l Nieuwsbrief Issue 41 - June 2002
Newmarket Exhibition SNCB and CFL News Tram News Benelux News
Museum News Model News Dutch Railway News Readers Corner
Book Reviews      

Issue No. 41 - June 2002

Newmarket Exhibition

By Neil Sutton

On Saturday the 25th May the society had a stand at the Newmarket Show. I arrived at about 09:45 to find the stand already set up, with Paul Stoddard-van-der-Maaden and family in residence. Shortly afterwards somebody else arrived, this turned out to be Bob, the editor, we had never met before!!!

Although our location was a little "tight" we were in the main hall and we did have a table. Paul had already set out the latest "Society product lines" our lorries with new decals and printed sheets to make up into Dutch buildings. Paul had made 12 lorries just to test the water, it soon became apparent we were on to winner as several were sold even before the show opened and during the day we sold all 12 and could have sold many more.

The exhibition was good with all layouts being different, and not a GWR branch line in sight. There were two Benelux layouts, a small SNCB shunting yard from member Peter Cady and the diorama Weitaanwijk from member Tony Bennet (see photos in issue 39 from our get-together) which later in the day was being photographed for the Continental Modeller. The rest of the layouts ranged from Italy to Sweden, with a New Zealand layout under construction. Personally I managed to spend a bit of money on the various stands, although these items are for my forth coming Balkan layout rather than my other interest, which is of course Belgium.

At 14:00 we held the EGM to change the society name (see the minutes elsewhere for details), I was very pleased with the number of members who took the time to come to the meeting, after all it is your society.

Being on the stand is always an enjoyable day, as you get the chance to chat all day and not just about trains, the only thing is by the end of the day I was looking forward to having a sit down!! If you ever have the desire to help on the stand, any assistance would be most welcome, you don't have to spend a full day just a couple of hours would be fine.

As far as the society were concerned, we sold all 12 lorries, 3 sets of the building kits, signed up one new member, and sent membership forms to 4 others, all in all a reasonable day.

(Editors note: I think Phil Colton and Mike Boutle should be congratulated on putting on such an excellent show with most major scales present from N to 1 (including live steam), a wide range of countries covered and too much choice of trade for the well being of the wallet, maybe even the marriage!)

Belgian and Luxembourg Railway News

Compiled by Ralph Hanley. We are grateful to the PFT magazine En Lignes as a source for much of this information & Journal du Chemin de Fer

Main items:

Journal du Chemin de Fer 126

The new M 6 carriages of the SNCB; SNCB scenes in the winter snow; Shed allocations of SNCB electric motors and emu's; Update on major SNCB infrastructure; Series 51 diesels in the Gent region; SNCB steam locomotives "Butin du guerre" in the 1940's; Plans to renovate Bruxelles Central; Early photos of SNCB stations; Hybrid trams of Bruxelles; Nuremberg Fair summary.

Journal du Chemin de Fer 126

New cargo for SNCB; Future SNCB investments in infrastructure and motive power; The first "private" train; End of the series 84 and 85; Historic SNCB stations; The BR 52 [type 27] condensing steam locomotives; Marklin SNCB type 27; Update on current services and infrastructure; Tram news

En Lignes 49

History of "Green Livery" diesel locomotives; Current events on the SNCB; Coke trains of Clabecq; TGV works update.


Motive Power and Rolling Stock News

SNCB have withdrawn engines from the following classes: 10 diesel 5100 series; 5 diesel 5900 series; 14 diesel 7000/7100 series; 5 diesel 8000 series; 14 diesel 8400/8500 series.

Current shed allocations for SNCB electric locomotives and emu's is:

Charleroi Sud: series 22, 26 & AM 63/65/66/75/76/77; Merelbeke: series 12, 13 & AM 83; Anvers Nord: series 21, 23, 20, 25 & 25.5; Oostende: series 16, 21 & AM 62/78/79/96; Bruxelles Midi: series 11 [Benelux sets]; Stockem: series 20 & AM 62/96; Kinkempois: series 15, 22, 27 & AM 54/74/80; Schaerbeek: series AM 62/63/70/86/89.

CIWL at Oostende is converting the earlier NS "Postal" emu's series mP for use between the RaiLion maintenance depots.

The remaining series 15 are now allocated to run between Gouvy to Liege. 1501 was used to test the 1.5 kV heating circuit on an I10 coach. Series 16 - 1601 has lost its smart Marklin yellow/grey livery and can now be found in a blue livery. The remaining series 18 have almost disappeared. 1803 has been "earmarked" for 4 years to test the central heating of coaches being maintained at Salzinnes. 1801 and 1806 are up for sale at a price of €400,000. 18 of the series 22 are scheduled to be modified starting in June.

The Italian operator VISALI has requested that all withdrawn series 25 are sold exclusively to them until 2006. Series 25.5 are now in a new service between Kijfhoek [Rotterdam] and Quevy travelling via Denderleeuw and Ath

It is unlikely that the diesel series 52 will last until 2003. 5114 was the first to be withdrawn this year with a motor failure followed by 5154 after colliding with a bus at a level crossing.

5314 had a bad collision with 1300 , which had failed and was awaiting assistance. 5314 approached rather too fast, skidded and was unable to stop. Its fate has yet to be decided. Locomotives of the series 52 - 53 & 54 are now redundant from the electrification of the "Athus - Meuse". These are allocated to replace the remaining series 76 [all of which are scheduled to be withdrawn by end 2002].

Between November and January series 55 were tested, at night, on the "Rhin de Fer" service. No decision has been made on their possible use on this service. Series 77 are spreading through the network and are now becoming a common sight at Gent Zeehaven and Zeebrugge.

It is now certain that the remaining series 80 will survive until after the summer and possibly until the end 2003. This is as it is no longer currently possible to replace these series 80, as planned, by the series 82 from Kinkempois and Merelbeke. 8007, 8027 and 8017 have been cut up at Schaerbeek.

In spite of only sustaining limited damage, 8275 was withdrawn in February, following a collision with a gas truck in Antwerp harbour. For those who have not driven in the harbour, there are different priority rules, engines being the biggest have the greatest priority, followed by heavy trucks, lighter truck, then fork lifts with forks extended about 2 ft high, and with private cars having least priority of all [cyclists are in a class of their own, as most Belgian and Dutch cyclists assume they are surrounded by 2 thick "armour plating"].

Earlier this year, 8462, 8464, 8503 and 8507 were sold to CFD - Locorem, with 8503 subsequently leased to AMOCO at Feluy. 8524 has been acquired by PFT for preservation. All the series 84 and 85 have now been withdrawn.

Most of the problems with Series 41 have been resolved sufficiently for SNCB to order a further 16. These will probably be used on the Antwerp - Neerpelt service.

Since January the SNCB series AM 96 have been banned from the SNCF network, as they are not equipped with the KVB safety facilities.

The series 66 emu 709 involved in the earlier collision at Pecrot has been "repaired" using the coaches 7091 and 7162 which were not too badly damaged. The damaged coaches 7092 and 7161 have been scrapped. Unit 706 ran into the rear of a freight train near Cheratte. The Dutch driver did not react in time to a red signal; fortunately the collision was at low speed. Nevertheless there were 17 passengers with minor injuries.

The earlier series 44 - 45 are now in Romania apparently doing sterling service.

SNCB have ordered a batch of 100 type Sgnss flat bed wagons from Astra in Romania.

A series I10 coach has been converted into a "Bar Dance" for service on the Bruxelles - San Candido ski express.

CFL are experimenting with a DB type diesel auto rail 628. It is in DB red and white colours but with the CFL logo.

SNCB are using their first "private" locomotive - a GM class 66 diesel. This is owned by DLC [Dillen & Le Jeune Cargo S.A.]. This is being used on cargo between Antwerp and Aachen.


SNCB are reducing a significant number of Inter City trains at the start of the summer timetable in June. These are generally early morning and late night services, and are based on very limited usage of these services.

In September SNCB, STIB, TEC and De Lijn will introduce a combined travel ticket. This will initially be for the Bruxelles region and will allow for interchange of travel between these services [similar to the Dutch major cities]. It is planned to extend this arrangement to other areas.

SNCB rail fares were increased in February by an average of 4 %.

During 2002 Thalys carried over 5 % more travellers than in 2000. The greatest increases were on the Bruxelles - French services with averages greater than 10 %.

Senior Citizens only! Anyone of advanced years, [i.e. plus 65!] visiting Belgium can take advantage of the SNCB Seniors promotion. This permits return travel between any 2 SNCB stations for €2.50. It is not applicable to TGV services or before 09:00 weekdays. A simple request and proof of age [passport] is sufficient.


The extension of Tramline 3 from Antwerp to Zwijndrecht [on the left bank of the Schelde] was completed mid February. The new terminus at Zwijndrecht includes a "Park and Ride" facility.

Underground work at Antwerp Central station is well underway; this has necessitated realigning the above ground tramlines around Koningin Astridplein. Currently Platforms 4,5 & 6 are in operation. Plans have been finalised for the TGV route to the Dutch border. Part of the track alongside the wooded section of the E-19 will be totally covered as a protection from falling trees.

The Dutch government has agreed funds to build a new connection at the north of Antwerp Port between SNCB Line 11 and the NS Vlissingen to Roosendaal line. This is planned to be in operation before 2010, and will allow freight traffic from Antwerp to use both Lines 11 and 12.

CFL are planning to build extensions and modifications to their network, these are: -

New line Luxembourg City to Esch-sur-Alzette [alongside the existing auto route]

A spur between Luxembourg Findal [Airport] to the Wasserbillig Line [3].

An extension of the lines at: Dudelange Usines into France at Volmerang and from Esch into France at Audun-le-Tiche.

In addition a new bridge leaving Luxembourg station to the north to double the existing lines 1 and 3.

All these works are planned to be completed by the end of 2003.

Metal sleepers are proposed in certain SNCB tunnels to maintain the loading gauge for the new double decker M6 coaches. These allow an additional 15 to 30 cm height, as metallic sleepers require less thickness of ballast.

