l Nieuwsbrief Issue 45 - June 2003
Contents SNCB/NMBS News CFL News Dutch Tram News
Belgian Tram News Autumn Visit Jolly Boys Outing Belgium March 2003
Deventer 2003 Model News Travel in the Past Video News
SNCB/NMBS Menu Letters  
 

SNCB/NMBS News

By Ralph Hanley
We gratefully acknowledge the PFT publication En Lignes as a source of much of this news.

Stock Changes

New deliveries have been: 4185/86 & 7771 to 7779 & 7781
The following engines have been withdrawn: 967, 4407/10, 4510, 5102/03/04/07/08/09/5111/18/20/21/25/31/35/78 & 5214
Engines demolished were: 1505, 2307, 5139/51, 6300, 7001/02/04, 7601/5 & 8005/08

Motive Power News

Electrics

Very little changes on the rosters for the electrics class 12. These are now to be seen mainly around Charleroi, and between Gent & Lille.
Main duties of the series 13 are: Ostende - Eupen, Ostende - Antwerp, Gouvy - Bruxelles passenger services. The CFL series 3000 passenger services are mainly confined to Luxembourg - Liege. Both the series 13 and 3000 have active freight duties ranging from Zeebrugge to Mulhouse/St Louis.
Since December 2002, the main series 15 duties have been confined to Liege - Gouvy, with series 13 substituting when required.
Commissioning of the high-speed line L2 between Leuven and Ats has proved nearly “fatal” for the series 16. Essentially there are few suitable duties left for this series. Earlier this year this series rosters were planned between Antwerp and Ostende, essentially to release a series 13. However few duties materialised as the series 13 did not immediately get clearance to operate on L2. Currently series 16 work one Ostende - Schaerbeek, and Welkenraedt - Bruxelles Midi.
Series 20 can still be seen on freight duties between Montzen and Antwerp with 8 trips per day.
Series 22 have been reduced to a total of 29, with 20 withdrawn from service. In late December no's 2221 suitably decorated hauled the “Christmas Train” as a part of the “Belgian Kids Foundation.” The remaining series 22 have the following rosters: Bruxelles Nord - Denderleeuw, Bruxelles Midi - Hal & Gent - Deinze.
Series 23 no’s 2307 has finally been cut up. This was earlier involved in the d’Hatrival collision and withdrawn in 1992.

Diesels

Series 51 have been reduced to 10 engines, with limited duties, [Genk - Schaerbeek, Montzen - Aachen & Aachen - Genk/Hasselt]. The remaining are planned to, be withdrawn by summer 2003, depending upon deliveries of the current series 77.
The damaged motor of series 53 no’s 5309 has been replaced by the motor from withdrawn 5314. The remaining series 52, 53 & 54 are mostly utilised around Andenne, Yvoir, Feluy and Luxembourg.
The Dutch Company ACTS have leased 6222/6234/5523 & 5517 and returned 6220 & 6237 [these were leased back in May 2002]. These are planned to operate around Kijfhoek and Maasvlakte.
The withdrawn series 75 have finally departed from Schaerbeek to their new owners in Italy. Their new livery is a slightly lighter shade of NS yellow.
Twenty series 77 equipped with ATB have all been delivered. No’s 7771 visited Zutphen, [hauled by 5523], for ATB calibrations and tests for use on the NS system.

Railcars

Emu’s 151 - 270 & 595 - 792 are now authorised for use as far as Aachen, where they are now providing a 2 hourly service to Liege. Unfortunately the timings are such as to not make any connections at either station. This may well be a SNCB/DB ploy to encourage passengers to use TGV services instead of using “conventional” trains. Back in November no 170 hit a truck blocking a level crossing at Droeshout [between Jette and Dendermonde], nine passengers were injured.
The ex Postale 967 stored since it earlier caught fire has finally been withdrawn.

Rolling Stock

Very few M2 coaches are now in service. These have all effectively been replaced by type 41 Autocars and delivery of the double decker M6’s.
Some M4 coaches have been modernised, and are marshalled with K4 coaches, the M4’s doors have fewer problems when being manually closed by the guard after all the other doors are closed.
Currently nine rakes of the new M 6 are in service, each rake being composed of six coaches. These operate around Kortrijk, Bruxelles and Genk.
Since January the I11 coaches have been “relegated” from IC to more national services.

