CFL coaches.
302719 Fals hopper "B-cargo" livery
302722 Bogie covered Flat Rils "B-cargo"
?? CFL Train pack 2* 2nd, 1* 1st/2nd (limited edition of 300)
?? CFL Train pack 2* coaches converted to "Velo coaches" (limited edition of 250).

Marklin
Marklin announced version number two of the SNCB class 22 electric. This model won last years "La Miniature of the 1999" award by Febelrail. This year’s release is an Era IV model in yellow & blue livery numbered as 2201. Also released this year is a set of 3 I6 Eurofima coaches in new white and blue livery, unfortunately in common with most Marklin coaches these are not scale length (1:100).
33232 2201 Yellow/Blue (3-rail)
37232 2201 Yellow/Blue (3-rail Digital)
37553 Steam Loco Type 81 (3-rail)
43513 Set of 3 I6 Eurofimas in new colours 1st & 2* 2nd
47888 Set 4 wagons Epoch III, Hopper, Silo, Van & E open.

Norsk ModellJernbane NMJ
Another new entry for the Belgium market, NMJ is planning two versions the first is a class 204 (class 54) Era III model, the second is CFL 1602. These models are being produced in limited batches of 25 models for Jocadis and expected to cost 44200 BF (about £700).
202.020 Green & Yellow livery (as preserved by PFT)

OsKar
OsKar is a new Italian company; their first release is a Rmms flat a model that has been missing from the model market for a number of years. Using this model as a base OsKar are also planning the following models: Rgmms, Remms, Smms, Sgmms and Shimms. Their next project is a M4 1st class brake coach; three different livery versions are planned. Each livery version will have two different numbers. These are expected to retail at about 2000 BF. OsKar is imported by Euroscale of Eupen.

Piko
Nothing much from Piko for Belgium, only another two versions of their excellent bogie tankers, and a new coil carrier which is the same as versions by Roco and Marklin in "B Cargo" livery. However Piko are planning to produce a model of the NS "Dog-head" units that operated the Bruxelles to Amsterdam service from 1957 until the 1970’s.
54185 Bogie Tank Wagon "Armita"
54186 Bogie Tank Wagon "Ermewa"
95467 Bogie Coil Carrier Shimmns "B Cargo"

Roco
Yet again Roco are up to their old tricks, if you look in the main catalogue, you only see a small percentage of what is available. Most of the list below will not be available in England; the only way to obtain it will be via personnel visit or the Internet. There are a number of re-releases, (I spent ages trying to get hold of an I6 couchette, which I managed last year), typically Roco have produced it again. Also the Tbis van, which was available about 5 years ago, is back in production. One of the few items in the main catalogue of interest is the I6 coach in the new white livery. For the Dutch market a model of the SNCB class 62 as 6705 is ACTS blue and yellow livery. This could of course also be justified on an Era V SNCB layout as well, as the locos often return to Merelbeke for maintenance.
44646 I6 Couchette
44646.1 I6 Couchette (different number)
45400 I6 1st new white/red/blue livery
45401 I6 2nd new white/red/blue livery
46653 Dresden type G2 van
46917.2 Bogie Coil Carrier Shimmns "B-Cargo" (new number)
47131 Bogie Ferry Van "B-Cargo NordWaggon"
47164 2 axle flat Ks Flat wagon
47164.1 2 axle flat Ks Flat wagon (different number)
47272 G10 Frigowagon
47273 G10 Frigowagon
47275 G10 Green
47292 Tombereau Green "Villach"
47292.1 Tombereau Green "Villach" (different number)
47293 Flat wagon
47294 Flat wagon
47338 G20 Brown
47339 G20 Brown
47419 2 axle Tbis Van

Sachsenmodelle
Now for some bad news, the planned I10 and I11 coaches announced last year have been dropped from this years plans. It is hoped that once ownership issues are resolved these useful models might see the light of day.