Antwerp is by far the major port with over 850,000 wagons handled last year, vs. Zeebruges with 189,000.

Tram & Light-Railway News

By Paul Stoddart-van der Maaden

Sources include Rail Magazine, Het Openbaar Vervoer and various tram/rail articles and brochures, including the Internet.

GVB - Amsterdam

The political to-and-fro continues as the referendum approaches (to be held on the 15 th May) to decided whether or not the GVB should indeed become 'independent' and follow the road towards full privatisation. Minister Netelenbosch also threw her weight behind the supporters, in spite of increased criticism on how the GVB was misinforming the public with its pre-referendum promotional material. The GVB's pro-referendum campaign started in earnest in April with a door-to-door leaflet drop promoting the virtues of independence. This was backed-up by poster-site and magazine advertising. The thrust of their argument was that independence would provide a better and safer service (does this mean a police presence on every tram?); rolling stock would be cleaner (questionable, as in principal all rolling stock is cleaned daily to remove graffiti) and the service more reliable (where is all the Amsterdam traffic and its obstacles going to disappear to?). The GVB also says independence will generate more money, although they do not say how. All this was reinforced in the 'Referendumkrant' (newspaper) delivered to every Amsterdammer, although it also included the disadvantages of 'going alone'. (Editors cynical comment: of course all this enthusiasm for 'privatisation' would have nothing to do with the fact that chief executive and all his sidekicks promoting it stand to gain enormous salary increases would it?)

April also saw the GVB publish its 2001 results. The figures (in thousands of Euros) were as follows (2000 figures in brackets). Total income 10'343 (7'552) with passengers increasing to 246 million (243). Passenger kilometres also increased to 985'500'000 km (946'000'000 km) and the average number of employees over the year rose from 4'450 to 4'505.

The Remise Tollenstraat (service works behind the Kinkerstraat) has now been recognised as a state monument, as the complex's facade is thought to represent the formal building style of 'Berlage' with the additions of a steel construction and art-nouveau detail.

VVV Amsterdam Tourist Board has now introduced (for the 2002/2003 season) a 1, 2 and 3-day Amsterdam pass. This gives visitors the right to travel on all GVB transport services over the purchased period. The new pass will be available from 1 st April 2002 to 31 st March 2003.

Rolling Stock: the following Combino units were delivered during the period Feb-April: No's 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010. April saw the Combino's appear on the streets for instruction purposes on line 13, with the first services starting April 22 nd . Some 'software' teething problems did arise during trial runs, and delays were caused by passengers not being aware of the new entry/exit procedures. Apparently units 2005 onwards are also to be fitted with better, more legible digital destination signs. The existing units 794, 795 and 902 were repainted into the new white/blue livery. Units 697, 736, 740, 769, 776 and 778 have been earmarked as the first casualties once the Combino's enter full service.

Line 17 complete again. There are finally enough conductors on line 17, and as a consequence the end of the 12G-series being used on this line. The shortage was in part due to many of the existing conductors becoming drivers. No doubt many would-be fare-dodgers will now avoid taking line 17. This phenomenon is also seen between the Albert Cuypstraat and Munt - many avoid line 25 as this has sufficient conductors present, and take lines 16 and 24 instead which currently operate without conductors.

New ferries take to water. From June onwards, new IJ-ferries will conduct trial crossings between Amsterdam Centraal Station and IJplein. The new ferries, known as series-50, will be officially inaugurated on June 27 th at Ponthaven.

MetroMorfose is finally underway, with Ganzenhoef being the first station to be transformed (see MetroMorfose article in previous Nieuwsbrief). One prime objective of this project is to provide safer environments for passengers.

Take a stroll to the small GVB office on Stationsplein and pick up 3 new leaflets. The first, "Amsterdam heeft zijn nieuwe tram", contains all facts and figures about the Combino and especially in which part of the tram the conductor is located together with the entry/exit procedures. The second, "MetroMorfose, Uw metro verandert" is another one promoting this well-publicised project, apparently containing photos and drawings of what the new stations should eventually look like. Finally, "GVB krant zomer 2002" contains figures about the new summer-timetable, new conductors on line 17 and forthcoming events.

The "Gemeentevervoerbedrijf" now has a new name/logo, simply GVB. Apparently it was thought the organisation required a strong, short name. The letters GVB, together with the 3 broken stripes logo will now be introduced in all communiqué. Didn't we already know them as the GVB?

Further to the organisation 'Nederland Distributieland' quest to transport goods using the metro, research company DHV has now developed a plan in which it is recommended that such a trial project commences within two years. The intention is that hauliers delivering goods to central Amsterdam retailers deliver the goods to Diemen, from where the goods are transported by metro to Weesperplein. From there onwards, smaller trucks would complete the delivery to retailers. The council has yet to approve such a project, and there are many questions to be answered beforehand, such as to what extend existing rolling stock and stations will have to be altered to accommodate such a service.

HTM - Den Haag

Dick Ketting, member FNV Bondgenoten has thrown his weight behind the opposition to privatisation. It is their opinion that privatisation can only lead to service levels worsening and the eventual split of the bus and tram units. Town district 'Haaglanden' is however going ahead in 2006, with the HTM and others being able to bid for part or all of the available lines in the region.

There are still a considerable number of series-3000 trams yet to undergo their mid-life service. Unit 3097 has just gone in for its health-check, with 3064 having returned with a new lease of life. 3102 has now had its total-advertising (LG Electronics) removed, which now leaves 10 trams with all-over advertising liveries. Over and above the purchase of the seven Hannoverse trams, it appears another three have been hired, which may also be purchased at a later date. They are expected to arrive in Den Haag around June.

Not enough rolling stock. This apparently has been the case since the start of line 15. Of the 147 available trams, 135 of them are necessary to offer the daily services, leaving but a few in reserve. Rumours are circulating that HTM wants to temporarily acquire a number of Stadtbahn units from Hannover, originally destined for Budapest. Once the units for RandstadRail arrive, HTM would then ship the Stadtbahners to their rightful destination. HTM has also got its eye on a number of Stockholmse units, which are currently running trial runs on the Rijn-Gouwe line. Until this shortage can be resolved, fewer trams will service areas such as Mariahoeve.

Haagse Tramvrienden have moved their website, it can now be found at: www.haagstramnieuws.org.

Haags Openbaar Vervoer Museum will once again open its doors from the first Sunday in April until the last Sunday in October. Opening times are 13:00 - 17:00. On show you will find historical busses and trams from the Haags Bus museum and Haags Tram museum. Every Sunday short trips will be on offer at the old service works Frans Halsstraat with historical trams.

No money yet says Minister Netelenbosch. Line 19 is to receive no further funds until 2006. Apparently the original agreements for funds suggest they will only be made available when substantial parts of area around Vinexwijken has been built-up. This is in spite of last year's announcement that finances had been arranged.

A facelift for Haagse Centraal Station. Like a number of stations in Amsterdam, the 25-year-old Haagse CS and its direct surroundings will also undergo a MetroMorfose in order to make it an attractive work and living environment once again. The currently elevated tram station will be integrated into the main hall from which the trams will appear through a glass tube. Work is planned to start in 2004 and cost around €170 million.

RET - Rotterdam

Since begin March employees have been moving into new headquarters situated by 'het Vasteland'.

Master plan CS still under scrutiny after criticisms from The State, the Rotterdams College has re-submitted its proposals for the redevelopment, saving €270m. The revision suggests amongst others smaller platform canopies and a smaller public square in front of the station building. Total costs are however still to be around €605m. The political parties in and around Rotterdam can also not agree what should happen - some are against redevelopment altogether, suggesting the existing complex should be retained as a monument. The latest news is that Minister Netelenbosch and Rotterdam have now agreed to work together on this project, with the design and planning process to start during the summer months.

RET is to become more business-like and by 2006 redesign itself into a healthy organisation with profits to match. Currently yearly losses are around the €20m, simply because expenditure is exceeding ticket-sales together with declining state subsidies. RET has also made an agreement with the council that 2002 losses are not to exceed €8m, and a return to profit will be made by 2003.

RET is not paying enough attention to safety, or so the commission for transport safety concluded in its report following the derailment of a metro train in the Oude Maas tunnel back in January 2000. The report criticised RET for lack of attention in safety matters, and that no one bore overall responsibility for the safety of rolling stock. In response, RET has reinstated its company technical division responsibility for this area, and hired independent advisers to work with the development of new rolling stock.

RET recently launched a new action to combat those responsible for graffiti on trams and metro. The first step is to clean all units and remove all graffiti. Should new graffiti be found, a special team will remove this immediately. In cases of excessive graffiti, the unit will be taken to Kralingse Zoom station to be swapped for a cleaner example. Furthermore, ticket-controllers together with the police will continue to work together. More use of CCTV and computer will be made. A database will log all instances and even hold photos of the graffiti. With this information, the police can more easily identify the perpetrators. Vandalism continues to be constant headache for public transport, costing the RET around €1m per annum.

After an absence of almost nineteen years conductors are to return to RET trams from April 2002 onwards. However, only on a trial basis for one year and only on line 17. As opposed to Amsterdam, they will be 'walking-conductors' and have no fixed position in the tram. This is because RET does not want to control entry/exit procedures. One can purchase tickets from the conductor, however these will be more expensive than pre-purchase. The first six months of the trial will see the conductor accompanied by a tram-steward. This two-man team will be useful during rush-hour periods and enhance the tram team's safety (in numbers).

The new metro/sneltrams were delivered at the end of April, with training now officially carried out between Capelsebrug and Kralingse Zoom.

It is now thought that the series-800 will be retired from service earlier than the series-1600, once the new Citadis trams enter service. Although these units underwent rebuilds during the 80's, they essentially remain old rolling stock with bogies and electrics originating from 1960's articulated Düwags, hence the decision.

Service location Hilledijk will after all be adapted to take the new Citadis trams, as the new Groeninx van Zoelenlaan location is behind schedule. The out of use metro-track on the Hilledijk complex will be adapted for trams and catenary added.