Infrastructure

Line 12 [Antwerp - Essen] signalling is being modernised to increase the maximum speed to 160 kph.  A new station is being built at Vivier d’Oie on line 26 [at St. Job Uccle], this is planned to be finished by 2004.  Speed limitation on the single line 108 [La Louvière - Binche] has been increased to 120 kph.  The short line 171 between Athus and Rodange has been closed; traffic now uses line 167 [Autelbas - Athus]

Operations

This year SNCB/NMBS have increased fares by an average of 2.7 %.  Ticket Inspectors have been issued with new “clippers” which imparts more information on the tickets, and hopefully minimises fraud.
Readers are probably aware of the drastic reductions in SNCB international trains. The sole remaining train to Italy is the daytime “Vauban “from Bruxelles to Milan. One company not complaining is Ryanair who have introduced new services, replacing the withdrawn SNCB ones. Consumer groups have been quite vocal in contesting these service reductions, particularly the Ostende - Cologne service; they contend that the new TGV & ICE services do not adequately replace the earlier “conventional” ones.
Late news from En Lignes issue 45 is that SNCB are considering withdrawing the London - Bruxelles Eurostar.  In future travellers to and from Bruxelles will have to change from the Paris Eurostar at Lille into the Paris - Bruxelles TGV.

CFL News

By Ralph Hanley
We gratefully acknowledge the PFT publication En Lignes as a source of much of this news.
Diesel series 1800 have been regularly seen on the Dudelange to Ronet roster.
CFL are still leasing diesels type ME26 from Dispolok. These may later be replaced by ES 64 electrics to reduce electrical interference to the signalling between Luxembourg and Wasserbillig. [One was seen on a line up at Wasserbillig with 216 057-0 of the DB and CFL 1808].
Earlier this year 3 series 3600 electrics were put back into service to relieve pressure on the series 3000, it is envisaged that all will finally be withdrawn in early 2004.
Diesel 1604 was seen on a special at Strasbourg with 4 Wegmann coaches.
Luxembourg depot saw a rare steam visitor end 2002. This was the streamlined DB Heavy Pacific series 55 using its turntable after working a special “FFD 1102 Graf von Luxembourg”.
The ex SNCB 8518 sold onto CFD - Locorem is now used on track maintenance and shedded at Luxembourg.
Luxembourg depot has been re-wheeling DB series 110 300 electrics which have a “design” tendency to develop “flats”.

Private Companies

The Dutch company ShortLines now operate a freight working from Rotterdam to Antwerp. In future these may extend further south into Belgium.
9112 bought by Marcy International has been repainted orange and now works in Antwerp port on the SATI site.
In addition to the earlier service to Wackersdorf [Neurenberg Germany], DLC now operate a second service between Antwerp [Barendrecht] and Duisburg [DIT] in Germany. This terminal has an annual capacity of 200,000 containers. DLC have leased a diesel type G1206 from Vossloh, and now have a “fleet” of 4 diesels and 1 electric.

Books

PFT have issued a new book entitled “Les Locomotives Diesel Type 201 - Series 59”. This is available from PFT at €49 plus €10.90 P & P.
For Tram Enthusiasts, Meta Media publish a series of 10 Tram Histories/Locations entitled “Aux Trams Citoyens” including: Liege, Mons, De Kust, Ardennes, Antwerp and Bruxelles. Priced at around €20 per volume.
In addition Meta Media publish: “Trams in de Ardenne” and “De Antwerpse Tram revolutie” both around €20.
Journal du Chemin de Fer 132
Diesel Autorails [Tee’s] on International services; Viaducts on Line # 24 [Tongre - Aix]; Snow on the rails; Current SNCB/NMBS & STIV news; Belgian stations Part 6; Article on the EC “Vauban”.
En Lignes 54
Green Livery “1970” the series 62; European single-track news; End of the series 59; Current SNCB/NMBS news.

Dutch Tram & Light Railway News

Translated by Kjeld Spillet from Het Openbaar Vervoer Railnieuws

GVB – Amsterdam

Collision
A collision between two trams at Lelylaan station on 2 April left 12 passengers injured.  Car 829 on route 1 collided with 690, which was stationary on route 17.  Damage was minimal and both trams have returned to traffic.
Infrastructure
There are a number of route closures planned over the coming months to allow for engineering work to be carried out.  Including Ferd. De Bolstraat, to allow building work at Ceintuurbaan metro station affecting routes 24 and 25.  From May to August the Kinkerbrug is out of use affecting routes 7, 15 and 16.  Route 7 is also truncated at Th. Dobbenplantsoen to allow renewal of the junction Bos en Lommerplein.
Rolling stock
The following have been withdrawn: 638; 775; 679; 764.   654 & 773 are stored awaiting withdrawal.  604/619, 604/606, 613, 615 and 619 are all destined for Poznan in Poland. 
New in service are Combino’s 2061-2064 & 2066-2067, while car deliveries have got to 2072.  During the delivery of 2060 from Moerdijk the car was in collision with a bridge that removed its pantograph.  Combino’s entered service on route 21 from 21 March while route learning on Route 2 took place on 19 & 21 March.