Trix
Following Marklin's announcement of another class 22 electric, Trix is producing this model in 2-rail. I will defiantly be buying one of these for my collection.
22723 2201 Yellow/blue

TTM Models
Another new company, they are planning to release a model of the class 70 Bo-Bo shunter. There are 3 versions due to be produced; the models run on Athearn chassis. Models should be about 7500 BF.
270.001 Original Green, as allocated to Ronet.
270.002 Green with a yellow band, allocated to Antwerpen Dam.
7005 Current Green and Yellow livery.
BENELUX RAILWAYS ON THE INTERNET
By David Halsall
Introduction
This set of short articles seeks to introduce NRS members to a selection of web sites of interest to all fascinated by varying aspects of the railways of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The rapidly increasing number of transport web sites makes browsing the net a lengthy process especially to newcomers. Therefore the sites discussed are intended to help to establish a foundation of ideas and experiences. From this, it is hoped that readers will join in, and submit reviews of web sites they find particularly valuable and of interest to Nieuwsbrief.

The web sites cover a breadth of interests. Some are enthusiast based; particularly those concerned with pictorial representation and information on locomotives and rolling stock. Individuals or groups produce many of these. Most established preservation groups and preserved railways have their own web sites. Important sites represent transport companies - rail, road, sea and inland waterway, air, multimodel - and these may involve rail directly or indirectly (e.g. as connecting services). They represent the transport hauliers, passenger and freight, usually concerned with advertising and selling their services to potential customers. Government web sites are also of great interest, particularly as sources of transport policies, strategies and legislation. Model manufacturers also have web sites, useful in publicising new releases. There is, therefore, a wealth of information, from these and other sites, which like most sources, need careful checking for accuracy. It is a very useful complementary tool to compare with conventional printed, audio and visual material, to build up as full an understanding as possible of our chosen interests.

The first web site chosen is that of the Dutch national railway museum in Utrecht: http://www.spoorwegmuseum.nl Make sure you get this URL (address) right!! One letter wrong and you will not get through to your chosen web site.

This is a useful preparation through written and visual presentation for intending visitors to the museum, and for those who want to refresh recollections of a previous visit. Move from the initial images of the heraldic NS crest and of Maliebaan station to the Home Page menu, sub-divided into two sections:
A map delimiting seven areas/attractions of the site, e.g. the signal box, loco and rolling stock exhibition, Jumbo Express for children, the restaurant, Holland Rail Show, and
A series of themes, e.g. information for visitors, the collection, children, the unique location, the history of railways and of the site.
Some of these inevitably overlap, but it is worth checking all for a range of basic data - entrance times, fees, access - to details of the history of the railway and of the collection. The latter is written as a tabulation of locos and rolling stock. Colour illustrations enliven these points - of the station, restaurant, Holland Rail Show, Jumbo Express, 'Arend', loco 3737, etc.

This is an on-going web site, with continuing additions (such as the section giving brief information on selected preserved railways in the Netherlands, again illustrated) and revisions. The web site is mainly in Dutch, supported by coloured icons to designate specific aspects. There is some summary information in English, although a seasoned traveller in the Netherlands should be able to pick out the basic factual information needed to visit the museum, and appreciate its content.


SEEN IN THE READING

By Ralph Hanley
If you require further information about any of the article or subscribing to the magazines concerned, please send an S.A.E. to Ralph, his address is in the Editorial of this issue.
RAIL PASSION [ISSUE # 39]
This issue includes articles on the:
NS Hogesnellijn and
Rebuilding of Antwerpen Central station. [Judging by the photographs, this is an impressive construction].
SNCB section,
Bruxelles to Antwerpen electrification is planned to be changed to 3 kV. Existing track work and infrastructure will be upgraded for a maximum speed of 160 Kph. From Antwerpen Dam to the border a new 39 Km TGV line will be built alongside the existing AutoRoute A-16, [E-19] to the Dutch border.
NS section
From the border to Schiphol approximately 100 Km of new TGV line will be built. The first section will closely parallel the AutoRoute A-16 until joining the existing Inter City line at Kijfhoek, to cross the Rhine into Rotterdam Central. From Rotterdam the new line will essentially follow a straight line to Schiphol with a 9 Km tunnel planned for the section which passes through the Dutch “Green Hart” and bulb fields.”