News from Belgium

MIVB Brussel - Spend, spend, spend. Funds have now become available for the extension of the tram net. Minister Chabert has indicated around €9,4m for the extension of line 94 from Wiener to Vorst rond-punt. Work is expected to be completed by 2005. A further €6,7m has been allocated for a new line at the Wekhuizenkaai, with work expected to commence early 2003. Finally, the extension of line 55 from Bordet to Eurocontrol has also been confirmed €4,56m, but no start-date has been confirmed yet, as this will depend on the completion of current works in the area.

After it was confirmed that the PCC units 7005, 7054 and 7129 could not be sold, they have now been transported to the scrap yard. PCC 7074 was the final series-7000 to be delivered in the new colour scheme.

March saw the opening of the renovated metro station Maalbeek, which now includes lifts for wheelchair users. Minister Chabert also used this occasion to confirm money was now available to update all stations' accessibility.

The Flemish government has agreed to purchase another ten low-floor trams from Siemens. Six of these are to be one-direction units destined for Antwerpen, and four bi-directional units for Gent. This is the second order in total of 47 trams, with the first batch being delivered early 2003. Still under discussion is whether the trams will be kitted-out for advertising.

Kust (West Vlaanderen) - the tram regains control. In and around the area of De Panne trams are often delayed by other traffic. To overcome this problem, a new traffic system has been introduced, whereby when the tram passes over a designated point 500 meters from a major tram stop, road traffic lights are automatically changed to red, allowing the tram to continue its journey without any delay.

April also saw the first trials with the extended unit 6089. This unit was extended with a low-floor section at Bombardier BN Europe in Brugge, giving yet more capacity. The front-end (nose) was also redesigned, now 'rounder' and 'softer' in appearance. The nose is also to house the trams climate-regulator. All 'kust-trams' will undergo this transformation, including a new ramp for wheelchair users.

Benelux Railway News

By Paul Stoddart-van der Maaden

Sources include Rail Magazine, Het Openbaar Vervoer and various tram/rail articles and brochures, including the Internet.


NS-Organisation 2001 Results, published end of February with an air of disappointing and worsening quality of service and ever increasing costs. The total number of employees also fell by 567 to 22,286 due to the sale of a number of sister-companies, despite a growth in the areas of NS Reizigers, NS Stations and NS Real Estate. Total income for the organisation was down by 3% to €2'618 million when compared with last year. NS Reizigers contributed the largest part, the sum of €1'554 million - an increase of around 4%. Total expenditure reached €2'580 million, an increase amounting to €33 million. This was especially attributed to attracting extra personnel in to improve on the quality of service, absenteeism and increased serviced costs. Over and above, extra funds to the tune of €37 million had to be passed on to The State for use of the infrastructure. Investments for 2001, particularly in the areas of VIRM and ICK totalled €457 million. Finally, the sum of €31 million was paid in dividends to the only NS shareholder, namely The State.

Are the Plan-V days numbered? Due to a severe lack of spare parts, around 50 of the 242 plan-V's are currently off the rails, and it is anticipated this number will only grow. It is planned to raid parts from plan-w carriages and a number of mP MotorPosts to alleviate this situation. NS Reizigers has also confirmed a replacement for a considerable number of plan-V's. The contract for 110 new 'stop-trains' will be awarded on a European basis, and is expected to cost hundreds of millions of Euros. The new rolling stock is particularly suited for city/regional transport, and will have wide doors, which open and close quickly, instep at platform-height, large windows and air-conditioning throughout. The interior design will furthermore be open plan and airy, which is thought to have a positive influence on passenger safety. Short journey times are assured through the units' fast acceleration and deceleration rates, thus making more efficient use of the rail net. In its press releases NS talks about 'Sprinters', which is of course confusing as these are already in service. The one thing they have in common - fast acceleration.

IRM goes VIRM. From April this year onwards, IRM will systematically be sent to Talbot for lengthening up to 6-car units. The extension and associated modification takes about 7 weeks. The current 4-car units of the series 8400 will start to make the journey to Talbot during the summer months to become 6-car units. Following a trial period and driver instruction the new VIRMs will enter service in January 2003. Servicing will take place at the Amsterdam Zaanstraat facilities, and eventually move to Onnen.

Wadlopers go home. From 8 th April onwards Wadloper units 3101-3103 on route Zwolle-Kampen will be replaced by two DM'90's. The Wadlopers are to return home to NoordNed. This in turn allows NoordNed to return plan-U 147 to NS Reizigers. In fact 147 has been on the sidelines since February due to defects. At the same time Syntus was also able to return two DM'90's to NS Reizigers, due to their introduction of the Lint-units.

1302 steels the limelight. Although it was planned for loco 1312 to be museum-bound by now, it has now been decided to send 1302 to the Nederlands Spoorwegmuseum, instead as this appears to be in a far better condition. 1312 has in the mean time been sent to Roosendaal.

NedTrain goes shopping and orders twelve new models to replace the ageing NS series-600. These 2-axel locos type G322 have been ordered with the German firm Vossloh. Drivers had a go on the Danish version of the G322, in service with the Danish railways since 1996, and found it easy to handle and far less noisy. The new locos will be spread over 10 locations. What will happen to the remaining nineteen 600's is unclear. However, they do no longer comply with noise regulations and are frequently off the rails due to defects sometimes even resulting in incorrect passenger train formations. NedTrain have also travelled to China in a bid have spare parts manufactured by Chinese firms. If successful, they hope this in turn will also break the monopoly of the current European suppliers.

HSL transforms station Breda. With the HSL arrival only round the corner, Breda's station and direct surroundings are to undergo redevelopment with a mix of offices, homes and shops. The former goods yard, currently a parking lot to disused RaiLion locos, will also be developed. This consequently means the end of the road for 24 RaiLion diesel locos of the series 2200. They will all be sent to the scrap yard sometime this year, via Tilburg or Zwolle. Over and above, 5 series 1100 and nine series 600 will follow the same route.

In the summertime there will be a new timetable, resulting in 8% (or 406) less trains. There will however be a minimum of two trains per hour on every route.

NoordNed fines to be reinvested or so the province of Groningen decided. This means a total of €200'000 is to be invested in new rolling stock. Groningen will in turn talk to the Minister to try and extend NoordNed's concession period - otherwise the purchase of new rolling stock may be seen as a waste of time. All being well, we should see new trains on the rails by the summer of 2003.

The new safety system ERTMS will be in use from 2006. The system will however be installed from September onwards on a number of routes, including Breukelen for visibility tests. The signs will also undergo extensive testing using a train-simulator.


New top-man at the NMBS. Etienne Schouppe, described as a railway man through and through, hung up his boots in April to be replaced by Christian Heinzmann, former top man at LuxAir. Schouppe is to take the helm at ABX, which is the partly privatised distribution company (similar to Parcelforce) in which the Belgian Railways also have an interest. Heinemann's leadership has been of short duration - he has already handed in his resignation. This partly due to a conflict with the unions and in his own words "due to the dire state of NMBS finances". The NMBS are now actively seeking his replacement; in fact the government has decided to form a new board to run the railways, which does not exclude Schouppe regaining his old job.

Minister Durant is blocking the approval for a new line between Vlissingen and Antwerpen. It is his reaction in response to the Dutch refusal to allow rail traffic across the 'Iron Rijn'. Once this has been approved, then Durant will support the extension of the so-called line 11.

Despite a considerable number of problems encountered with the introduction of the series 41, the NMBS has ordered another sixteen of these (4181-4196) in order to meet capacity requirements on the route Antwerpen - Neerpelt. The series 15 cannot yet be retired and are used for the P-trains Gouvy-Luik, replacing the series 55.

NMBS goes shopping too and will purchase sixty new two-system locos of the series 13 and 115 multi-system locos series 14 over a period of twelve years. It is thought the current DB series 189 stands a good chance of becoming the series 14. Once delivery starts taking place, series 16, 22, 25 and 25.5 will be retired.

B-Cargo is tightening its belt and reducing its personnel count by 1000. The remaining employees will be expected to be more flexible with working-arrangements. All this so that B-Cargo can be turned around and compete and/or survive in a liberalised goods market. The cost of this €535m, with €333m thereof earmarked for new rolling stock and the remainder on personnel re-schooling and other projects. The restructuring must be complete by 2005. In fact competition has already arrived in the form of Dillen & Le Jeune Cargo. A newcomer to transporting goods by rail, the company ran its first goods train on April 3 rd from Wackersdorf in Germany to the Antwerp docks. Although a new name in the world of railways, the organisation is in fact backed by the Swiss-based Hupac-group, with 40% the main shareholder. Their transport rates are up to 20% cheaper than those of the NMBS, explaining the fact why the their first train's capacity was sold out. This 3x per week service is primarily a container load, transporting BMW car parts, traction is provided by a Porterbrook Class 66.

Museum News

By Paul Stoddart-van der Maaden

Corus ends the Excursie trein. In February of this year it was decided that the excursion train no longer represented the interests the company, and could therefore be missed. The diesel locos will continue in service with Corus and the remaining rolling stock (including 2 steam locos and 5 ex-DB carriages) will be sold. Sadly this ends a museum organisation offering a unique experience.

Stichting BEL (Blauwe Engel Lochem) is currently in discussions with Syntus to take on the DE-II, which will become available now the Lint-units are entering service.

1501 back to work as NS Reizigers does not have enough locos. NS International therefore signed a contract with ACTS to provide traction and driver for their Alpenexpressen on Fridays and Sundays. Because this leaves ACTS with little to no flexibility on these days, it has asked WorkGroup 1501 if they can make 1251 and 1501 available as a back up. 1501 carried out various services for ACTS under this agreement, all without any problems.

Model News

Compiled by Ralph Hanley from Train Miniature & Journal du Chemin de Fer


The new management of the Lima group has taken over and announced some changes. Jouef will no longer be marketed outside France, and the current remaining Jouef models will continue to be marketed, but now as Lima models. On this note the earlier planned Jouef SNCB 1300 and CFL 3000 electrics now seem a distant dream. Rivarossi will continue to be manufactured and marketed under their own name. It is not clear what is happening to the Arnold range. However there was a cautionary note from Winco at the Eastleigh Eurotrack. They have currently discontinued dealing with Lima on account of continued innumerable problems in fulfilling their orders.