HTM – Den Haag

Rolling stock
810 became derailed on the remise at Frans Halsstraat.  The Den Haag fire brigade were required to re-rail the car using a crane.
Haags Openbaar Vervoer Museum – Hague Public Transport Museum
From the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October the Hague Public Transport Museum is open from 13.00 – 17.00.  In this museum there are historic buses and trams from the collections of the Haags Busmuseum and Haags Trammuseum.  Every Sunday tram trips operate from the Frans Halsstraat remise.  Detains at www.hovm.nl

RET – Rotterdam

Rotterdam Centraal Station
On 26 March plans were published for the remodelling of the area at the front of Rotterdam CS.  The plan involved the rebuilding of the main station ticket hall.  Trams to the north of the city (3, 4, 5 and 8) with follow a new alignment in the Delftsestraat via a tunnel under the railway lines.  Construction is expected to begin in 2005 and completion of the project expected in 2010.
Action over violence towards tram and metro crews
On 15 March crews staged a strike in protest over an incident where a passenger stabbed a tram driver with a Stanley knife.  The striking crews brought their trams and buses to a stand outside the city hall on Coolsingel.  The queue of trams ran from Hofplein to Beurs.   The action, however, seemed in vain as a week later another tram driver was stabbed although a number of measures have been implemented.  Security teams have now been employed to patrol cars and buses; within 3 months all cars are to have secondary door locking and full conductor operation will be introduced by November.
Rolling Stock
Metro cars 5112, 5115 and 5119 were withdrawn in March.  This leaves only 5105 and 512 in store at ‘s-Gravenweg.

Belgian Railway News

Translated by Kjeld Spillet from Het Openbaar Vervoer Railnieuws

Rolling Stock

Class 15
NMBS have announced that adhesion problems have delayed introduction of Class 15 locos on line 42, although one loco has gone to Gouvy for training.
Class 52
5214 is withdrawn following a collision and has donated its traction motors to 5309, which has been stopped for over a month.
Class 59
The last operational members of this class, 5916 & 5946 have been bought by a private company.
Postal units
On 31st March all postal trains except two (to run between Brussel and Gent) were withdrawn.  It is not known when the remaining two services will finish.
Private trains in Belgium
The first private freight trains have started running in Belgium with test trains for the transport of cars from Germany into Belgium via Luxembourg.  Walloon rail staff voiced strong protests against the new services claim that safety standards will be compromised.

Infrastructure

Line 11/12
A new report questions the need for a new freight line between Antwerpen and Rotterdam.  It says that all that is necessary is a connection between Antwerpen docks and Goes.  Het Openbaar Vervoer does, however, raise questions over traffic capacity through Roosendaal - where there have been strong protests against freight traffic passing through residential areas.
Line 55 – Gent – Sas van gent
The realignment of this line has been delayed to the end of the year because of financial problems connected with a new bridge on the new alignment.  At Langerbrugge the track is to be upgraded to accommodate heavier paper traffic on the line.
Antwerpen
On 15th March the third of the four lines between Antwerpen Dam and Noorderdokken was commissioned.  This has resulted in the closure of Luchtbal station.  In September Antwerpen Dam will also be closed with a new Luchtbal station being opened halfway between the two closed ones.  Outside the front of the current Dam station work has begun on the tunnel portal of the new through line.