JOURNAL DU CHEMIN DE FER [ISSUE # 113]
Update on current rail works [Bruxelles to Louvain].
Arrival of SNCB series 7700 Diesel locos at Montzen. [Total 90 on order].
Retirement of SNCB’s medical carriage after 26 years service.
Completion of SNCB rail works at Hal.
A new wagon mounted rail cleaner for SNCB,
SNCB electrification from Trois Ponts - Luxembourg,
20 years of the NS preservation society “Stibans”,
Tram lijn # 17 of Den Haag HTM,
Arrival of new NS ICE 3 units constructed by Siemens,
Marklin Model Types 22, 122, 202 & 203 of SNCB,
SNCB carriages type M4 and its variations.
Photographs of 1999 NS “open and steam days”, with a steam hauled Lovers Rail.
Model article to “manufacture” coal, plus scenery.
JOURNAL DU CHEMIN DE FER [ISSUE # 114]
SNCB and CFL are proposing works to raise speed limit [Bruxelles to Luxembourg] to 160 Kph [will generate 10 mins saving]
SNCB fares will increase + 2.35 % for 2000,
100 years of Belgian railways, with some old photographs.
Marlboro hired a Thalys unit for transport to the Zandvoort Dutch grand prix
Summary of “major” NS events during 1999, with many photographs,
Prototype monorail automotrice 06 on display, proposed new line is Groningen to Amsterdam.
Summary of Nuremberg 2000 fair,
In addition, photographs of the new TGV line constructions in Belgium,


REVIEW OF THE ACTS '1251' CLASS FROM LIMA
By David Halsall
Lima L208212, Class 1251 ACTS-NS Co-Co electric locomotive 1253 NLG 162,50

The many enthusiasts of the NS 1200 class Co-Co will welcome this attractive addition to the range of RTR Dutch HO models. This completes the sequence of liveries applied by Lima to the 1200s - 1950s dark blue; red-brown (1215 only); yellow/grey; and most recently, the whimsical portrayal of a 1200 as it would have appeared in NS Cargo red. This latter livery would have suited the class least. The new livery of private operator ACTS is perhaps the most distinctive. The dark blue is reminiscent of the early NS livery; so is the line of yellow, although dramatically broader and brighter than the original. It emphasises the length of the locomotive, the end Vs giving continuity to/from each red painted buffer beam. This livery is cleanly applied to the model locomotive sides, the yellow stripe overlain correctly by the ACTS logo. The loco ends do however show some unevenness of paint finish around the lamp clusters, and the join between body and buffer beam. Overall, however, the effect is good and the locomotive stands out well in a group of 1990s NS liveried stock.

This is not simply a repaint. Lima has fitted new ends to the loco incorporating working headlamps in the arrangement of the late twentieth century. This is especially welcome as all the earlier models incorporated the original headlamp layout, moulded contemporary NS crest and buffer beam numbers, correct for the early blue and brown versions. (Nieuwsbrief 30, p.16). I hope for this to be incorporated in the yellow/grey NS version too! The yellow lower headlamps work according to direction of movement of the model, but the red taillights do not illuminate. The upper central light is incorporated only as a moulding in blue plastic; a touch of silver paint might help to make this look more realistic. I have yet to see one of these machines in this livery, but reference to photographs - the prototype 1253 is clearly shown in Nieuwsbrief 30, p.5 - suggest that Lima has created a good replica to scale (1:87). The model's length is 204 mm. over buffers.

Moreover the locomotive's motor works well, if somewhat noisily. Straight out of the box, the model ran smoothly although the body does roll a little - it would be a little uncomfortable on the footplate! The model shows excellent slow speed movement and control, ideal for a heavy freight loco. It is fitted with standard couplings and there are no parts for the modeller to add, as with many models today. Handrails, steps and other details are mouldings, painted in appropriate colours, a sign of the body's origins, giving durability when handling but lacking the full visual effectiveness of separate parts and details (particularly noticeable on the buffer beam). Buffers are the appropriate size and shape. Standard Lima pantographs are fitted. Lettering is clear and small operational markings are legible with a magnifying glass.

Lima has convincingly revitalised an old friend in line with modern developments in Netherlands freight haulage. The '1251' class complements the new/forthcoming Roco ACTS '67', HGK ShortLines' DE1024 (Lima), as well as NS locomotives in NS Cargo red, 'Railion' red, etc. All these suit the modeller with a taste for the modern NS scene, and make a pleasing contrast with the previous all over yellow/grey locomotives and yellow/blue coaches. At a price of less than £50, this model is highly recommended as good value and as a 'must' for those modelling the early 21st century Netherlands railway scene

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