Roco have issued their latest "International Collection IV", which includes stock of Benelux interest. [A reminder that this replaces Roco's' earlier local releases to specific countries]. Judging from the scarcity of these catalogues, one would think they came under the Official Secrets Act! The Society have contacted Roco, who [hopefully] will now send future releases of their "International Collection" to myself. Anyone interested in new releases should contact me at the memberships secretary's address.

Train Miniature 16

Main Items:

Transforming a "Viking" bus; HO layout "Rocheval"; Nuremberg Fair summary; Illuminating buildings; Carriages type M 2 of the SNCB; SNCB wooden closed wagons; Belgian beer lorries.

Train Miniature 17

Main Items:

"Improving" the Roco series 62; Modelling a slate roof; Advice on soldering and installing motorised points; Making a DPM kit town house [19 th century]; Model Train Museum of Pieter Nombluez [in Heist-op-den-Berg]; Modelling a Belgian steam rail crane and station; Modelling SNCB series M 1 coaches.

Nuremberg 2002 Releases

[Unless otherwise noted, the information below is for HO scale].

Artitec displayed a two reservoir diesel SNCB depot, complete with hut, [similar to the Bruges signal box], and loading arm.

Heico-Modell released a series [3] of NS "Euroserie" flat bed wagons. [2 x 8 wheels & 1 x 4 wheels]. In addition this company has a range of German resin building kits in HO, N and Z, some of which could be considered "Belgian".

Hodl have an HO version of the new Amsterdam combi Tram at € 100 without motor or €140 with motor. An N version is planned to be released in October.

Jocadis [with Brawa] have issued a SNCB Fish refrigerated wagon époque IV, also in scale N.

Liliput range now includes a closed SNCB Fish wagon type 2210 AO and a Solvay tank car époque IV.

LS Models are expanding their range of SNCB coaches with types 14 & 15, couchettes, "Railtour" époque IV and type I11. In addition there are 2 silo tank wagons with either "Trevira" or "Kosa" inscriptions.

[As mentioned in Nieuwsbrief 40], Marklin/Trix plan to issue a good selection SNCB/CFL models by the end of this year. Their planned releases are: -

SNCB series 25, [2504] with 2 x M2 carriages and 1 pilot carriage in Burgundy

SNCB series 16 [1608] in golden livery, [DC only].

SNCB type 27 tender locomotive

Diesel TEE Ram I of the CFF/NS [used between Paris and Amsterdam]. A digital version is planned with appropriate noise effects [also in scale N ].

Diesel TEE ram VT 11.5 of the DB [used between Oostende and Cologne].

CFL diesel shunter series 1011

Other Marklin/Minitrix models are: -

SNCB steam tender locomotive series 26 [scale N ]

CFL diesel engine series 1600 and period coaches [scale N ]

SNCB "Nordwagon" [Scale N]

NS Electric 1800 series 1855 [Eindhoven]

SNCB electric 1608 in golden livery

NS RaiLion diesel locomotive [Scale N ]

NS closed three-wagon set in brown [scale N ]

SNCB steam tender engine series 81 [scale Z ]

Mehano have again confirmed their planned release of the SNCB series 77, but still with no specific release date.

NMJ have produced a limited number of the famous NoHab [NMJ Superline] these will be either 50 of the SNCB in green/yellow livery [5402], or 75 of the CFL maroon/yellow [1602], [of which 65 have been allocated to the "Model Shop" in Luxembourg.

Guido Olaerts are planning to make a SNCB emu "Break" either 2 or 3 coach formation. Various liveries are planned, and these will be available in either DC or AC versions. Costs are somewhat high at € 325 for 2-coach set and € 425 for the 3-coach set.

Rivarossi released two SNCB "TEN" carriages in blue, the "Railtour" version [R3677] and the plain version [R3678]. These are judged to be of high quality. In addition there is a Belgian époque V bulk cereal container inscribed Polybulk, Cat R2170. One disappointment is the earlier planned NS "Inox" coaches, [used on the "Etoile du Nord"], are no longer planned for manufacture.

Roco exhibited an earlier closed SNCB short wheelbase wooden wagon in either green [47346] or brown [47347]. Other Roco models of interest are: SNCB wagon with 2 spheres Époque III [46879], B-Cargo wagon Époque V with three coils [47433], and a brown silo wagon Époque IV-V [47405]. Most of these will be available towards the end 2002.

Sachsenmodelle have a small tank car [Cat 76300] as used in the Schaerbeek maintenance shops.

On Tracks are importing German foam underlay in 5 scales with real stone chippings, either in Sandstone or Granite. Quality, from sample received, is much higher than existing products. For information, contact with SAE, On Tracks, P.O. Box 59, Abergavenny, Monmouth, NP7 8YE, E-mail: INFO@ONTRACKS.CO.UK

Model News

By Paul Stoddart-van der Maaden .

If you are a modeller then post-Nuremberg there are some exciting items to look forward to.

For HO-modellers, Modeltrein-express has announced they are selling the Gützold model of the V60. Many of you will recognise the V60 being in service with both ACTS and ShortLines. Available in both liveries, and in analogue or digital, the model is expected to be available towards the end of this year. Tillig are offering this model for those of you modelling in TT-scale.

Philotrain are now also taking orders for their HO-version of the NS 2530. Also known as 'The Bishop', three versions are planned, namely red/brown, yellow/grey and the original purple. Philotrain expect to deliver reserved models in early 2003. Visit www.philotrain.nl for further information.

For those of you modelling O-scale, a small but fanatical group of modellers, 't Hollandsch Locaalspoor', is producing a 'kettel-wagon' in 'Pakhuismeesteren' livery. A ready-made model, contact ade.doolaar@spijkenisse.nl for further information. Also available from this group in O-scale is a NS wagon type GTM kit.

LSM have launched another two T2S carriages, one being an NS version in Trans Europ Nuit (TEN) livery.

Dutch Railway News

From Peter van der Mark


After the government induced Big Bang and the subsequent changes of faces in the railway managerial seats, the punctuality of NS initially improved, but the latest figures show a decline of about 3.5 percent in comparison with the first weeks of 2002. The reason is the ever-present sensitivity to failures of the signalling, energy supplies and track faults. The trains themselves, although rather hefty percentages are still occupying siding space awaiting repairs, are once more behaving themselves. The results did; however, put paid to the rumours that groups of on-train staff sabotaged the reliability of services that led to the present pickle in which NS finds itself.

There are a number of conclusions to be drawn. To start with, the governmental roles in the process of rail transport quality deterioration are not entirely clear, but are in virtually all European cases considered to be rather negative. Political as well as financial opportunism and unwillingness to look at the railways other than as presumed inefficient money burners has prevented officials from enquiring about the reasons why things were as they were in the first place. Remember John Major and his petulant allegations about the railways being deeply inefficient? That sort of attitude is still widespread in Western Europe. The subsequent privatisations -or commercialisation's- were based on a wish to get rid of the cost, and on political dogma about -wholly unproven- benefits of the profit driven approach to operation of railways, without having sufficient insight into what the longer term implications were.

The way to proceed in the hands of the newly instated, financially orientated railway bonzes was rather haphazardly and one-sidedly thought out. It was mainly about realizing profit potential through cost cutting, with a strong bias toward what they saw as boosting of efficiency (sweating the assets was the term) in their own patch, with an almost complete disregard for the influence of their actions on the quality of the overall picture. There was no real interest in how to actually run a national railway for the longer term in its political and social environment, they did not show any interest in what the possible negative results of under maintenance in this situation of increased use of the assets would be, certainly not with respect to customer goodwill. This was hopelessly shortsighted and therefore plain stupid as railways are essentially a longer-term kind of business.

This general lack of will to think straight led surprisingly quickly to increasingly embarrassing failures on all the networks concerned. None of the West European frontrunners in the privatisation/ commercialisation game, Sweden, Germany, Great Britain and The Netherlands escaped, although admittedly German railways appears to have escaped the collapse which characterized the situations in Sweden, Great Britain and The Netherlands. The notorious cuts in preventative maintenance of rolling stock and infrastructure have had a profoundly devastating effect on reliability and with that on customer perception of the benefits of rail transport. The situation generally deteriorated so quickly that within five to six years it reached a point where the reason for continued existence of some of the once celebrated rail operators as viable transport undertakings became questionable. Nations, which didn't rush on their way to commercialisation and privatisation of rail operations, have suffered far less from this type of deterioration.

Another conclusion to be drawn is that with the cost-cutting induced change from the classic traffic control and management systems at fairly local level (say signal boxes here) to a heavy reliance on labour, maintenance and hardware saving nationwide electronic systems in a handful of control centres, it appears that a great deal of the existing robustness and reliability of the network has been sacrificed. Simple traffic control computer failures, whatever the reason such as under trained operators, national grid power failures, lighting strikes or the wrong kind of sparrows sitting on power lines, easily knocks out entire stations or whole sections of the network every time they occur, instead of just a pair of points or so. After which it too often requires an inordinately long time to deal with the failure and get traffic moving again. This is more often than not due to the remoteness of the few controllers from the actual place where traffic ground to a halt. The reliance on telecommunications is enormous on the present day railway, but the first thing that occurs almost without fail is jamming of the lines. Too few control people have to deal with too many inputs and requests from managers and operatives on the ground, often with little no or insight into what is going on as very often the fault itself takes away their information provision. This is not typical of NS; the railways in Britain suffer from exactly the same problem when incidents occur. On top of that, the hunger for energy in the present breeds of rolling stock, coupled to an unprecedented density of traffic, which doubles the problems, appear strangely enough not to have been foreseen and therefore sufficient measures to ensure continuing power supply in case of hiccups have not been installed, no doubt another great saving of expenditure. Power failures, certainly on the Dutch network, are endemic; this is a very debatable, lopsided sort of progress.