Belgian Tram & Light Railway News

Translated by Kjeld Spillet from Het Openbaar Vervoer Railnieuws

De Lijn

Antwerpen
Work has commenced on the relaying of the ‘Leien’ streets in Antwerpen.  Part of the work is the removal of several trees and the planting of new ones.  To facilitate the removal of large trees a section of movable overhead lines has been constructed at the junction of Amerikalei and Brederodestraat.  As a large tree is moved the wires can be raised.
Brussel
All 7700 series PCC cars are to be refurbished once the 7800 series has been completed.
The extension to Metro line 1B between Bizet and Erasmus will come in to service at the beginning of September thus creating 4 new metro stations: Het Rad, COOVI, Careme and Erasmus.  The new line will serve the University hospital Erasmus as well and the Brussels Free University campus and COOVI, which has approx. 10 000 students.  Other extension projects include line 2 via Kuregem to Brussel West, also from Clemenceau to Delacroix and by 2007 line 2B will be a complete ring.
Gent
The modernisation of PCC cars 6224 and 6254 is in question because of the cost and from 2007 it would be necessary to get new trams.
Since January low floor trams have been banned from Route 40 as the turning loop at Moscou is too narrow for the new cars which has resulted in some minor accidents. 
Oostende Kusttram
On 5th January the Toeriste Tram Oostende society organised a ‘farewell’ trip with the last single articulated car on the coast - number 6000.  Within weeks of the tour 6000 has gone to Bombardier in Brugge for the addition of a low floor centre section
Thuin – ASVi
Association pour la Sauvegarde du Vicinal (Vicinal Museum).  On 2nd February vandals set fire to the former sidings at Thuilles and damaged several cars from the collection.  S motor 10292, trailer 9550 and trailer 9494 are damaged beyond repair.  Autorail 9963, S motor 19151 and covered goods wagon 17870 were damaged but can be repaired.  The undamaged remainder of the collection have been moved to other locations of Gosselies, Anderlues and Thuin.
A new visitor’s centre is to be opened in July with four tracks inside.  The first residents moved in on 8th February: Autorail A2354 and mixed traffic A2121 (The car has seats and goods space).
More details on the ASVi can be found at www.asvi.org

 