From my NS colleagues I understand that despite all the modern control and communication facilities at hand things haven't grown any easier and speedier for them, because of the layers of bureaucracy they now need to tackle -or which tackles them- when dealing with niggling, simple, everyday little failures which occur as a matter of routine on complex machinery like trains. The time needed to inform control about a fault and request attention at one of the next stops might take as much as three phone calls over thirty minutes during which everything has to be explained again and again to the Managers involved before any decision is being taken. Just to give you an idea about possible results from this procedure; of the latest SPAD's recorded (of which one led to the scrape between empty passenger stock and empty hoppers outside Amsterdam Central), eight were blamed on drivers being engrossed in conversation with control on the phone while moving. It is also ominous that most of these conversations were actually initiated by control, which has the facilities to see whether a train is on the move or not. Unsafe practices understandably have recently had a lot of attention in The Netherlands.

So will things go better from now on? I don't know, but nothing will change quickly. NS is now busy getting to know what is actually keeping them from obtaining results. The Governments of all the nations mentioned know what they don't want (i.e. neither the former heavy and uncontrollable expenditure or the present -vote losing- mess) but haven't a clue as to what they do want, bar seeing happy voters. With some justification they wanted to get rid of the hefty financial public transport burden and wanted to see the railways change into modern, customer orientated, 'Can Do' organisations which would potentially make lots of cash. But thus far they all have landed in a far bigger and more costly mess with their passenger operations than when they started out, so clearly they have done a number of things wrong. The only nation which has escaped this fate in a convincing way is Japan, even though recently sounds have started to emit which indicates that not everything over there is as rosy as they would like us to believe, and on-train labour problems are hotting up.

Positive notes from The Netherlands are, however, that no great quantities of money have been squandered on privatisation of the rail infrastructure, and also that the plans for the privatisation of the passenger operation have been abandoned. The new objective for NS is to remain owned by, but independent -and at an arms length- from the State. And to transport as many passengers as is possible within well defined comfort matrixes. That does not only deal with having a seat or not but also with the punctuality, so that is definitely is a positive development. As far as the price for running such a network is concerned, NS is still making money even though it is not the licence to print money anymore that it used to be. Let's remain hopeful, taking comfort from the fact that the Dutch media still writes articles with a warning undertone about the way things went over here in Britain, so the readers are aware that things could still get far worse and that they might now turn back from the real downward slide. I am looking at an article from The Gelderlander newspaper, which urges the reader to watch the Ken Loach film The Navigators as a lesson to avoid similar problems with NS.

Last but not least, the network is still receiving government funding proportionally in excess of what the railways in Britain get: and it shows! Therefore, the potential to work successfully on the problems with a rather short term result far greater than it is over here, where we have lagged so far behind that even bringing the network up to scratch before thinking about anything like ATP, electrification and the badly needed extensions to the network will cost many billions, and therefore causes paralysis instead of a habit of tackling the job head on. Incidentally, in Britain the privatised track maintenance and renewal companies make things cost about 3 times more for a job than what they used to before privatisation doesn't help either.

Ministers Jorritsma and Netelenbosch, who on the whole don't really deserve applause for the way they have handled transport, have disappeared, and as far as Netelenbosch is concerned it was just in time as she started to vent the idea that private ownership of the infrastructure might be a good idea. The reason she disappeared, incidentally, has more to do with another massive blunder, which recently cost the government its seat, the handling by Dutchbatt of the evacuation of the free zone at Srebrenica during the war in the former Yugoslavia. Therefore, as yet there is no need to turn to the Japanese or Swiss Railways Societies for a positive bit of reading, you can stay with the Benelux Railways Society! (Editors note: I enquired from Peter what he meant by Dutchbatt and got the following reply. "Dutchbatt was the Dutch battalion supposed to keep a free haven safety zone for Muslims in Srebrenica. It was in true Dutch style, pretty badly under resourced and gave in to threatening behaviour from the Serbs and as a result about 7000 Muslims were carted off and murdered. Valiant attempts by several governments to whitewash and sweep it under the carpet failed and the cabinet in which Ms. Netelenbosch was a member recently had to resign.")


As things stand with regards to the reopening of the railway connection known as the Iron Rhine between the port of Antwerpen and its German hinterland, which crosses Netherlands territory through the Province of Limburg, the Dutch do not like the idea overly much and have invested time and effort in looking for ways to stop this development, which has led to a row between the two tiny nations.

This is for a number of reasons. Primarily the Dutch do not want Antwerpen to become a serious competitor for the port of Rotterdam but have nevertheless, for reasons of European neighbourliness, already invested heavily in transport connections for the Belgian port. Go and take a look at the maritime connection from Antwerpen to the Rijn (Rhine) and see what I mean. The fact is, however, that for Antwerpen the railways have always been more important than the water connection, simply because there initially wasn't one. Indeed, the urgent need in Belgium to create a high capacity transport connection to Germany whipped them on to such a hurry in looking for an alternative that they became the very first to build a railway line on the European Continent. Antwerpen still transits far more freight by rail to German and other destinations than does Rotterdam, where ship and lorry take precedence.

This not only makes the redundant capacity of the Iron Rhine line a far more serious aid in the competition between the ports, but also on top of that diminishes the worth of the Dutch investment in the existing waterway. It makes it look like the Dutch taxpayers are dishing out all sorts of goodies to their southern neighbours while cutting into their own sources of income in the process. Secondly, the Dutch government is still fighting a bitter battle with pressure groups around their own Iron Rhine, the Betuwe Railfreight Corridor, and can do without additional problems generated by substantial Belgian railfreight aspirations on Dutch soil. Thirdly, as to why the Iron Rhine all of a sudden appears so important to the Belgians, well, officially there is obviously the capacity, the gradient profile and the length of the connection. The Iron Rhine alignment is shorter, flatter and passes through already heftily electrified areas, but all this never made the Belgians use the line more in the past.

There is, however, the well-known sharp internal strife between the French speaking Walloons and the Dutch speaking Flemish. This is said to play an important but well hidden role in the comedy, as the Iron Rhine alignment in Belgium passes from the Flemish port of Antwerpen through all-Flemish countryside, completely outside any sphere of influence by the Walloons. In the present European political climate the Dutch aspect is felt to be of minimal trouble in comparison with the existing all-Belgian railway line through what is nowadays a competing and bothersome region, and which is moreover also roundabout, long and of a difficult profile, never mind the fact that it still is not electrified over considerable distances.

Now, this transport issue is by no means standing alone in souring the relations between the two tiny nations. There are connections with other stick-in-the-throats, such as the water quality of the river Maas (Meuse), which has long been treated like a sewer by the Walloon industrial sections of the little federation to the South and still is far from clean. On top of that there is a certain amount of irritation in The Netherlands about the Belgian handling of the important High Speed rail corridor southward to Paris. How come that the all-new High Speed connection from Brussel to Germany is being driven forward at breakneck speed while the Dutch connection from the border to Brussel consists of upgraded existing infrastructure for 160 kph (100 mph)? It is simply true that the Dutch High Speed Line South bogs down to glorified local working across the border in the Vlaanderen area, then to be resuscitated to twenty first century proportions past Brussel on its way to Paris and London, where the Belgians themselves have great interests at stake. It has been mentioned in publications that the Flemish could not be moved to allow the Dutch their true High Speed connection, as they had no benefit from it. Their other argument that space considerations did not allow an entirely new line looks a bit odd when seeing how the Dutch High Speed line is threaded through one of the most densely crowded parts of the world, where remaining bits of grassland had to be protected with a 7 km tunnel which appropriately received the name of the Green Heart of Holland tunnel.

The latest reason for some serious bad blood is the development that the Dutch have had a good read in the transport corridor agreement papers from the time of the separation of the two nations from their mutual ancestry in 1839, and found to their quietly delighted surprise that in the transport corridor treaty from 1873 it says that there should be a direct connection to Germany put at the disposal of the Belgians by the Dutch, and that this concession would lapse in 1972 after 99 years. In this treaty The Netherlands had accepted the separation from Belgium and acknowledged the need of that country to have good transport connections with their main market eastward. The Belgians did not in actual fact use the connection provided for most of the time, preferring the all-Belgian bypass line south of Maastricht to Aachen, but the Dutch nevertheless kept the agreement connection in working order well past 1972. Whatever rights the Belgians had from the original agreement, it had lapsed in 1972 with no-one bothering much about any kind of re-negotiation.

According to the man who managed the Dutch research into the archives, lawyer Mr. F. Tonnaer from Maastricht, the present situation is such that if the Belgians do put great store on having the agreed line at their disposal again, then it will be as a case of good neighbourliness in which the whole situation has to be scrutinised in the light of the needs and aspirations of both parties involved. Now, due to Dutch government opportunism and to Belgian internal division and government ineptness, there appear to be snags toward the reopening this interesting rail connection. The Belgian federal minister of transport, Mrs. Durant, not generally known for an accommodating temper, has notified her Dutch counterpart, Mrs. Netelenbosch (at present defunct anyway), that international judicial action is being looked at. The case is based on an understanding concerning Antwerpen transport needs between the two governments from 2001, but it is important to remember that at that time the Dutch government appeared to be unaware that the Belgians had no right to claim anything at all and co-operated to some extent with the Belgian wishes.

One of the issues which inflamed Mrs. Durant during those talks, and which have become much more potent in the present situation, is that the Dutch want the Belgians to pay for a hefty number of environmentally protective measures (read a tunnel and three sections of covered track) plus a new alignment to avoid Roermond, to the tune of €550m. Mrs. Durant feels that it is up to the Dutch to protect themselves against such hindrance, seeing that the original line is still available along its existing alignment. The thing with that bit of existing line is that Mrs. Netelenbosch, on hearing the good news from Maastricht, immediately cancelled any Dutch co-operation in temporarily putting it at the disposal of the Belgians for a limited number of trains until 2002 pending full reconstruction, which ditched the reopening of the line as reported in Nieuwsbrief, the line is not available anymore even if track is still in situ.

The Flemish minister of transport, Mr. Stevaert, felt that he immediately had to cancel a meeting on transport issues with Mrs. Netelenbosch, although he later stated that that had nothing to do with the developments surrounding the line. That the outraged Flemish Prime Minister called the Dutch naughty names, when venting his disapproval about the new developments which threaten to stall the march ahead of his all-important port of Antwerpen, hasn't really helped either to get things moving again. The present director of Belgian Railways, Antoine Martens, took a far more constructive stance after having had a look at the prices the Dutch asked for the work in hand. Hand me the money, he said, and I'll build two tunnels for that price. In the meantime the freight traffic work in Belgium has plummeted by 7 percent. B-Cargo says it is due to strikes in Belgium, France and Italy plus a sharp decline in the notably Walloon based steel industry. Maybe the need for the connection will go away all by itself?


Nieuwsbrief has reported on the on and off developments of a large freight transfer compound along the Betuwe freight route at Valburg near Nijmegen. While it looked like it was off, in actual fact the whole plan is still very much alive and appears to be popular with industrialists as well as transport people because more than half the available space has already been subscribed. And so we might well see yet another bit of sparse Dutch rural land disappear under tarmac and concrete. Yet, the information coming out is so confused that no one can tell me with any certainty that the enterprise is going to be profitable and whether it will do anything for the basic push behind the Betuwe freight line or for railfreight in general. Given that connections from the freight terminal premises to the river as well as to the motorways will be impeccable, I am not convinced that the railways are in a position to draw great advantages from it at all. What such an inland freight village in that location is very good for, is transit freight from short sea trading ships on to lorries for regional delivery. Substantial low-liner coasters, well able to come this far upriver from destinations from as far away as the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, Britain and Ireland (and do not think that cross-Atlantic work is deemed too much for many of them!) can bypass the hubbub, charges and delays of Rotterdam and other seaports, to discharge their cargo's much closer to their final destination, which only benefits road traffic. Good for sailors and truckers, but for the railways?


Even though the track upgrading works in Germany have belatedly finished as specified and the line is now available from Groningen through to Leer, there is still no through passenger service. In the bad old days NS and DB worked the line without fuss and as a result DB trains were a common sight stabled at Groningen. Nowadays though, commercial interests play a role and oh boy, does the rail user get a brilliant deal? Here's the low down on the present state of affairs.

DB Regionalbahn Niedersachsen started driver training in February this year on the German stretch of the line, intending later to operate all the way through to Groningen. DB RN is as yet not accepted as an operator in The Netherlands but has requested RailNed to start the acceptance procedures, this will take time and is therefore problematic. NoordNed from its side is not acceptable on the German section of line by DB RN and is in fact not interested; given the trouble it has working the agreed timetable on its own patch. Now DB RN wishes to restore services as far as Nieuweschans and then change into a NoordNed set over there, which largely defeats the object of the whole upgrading exercise. An interim solution is to have NoordNed operate the DB trains on the Dutch section, but DB RN has as yet not officially asked NoordNed about their co-operation, so everything now hinges on DB RN getting their operating license. Forget about a convenient trip from Groningen through to Leer on upgraded track at appreciable speed for this year.


Minister Tineke Netelenbosch has indicated to the population of the Northern Netherlands that if they want a High Speed connection Westward then they'll have to find €1.1 bn. This is the shortfall which has been calculated to exist within the present figures for this connection. Insiders think it is a way to get those in the economically underpowered North to throw in the towel and forego the whole project to bring the present travel time, 2:15 to 2:45 hrs back to 1:30 hrs, seeing that they have very little chance of seeing their aspirations realised. The kitty is well nigh empty and other projects, such as the High Speed Line East to Utrecht and Arnhem will benefit far more people, but as yet there is no serious money available even for those projects.

It is thought that this gives the people promoting the Transrapid MagLev scheme another chance if they can fund its construction from means independent of state contributions. Oddly enough, the same sort of development is at present taking place in Germany itself, where a similar scheme is showing promising signs of life again. I still think that if the MagLev boys see a chance to link the two schemes that a very serious competitor for High Speed Rail operations from the Randstad to Berlin and to the Ruhr area and beyond could emerge, but I am glad not to live near it.


Crime and railways have always had a number of interfaces. The majority of railway related crimes concerns theft from freight trains, violence against staff and travellers, break-ins into and theft of parked cars and of parked bicycles. Various developments such as computerised bicycle storage sheds and CCTV have brought some improvement in the matter, but now a new piece of kit attempts to forestall one of the great drawbacks of CCTV, and that is the man behind the monitors. It is rare that CCTV actually leads to action the moment the crime is committed. It is mostly only used as part of the evidence if prosecution is brought about because the man behind the screens missed it, if he was there at all. Now a combination of TNO-FEL Delft and NS RailInfraBeheer (NS-RIB) has developed a new CCTV based observation system. It is a computer controlled CCTV system whereby the computer is able to distinguish certain types of movement associated with certain types of criminal actions. If the computer notices such movements then it sends an alarm to the observer who can immediately take action such as alerting the police and directing other camera's at the scene to take as much evidence as possible, while also being able to track the perpetrator for as long as he or she is within the system's camera range. If such systems are coupled up, the cameras could track anyone along great distances, passing the electronically marked perpetrator on to each other.



Sorry for using this bit of railway slang to indicate a train operated by the driver only, it made a catchy headline and it concisely indicates the new plans for the NS trains. There are a number of angles to this dubious development. Firstly there is the fact that conductors are hard to come by and secondly that they were deeply involved in the recent bouts of labour unrest. Thirdly there is the fact that trains can run without them, they have no place in the actual action of bringing people from one place to another. Fourthly, the electronic tickets, shortly to be introduced, makes it possible to accurately, and moreover safely, check tickets at gates within the station entrances as is happening increasingly all over Europe. In order to safeguard security on trains people will be hired in from specialised companies. This way the savings on staff as well as the higher yield of revenue makes the investment in the whole exercise worthwhile.

The unions are uncharacteristically silent, as NS has promised job-security until 2010 if staff co-operate. The media, though, wonder what will happen on board a train where some halfwit goes berserk, a foreseeable situation, or on which the driver becomes incapacitated somewhere in the middle of a bundle of high speed tracks. As is the experience in this country, in such a case after a maximum of half an hour people open the doors with the emergency devices and start walking the track, bringing the rest of traffic to a halt as soon as another driver sees and reports this fact, thus in the end causing further waves of trespassers from other stopped trains until all that is left are those who take their time and wait on their train, for whatever reason. As a driver myself I do not like trains without someone on the back to keep an eye on developments though, and in the argument about customer safety I do not think that conductor less trains have a place.


Those of us who occasionally travel around The Netherlands might have noticed that there are some really big works on the line from Arnhem to Nijmegen around the embankments leading up to the Oosterbeek railway bridge across the Rijn. These works have everything to do with the volume of water the Rijn has brought down along its course in the previous years, whereby some very iffy moments were encountered with regards to the dikes, which barely held out against the onslaught. One of the measures taken is the widening of the thoroughfare of the rivers, so the Oosterbeek Bridge embankments are being dug away and replaced by bridges over a substantial extra length. However, the work in progress has had to be stopped regularly to allow removal of WWII ammunition of all descriptions, up to now 2200 pieces have had to be taken away, mainly deposited during the battle of Arnhem in 1944.


It should be no surprise to the regular reader of Nieuwsbrief that the Belgian class 11 bi-current DC locos have not really profiled themselves as reliable. The service has been withdrawn along the whole or part of the route for days on end due to unavailability of traction. It is notably under the 1.5 kV wires that the locos overheat and fail. Usually Rotterdam CS is the terminating point coming from Antwerpen or Brussel, where the passengers have to change on to Dutch trains for onwards transport. Incidentally, the Benelux ICR coaches are looking tatty and are often filthy, clearly in desperate need of an overhaul, which causes a number of technical problems as well. NS Int is now considering the use of other types of coaches on the service, whereby withdrawn stock from the Overnight Express is en vogue due to the fact that it would also extend the amount of first class accommodation on the trains, needed to transport the European Civil Servants from Den Haag to Brussel.

NS Int also came in the news when they decided to finally terminate the exploitation of the ski-trains and the Motorail trains after years and years of working them. It would have required a total overhaul or new purchase of the stock used which was not a viable proposition economically speaking as the trains never really made money. ACTS became involved as, due to the traction crisis which continues to beset NS, NS Int decided to use ACTS 1200's on these jobs, thus recreating the picture of a 1200 on a long passenger train of the type which they often worked during their life with NS. When NS Int decided to terminate the services, however, all of this joy disappeared equally swiftly.


It has often been remarked in Nieuwsbrief that the failing maintenance of rolling stock is one of the chief drivers behind the debacle which took place on the railways in The Netherlands. When the tide started to turn it was found that NedTrain, the NS maintenance subsidiary, did in fact no longer have the know-how to reorganise itself, and the work it is meant to do, for the better. This is a bit sad as NS was once one of the shining lights in the field of advanced, target orientated maintenance only half a decade or so ago. But never mind, NedTrain tackled the problems head on with a study by its NedTrain Consulting arm in a railway workshop at Kyushu, Japan, with a view of setting the benchmarks for a good maintenance regime.

The results of the research were not at all flattering for NedTrain. 1) It transpired that parts of trains failed because they were examined too late, often only after the failure had occurred. 2) Regularly recurring recalls for duty of trainsets, which were in for servicing sometimes caused a complete loss of knowledge about the actual state of the set. 3) The whole administration system to keep track of spare parts and new stock proved flawed as it held items in stock which could not be found in reality. 4) The registration of faults and failures on trains left a lot to be desired, leading to loss of predictability and foreseeability of type characteristic faults on rolling stock. 5) In turn this led to trains not being taken in in-time for preventative maintenance (an official cost cutting strategy anyway) and sets as a rule only showed up when having part- or wholly failed in service. 6) Last but not least, resulting from lack of education due to cost cutting exercises, the level of the knowledge of the staff was insufficient to a significant degree to do their jobs properly, leading to misdiagnosis of faults, excess time needed to rectify them and often not rectifying the underlying faults but the symptoms, causing further deterioration of the train concerned.

All the above resulted in an ongoing unavailability of parts due to unpredictable needs as well as bad bookkeeping, followed as a consequence by late ordering of replacements. This in its turn, due to extended delivery times, kept trains in the sidings far longer than should have been the case, which in turn, led to further deterioration of the stored trainsets as a result of the inevitable extensive cannibalisation to keep other less crippled sets going, but also resulted in greater exposure to the results of vandalism which again caused further delay in delivery all of its own.

Apart from dealing with these issues NedTrain expects that the accelerated delivery of new ICR sets in the coming summer will allow them to concentrate on finally getting the older sets still awaiting repair cleared due to the lessening demand for their presence in service. Nieuwsbrief reported on the concerted and very successful action to get the large amount of NoordNed Wadloper DHMU's out of the workshops again beginning of this year.

There was an outside factor which has played a big role in the maintenance fiasco, and that was the late and often unpredictable delivery of spares and of externally overhauled components. On top of the delays caused by NedTrain's own ineptness this caused some trains to be stuck in the sidings for the best part of a year at times. Moreover, these bits and pieces are gruesomely expensive as the manufacturers and over-haulers work in a sellers market, almost along the lines of monopolies, after all the recent mergers. In order to upset this damaging situation NedTrain is considering buying spares from- and overhauling components in China. Railway production know-how is widely available for many types of traction in China and modernisation causes an oversupply of shop capacity there as well, which the authorities want to see used for other purposes to combat unemployment.

In the meantime urgent measures are now due to keep the oldest fleet of trains, the still very necessary plan T and V sets, in operation. Their supply of spares has well nigh dried up and the still available mP vehicles have only yielded a fairly small amount of equipment in the light of what is needed. As a result more than 50 of the 242 available plan V, 2-car EMU's are standing around awaiting repair. As a first measure the recently reinstated plan W coaches will all be out of service this year to provide bogies and braking equipment as well as passenger comfort kit for the EMU's. Number 501, the prototype plan T four car EMU from 1960 will not be refurbished but will donate usable spares and then be scrapped. The set is too different from the others to make such refurbishment economically viable. It is hoped that better maintenance and the better availability of spares will enable the fleet to be kept in operation for at least five more years. Other measures deal with other stock, such as an order for spare Y32 bogies for ICR coaches. Shop facilities will be modernised and extended, such as in Maastricht and Haarlem.


The lengthening of the three car sets into four car units has started; these extended units are temporarily known as VIRM. Putting in the new bi-current power pack vehicle and the necessary alterations to the existing set takes about seven weeks per set. From the 16th of June these altered four car sets, as distinct from the existing four car sets which will eventually become six car units, will be entering service on Amsterdam to Vlissingen, to Dordrecht and to Den Haag Centraal workings. Maintenance of the VIRM four car sets is at Zaanstraat depot in Amsterdam, and for that reason the existing IRM three- and four car sets will be maintained at Onnen depot until they are called in for lengthening. The four car IRM set changeover into six car VIRM sets at the Bombardier Talbot works in Aachen will start in earnest this summer.


2-car sets 3101,02 and 03 have moved back to their Noordelijke Diesellijnen stomping ground again, under the NoordNed banner, after NS replaced them on the Zwolle - Kampen jobs with two DM'90 DHMU's. To put it mildly, NoordNed is not at all happy about the powers of NS-NedTrain to deliver reliable working trains and is still looking for LinT units of its own, seeing the success that Syntus has had with them, and the fines paid to the Province of Groningen for non-achievement etc. must be ploughed back in a fund to pay for new stock. NoordNed is also hoping that Syntus is interested in setting up a working agreement about the maintenance of the LinT's in a central workshop, independent from NedTrain.


Both at Haarlem and at Maastricht works it has now become habit to immediately cannibalise ICR coaches coming in for refurbishment to keep sets of non-refurb coaches going with the kit taken off. Because the fitting of remote control cabling is independent from the refurb, it has now been possible to form three push pull sets with DD-AR Driving Trailers, made redundant because the DD-AR loco hauled sets have been lengthened which has left these vehicles spare. And so we can now see sets of a 1700, working four ICR single deck and a DD-AR BvK double deck vehicle in services around Utrecht (Eindhoven and Geldermalsen workings).

Because ICK is now coming into service in appreciable quantities they are knocking ICR vehicles out of certain mixed sets. Because non-refurb ICR are available in larger numbers, it has been possible to put three other full ICR sets of seven vehicles each together for work on the IJssel line. I do not know whether these trains are worked with locos top and tailed or with just a single loco.

Three ICK sets, reinforced with an additional ICR BkD, have been formed and are working in the Den Haag CS to Heerlen jobs. This has already led to the termination of the hire of two sets of DB coaches. Eight other sets have been formed of hired DB coaches with additional ICK stock (an A and a B), complemented with six K4 and an ICR BKD. The pressure to take further ICK's into service is high as NS wants to get rid of both plan W and K4. The plan W's will be cannibalised for spares to keep the plan T and V EMU's going and the unloved K4's will go back South ASAP.


ShortLines has started working with their own locos, two GM JT42CWR (Class 66 to us) in January. Tilburg works carried out modifications to enable the locos to work on the Belgian, Dutch and German railways, and now ShortLines can finally hand back the three fundamentally unreliable HGK owned MaK DE 1024 Co-Co's DE 11, 12 and 13. One of the GM's works the DSM train from Geleen-Lutterade to Rotterdam Botlek and the other is to be employed on the Blerick to Rotterdam Waalhaven container shuttle. Initially one of the GM's was hired to ACTS as replacement for a 1200 which was away in the Czech republic for repairs, and ran with an ACTS 6200 GM Bo-Bo' of Belgian manufacture. Once again it showed up the extent of the size difference between British outline stock and that built on the continent.

The two locos acquired by Foster Yeoman pioneer Richard Painter for Heavy Haul Power International (operator of 59003 in Germany) arrived at HGK's depot in Bruehl-Vochem for commissioning. Tilburg works, now the usual place where GM has the various types of European Train Protection systems fitted, took care of the Indusi installation. The HGK depot mentioned is now one of GM's support depots where commissioning and overhaul for all purchasers can take place if so wished. Six of the type were recently taken into lease from British company HSBC by Norwegian and Swedish freight operator CargoNet for use in Norway. Another example will be leased by the first Belgian open access operator Dillen & Le Jeune Cargo for trips from Antwerpen to Aachen, so this type of loco is active in Great Britain, Sweden, Norway, Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium.

General Motors is said to expect to sell at least 40 to 50 more of the type this year alone and is now seriously looking at possibilities of building the type in Europe at the Romanian plant of Electroputere at Craiova. This would not only make production very much cheaper, due to much lower production costs and also cut out the transport charges across the Ocean, but also deal with the additional problem of the weakness of the Euro against the US Dollar. A 66 at present sells for €2.5m ex factory, compared to an average of €2.3m for a new European built electric loco, or €1m for a reconditioned older European built diesel loco. Additional cost arises as a result of fitting Train Protection equipment, but that applies to as good as all types of traction. It is a testimonial to the way that European operators have taken to the GM's reliability and availability after their experiences with the homegrown products, that the machines sell in the way they do.


Given that many RET drivers saw the Duewag 1600 series trams go with a sigh of relief, it is obvious that they did not relish the coming of the very similar SGP built ex-Wien trams. They will stay only until the Alstom Citadis trams come into service and it is hoped that they have been debugged to such an extent that they will work straight out of the box but Alstom, however, does not have a reputation for that sort of achievement and the Citadis sadly falls well into that category of problematic.

The older "new" trams entered service on line 2 in their original red and white livery, but soon showed problems, notably with their brakes. A rear ender, when Wiener 656 ran into the back of another tram on line 20, injuring nine travellers, forced RET to take the trams out of service and consider spending on repairs and modifications or withdrawal. As this situation caused a lot of inconvenience to the travelling public it was clear that RET needs them until the end of next year, and so the first option was chosen, leaving the trams in a better state when they go than when they arrived.


Friesland appears to have an unlimited capacity to conjure up rolling stock of long ago. At the end of last year a number of SHM officials travelled northward to Herbayum after having been informed that yet another shed had definite rail characteristics, thinking of finding an NTM tram vehicle as usual. But, to their great surprise, the shed was far too wide and high for such a tram vehicle. It turned out to be an original HIJSM vehicle type CHA 160-285 from between 1867 and 1870, built in both the Haarlem workshops and the firm of Carl Weyer. It is thought that the vehicle travelled the long vanished NFLS line after having been taken out of service to end up in this particular location. The ancient vehicle, representing clearly the changeover from stagecoach construction with its wooden frame with iron fastenings to the normal iron or steel four wheel frame construction, is in relatively very good condition and has been brought to Hoorn for restoration. When finally back on the rails it will be the oldest working rail vehicle in The Netherlands and in an historical sense even outclasses SS cattle wagon FO 13517 in the Utrecht museum. At the moment the history of this particular vehicle is being unravelled in order to obtain its exact number and history.

At the other end of this spectrum, the frame plates for a new NS class 6000 2'C2' (4-6-4) tank loco, 13 metres long and 28 millimetres thick, have arrived in the SGB shops at Goes. These locos, a 2 cylinder tank version of the SS four cylinder 2'C tender locos from 1910, of which 3737 from the Utrecht museum is a representative, were built from 1913 at the shops of Beyer Peacock. As a result of the first World War a substantial number were requisitioned by the Ministry of War, Railway Operating Department and ended up in France, where they were taken into the books of the Nord and later the SNCF. Most of the life of the Dutch locos was spent on services around the big cities in the West of the country, together with the later and heavier four cylinder tank version of the same basic pattern. When the new loco is scheduled to be finished is not known.


It has been reported before in Nieuwsbrief that if it had been left to the official keepers of the Belgian railway heritage, that many first generation electric and diesel types would have vanished without a trace. This would have included examples of the well-known multi-current electrics and NoHab type GM diesels. Luckily enough private initiative in the guise of the Belgian railway preservation group PFT has acquired seven examples of such locomotives in addition to already owning 16 rail vehicles. At the end of last year they concluded the purchase of four-current C-C' 1805, Diesels 7005 and 5128, shunters 8428 and 9209 and a Romanian 2'C (4-6-0) steam locomotive of the Prussian P8 type, to be rebuilt into a Belgian post WWI loco of the same type. The last purchase in 2001 was Cockerill built Co-Co' DE loco 5183 of a vague Baldwin heritage. The PFT collection is as yet not open for regular visits, based as it is on the premises of two still active depots Schaarbeek and St. Ghislain. But in actual fact the vehicles are mostly stored at the depots where they were taken out of service, all over the country. A listing of the PFT stock runs as follows:

EMU's: 082. Electric locos: 1805. DMU's: 4333, 4602, 4605, 4612, 4618, 4906 (51.26) and 553.29. Diesel locos: 5128, 5183, 5204, 202.020 (ex CFL 1602), 5927, 6003, 6077, 6106, 7005, 8428, 9209 and 231.002 (DR type V36). Steam locos: 26.101 (ex PKP Ty2 3554) and 230.084 (ex CFR P8 type). Diesel locomotives 6052 and ex-CCB 216 (V36) are cannibalised for spares.

It might come as a surprise that none of the multi-voltage series of locos, classes 15, 16 and 18, have actually stopped working, despite the fact that they are officially OOU. Class 15 is used on peak hour Gouvy to Liege workings replacing class 55 DE locos, while 1601 and 1602 have recently been overhauled (lost their non-standard Marklin advertising livery) and continue as before on Oostende to Koeln services, due to be replaced by ICE from Koeln to Brussel and by class 13 with push pull Intercity stock on Oostende to Brussel and Liege jobs. The weirdest news was that even an 1800 had been put back in service after an overhaul, to supply ETS to coaching stock under overhaul.


The 25 remaining Belgian ex-NS DE Bo-Bo's of class 76 will be returned to the Netherlands soon. They will not be taken into NS or RaiLion rosters but Strukton Infrastructure Construction and Maintenance has shown an interest as the locos are (restrictively, no ATP) accepted in The Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. RaiLion still has 59 of the class on its books but, as reported previously, only the six near Terneuzen are more or less active and early replacement is actively sought. The place of the locos in Belgium, on infrastructure and construction work, will be taken over by GM Co-Co' classes 52, 53 and 54. These were in their turn displaced by electrification of the Meuse-Athus line.


Only two BR class 58 DE Co-Co's will actually go to The Netherlands, although the number will rise to five later. EWS itself is fitting the Dutch ATB-L kit, enabling the locos to deal with both of the present generations of ATP and the future ETCS ATP. If everything goes as hoped then the locos should be working between Rotterdam Maasvlakte and Veendam by June.


Now that the Hofplein and Zoetermeer lines, along which empty stock reaches the Leidschendam depot, are going to be used for the RandstadRail light rail system, a 1.5 km separate single line connection from the Den Haag to Gouda and Utrecht main line is to be built to maintain access for trains to the facility. Unlike the situation elsewhere in Europe, The Netherlands is not going to mix heavy rail and light rail rolling stock on one line. The two NS lines will be fully separated from the main network and become a network on their own. Future additions might be the line from Leiden to Woerden via Alphen and its branch to Gouda, with new connections to the Hofplein and Zoetermeer lines.

Readers' corner

By Paul Stoddart-van der Maaden

Nederlandse Industrielocomotieven, by H. De Herder

Publisher Uquilair (Rail Magazine)

ISBN 90-71513-41-6; Price € 25.

An overview of the Dutch owners and operators of narrow-gauge industrial steam locomotives. A total of 168 pages, 159 of them with b/w photos and 23 drawings.

Tourist Railways around Belgium and Luxembourg.

Publisher Rapid Transit Publications, 37 Wellesley Road, Ilford, IG1 4JX.

ISBN 0-948619-09-0; Price £ 9.60 plus postage.

B5 in size with 116 pages with English text and 42 photos. A useful guide to the location and details of some 60 preserved railway lines and museums.

Stoomlocomotieven NS-serie 6100, by Paul Henken.

Publisher Uquilair (Rail Magazine).

ISBN 90-71513-43-2; Price €27.00.

A 152-page history of the Tenderjumbo's, looking at the types introduction in the 1920's, the build process, its roles throughout the war-period and 29 years of active service. The book includes many never-before published photos (around 150 b/w), drawings and related documents.

Book Reviews


Augustus J Veenendaal Junior, Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, USA

ISBN 0-8047-3947-1, 233 PAGES, PRICE £30.00

Reviewed by Charles Phillips

This is the book everyone has been waiting for, a history of the railways of the Netherlands in English. It is well written and well illustrated. The author's pedigree is superb, he is the Senior Research Historian at the Institute of Netherlands History at The Hague and Corporate Historian of the Netherlands Railways (NS to us) as well as honorary keeper of photographs of the Netherlands Railway Enthusiasts Society (NVBS to us). The book tries to cover the whole spectrum of Dutch Railway history, not only the system, but the buildings, the signalling, the rolling stock, the motive power, labour, political legislation and the wars. It is well illustrated with both photographs and plans. In the main it succeeds in its purpose, yes there are omissions, for example there is no mention of the slip coaches that were in operation between 1885 and 1910 on the Holland Railway and also on the Netherlands Rheinish, nor of the use of electric motor coaches as locomotives during and just after the Second World War. And there is one glaring error in that it is stated that the German Railways uses 25,000 volt a c electrification. But these are minor points; on the plus side it finishes in 2001. At the end of reading the book one comes away with a greater knowledge of the Dutch Railways than when one started, I found it a pleasure to read. I bought my copy in Foyles, but I also saw a copy of the book in the Ian Allan shop. The book can also be obtained through Amazon Books.

(Editors note: I also saw this advertised in the Midland Counties book list; same price)

75 Ans SNCB en Images

Reviewed by Ralph Hanley

published by PFT; €35.

This is essentially photos of the SNCB Motive Power and stock from 1926 to 2001. More could have been made of this book, by at least a map of the SNCB network in 1926 and the current 2001 network. More 'photos of infrastructure would have added to its value, otherwise it is an interesting collection of SNCB photos.


La Ligne Bruxelles - Tervuren

published by Editions Gerald Blanchart €57. [Available from PFT].

The title may not sound too interesting, but this is a treasure of a book for anyone interested in the railways around Bruxelles. The book is copiously illustrated with: route maps, photos of old stock, motive power and infrastructure, personnel, early time tables and tickets used, it is one of those books "not to lend out!"


Diesellocomotieven In Nederland

By Carel van Gestel, Bert van Reems, Peter van der Welle; Published by De Alk Bv, Alkmaar

ISBN: 90 6013 089 8; Price €34.50

Reviewed by Rodney Beech

At 240 pages and measuring 30 cm by 21 cm and full of data about all the diesel locos used by the NS, this book is guaranteed to become a standard reference book for all enthusiasts. Text is in Dutch. Each locomotive type is fully described and illustrated with sharp b/w photographs, a comprehensive data table and a series of superb 3-view line drawings providing critical dimensions. Where known, the fate of each locomotive is reported. Locomotives covered in the first section are: -

De locomotoren met benzinemotoren: - No. 1, No. 101, No 102, and serie 103-152; De locomotoren met dieselmotoren: - serie 201-369 ("Sikken)"; De eerste diesellocomotieven: - Nos. 83 and 84 (ex HSM 201-202), serie 161-165 (ex WD/NTM), and serie 401-415 (grote "Sikken"); De lokaalspoordiesellocomotieven: - serie 451-460; Dieselelektrische rangeerlocomotieven: -serie 501-545, serie 601-665, and serie 701-715; Ex War Department-locomotieven serie 2001-2018 (vorheen serie 600), Dieselelektrische locomotieven serie 2201-2350; Dieselelektrische locomotieven serie 2401-2529 en 2530; Dieselelektrische locomotieven serie 2601-2606 ("Beelen"); ORE-locomotief No. 2801; Ex-Staatsmijnen-locomotieven serie 2901-2905; Proeflocomotief DE 2500; Dieselelektrische locomotieven serie 6401-6520.

As a bonus there are separate chapters giving comprehensive details of hired locos from DB mainly class 200 series, cross border services and the Belgian and German loco types used and finally the locos of ShortLines and ACTS.

The second half of the book is given over to a massive photo album of all the types in service with comprehensive notes. Current locomotive types are illustrated by colour photographs and there are also pictures of the preserved diesel locomotives in action on preserved lines. Train formations and line side details are clearly shown making this book an excellent modelling reference. This book is the fifth in the well-established series from this publisher, which includes a similar volume of Electric Locomotives and three volumes of Electric Multiple Units and Motor postal units.

Book Information

From the Editor

The following books were observed in the latest Midland Counties Books catalogue. They are not reviews and neither are they an endorsement of Midland Counties or of the books themselves as I have not purchased them, the information is provided as they are obtainable from a source within the UK and avoids the hassle of foreign purchases. The descriptions are as in the catalogue.

Benelux Rail 8, £24.95

The railways and tram systems of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg in 1992/93 are reviewed in this photographic album. Locomotive stock lists are included as at 1 st January 1993. Dutch and French text, 10 maps, 136 b/w and 87 colour photos. 144 pages, laminated hardback.


Inventaire Lignes Ferrees de la SNCB, £6.95

A handbook listing all SNCB lines at 1 st November 1998. Information in tabular form provides information for each route including a list of tunnels and electrification schemes. French text, 34 b/w photos, 40 pages soft back.


Aux Trams Citoyens: 8 Liege au Temps du Tram, £15.00

A full colour review of the trams and trolleybuses of Liege. French and Flemish text, 108 colour photos, 98 pages, soft back.


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