Autumn Visit to Belgium 2002

By Phil Colton
Very early on the Monday morning of October half-term my wife Carol, son Charles and I left home in Suffolk to reach Dover and thence to Spa in the east of Belgium.  Although not primarily a railway orientated visit Charlie and I hoped to include some transport interest.  We certainly achieved this but not all to do with railways.
Our first aim was to reach the model shops in Namur and Dinant and view the railway in the beautiful gorge of the River Meuse, which joins the two places. Knowing that the shop in Namur is below the castle, near the confluence of the two rivers and immediately over a bridge leading into to town, we soon found it - to be closed.  Ah well it is Monday in Belgium. La Boite a Trains, Rue du Pont 22, B-5000 Namur.
We continued up the east bank of the Meuse towards Dinant. This kept us as close as possible to the railway.  It is not, however easy to view the railway in many places and sites for photography are few and far between. Having seen the Ticket to Ride Belgian Railways Volume 3 we recognised the stone quarry and yellow industrial shunter.  As the east bank road was under repair we had to cross to the west bank of the river and then back again before Dinant.
The next port of call was the model shop in Dinant, which had been by the giant saxophone monument to Adolph Sax who was born there. The shop was called Espace Temps.  I knew it had moved but the mysterious map on the door was not much help.  We continued south out of Dinant until we spotted a tall pillar of rock on the left and a motorway bridge high above.  The shop was on the corner of the next junction opposite the supermarket.  Where the N94 and N95 meet.  It was still Monday so - it was closed.  I had checked in our Benelux Model Shop Directory before I left home and it said it was open every day.  How I wished I hadn’t left the directory at home.  Not a very good day railway or model-wise but the scenery is wonderful and we did spy the odd train in the landscape.
You probably don’t want to know that we enjoyed visiting the outside of the Spa Francorchamps racing circuit or the inside of the superb motor museum in the cellar of the ruined abbey at Stavelot.  Highly recommended.  Well it is wheeled transport.  The next day we went into Germany and visited the Nürbergring.  Again a fascinating visit and an excellent museum, which you don’t want to know about.  Except that on the way back to Spa we visited the Krippana at Losheim on the German/Belgian border.  This stop was recommended by Ralph Hanley, our esteemed membership secretary.  The complex contains a museum of Christmas Cribs, about 160 of them from all over Europe. Carol thoroughly enjoyed it but this is not just one for the ladies as some of the modelling is exquisite.  The main attraction for Charles and I was the superb large model shop called Euro Technica.  An excellent selection of models in all scales, particularly Benelux, some good prices and a great automatic model railway to visit.  Well worth stopping.
Not many kilometres along the road to Spa we passed through the village of Sourbrodt (see photos of the track layout on previous page).  Yes it does mean “sour bread”.  As we drove across a level crossing in the middle of the village we saw a somewhat run down station.  A beautifully spacious track layout, intact but empty and obviously not used for some time.  Later research revealed this to be a station on the Vennbahn.  This was until very recently a preserved railway with steam in the form of ex DB class 50.3666 and Belgian diesels including 2 class 59’s and a CFL NoHab 1603.  Sadly they are now for sale.  Will the line, which crosses the border, be revived?  It would be sad if its demise were permanent.  See the article in the revived magazine, European Railways No. 152. 
We returned to an excellent meal in the centre of Spa. The restaurant, La Belle Epoche is highly recommended, just across the triangular open space opposite the beautiful pavilion which is now the tourist information office.  Sadly, and amazingly we didn’t see the station in Spa though we saw what was probably a class AM65 on its way there, on the following day from the battlements of a medieval castle.  Belgian castles are interesting and quite different from British ones.
At last it’s Thursday and we are headed for the main line to see some real trains.  However we called at the caves in Aywaille, which are visited on foot but the return, is by boat.  Another excellent visit.  Now over the ridge and down into the valley of the River Vesdre where we meet the line from Liege to Aachen.  After an interesting descent, down steep hills with no barriers (in Belgium?) we parked for lunch in the station yard but almost on the platform at Nessonvaux.  In the hour we were stopped we saw Thalys, 1300’s, 2200’s and 2-car emus. But, we see lots of pictures of locomotives. What I found most interesting was the station furniture on a Belgian country platform.  I hope the accompanying photos will help someone if not me to build a more accurate model.
Stopping briefly to film by the lineside near Pepinster, where the road and mainline meet with somewhere to park, we continued on to Verviers to look round the town.  Unfortunately we got lost in Verviers and missed visiting the station.  I quite forgot about the wonderful model I had seen of Verviers Central that I had seen at Warley in 2001.  I was annoyed with myself when I made the connection some time later.
On the way home on Friday we determined to visit the model shop in Namur and Ronet depot.  It was pouring with rain which made Ronet a bit of a photographic non event but the model shop visit was a great success.  The proprietor speaks good English and the shop is stacked from floor to ceiling with a very good selection of the usual HO and N gauge models plus some rarer Belgian ranges such as LS Models coaches.  I indulged myself with an LS Belgian coach, a Kibri Belgian signal box and station and an Austin 7.
We are also interested in canals so in the Charleroi area we visited the canal lifts and the Ronquieres inclined plain.  The visitor’s centre is excellent with a multi-lingual audiovisual account of life on the European waterways.  The view from the 180 metre high tower is spectacular with views of much of southern Belgium. Another strongly recommended visit. The holiday ended with an interesting journey home.  The rain was heavy bringing the motorways to a halt.  We just made a ferry at Calais only to spend 3 hours crossing to Dover in a force 10 gale.  We then found traffic jams on the M25 and in north London at 1 am in the morning!!!
Sorry if this is more travelogue and less railways but we enjoyed searching Belgium for transport interest and found much to admire in the Ardennes.  The moral of this tale is “Don’t leave home without a copy of the Benelux Railways Society’s Model Shop Directory”.

“Jolly Boy’s” Outing

By Paul Hannant
On Friday 7th March, Alan Marlow, Brendan Gash and I embarked upon an intensive weekend of model railway purchasing and photographing the prototype in 4 European countries.  The purpose of the trip was to visit Houten bourse on the Saturday and then take in another bourse/expo in Creuthan, Luxembourg, with the intention of a little prototype in between.
At 10.15 hrs we boarded the P&O “Pride of Calais” for the sailing to the town of the ship’s name. After an uneventful crossing we were soon skirting the freight yards of Grande Synthe. Several CFL hoppers were noted in the yard marshalled amongst their SNCF counterparts. I understand these have transferred to France following the demise of the steel mills around the southern part of Luxembourg.
At Antwerpen as we were making good time and as the weather was good, we decided to pay an unscheduled visit to Dam station.  Approx. 1 hr visit rewarded us with several freight trains as well as the usual selection of passenger including “dog nose” units and Benelux sets.  Although the weather was brilliant with blue skies, it was bitterly cold on the platforms and a hasty retreat was made to a small bar outside Dam station. On our return to the car I thought I saw a cockerel (no not a Belgian 59, but a real cockerel), which was strutting around the square outside the station with the pigeons!! Brendan thought the beer had gone to my head until he saw the spectacle with his own eyes.
Back on the road and we were heading towards the Dutch boarder.  Running parallel with the new HSL, we were struck by the amount of concrete retaining wall being built to protect the environment from noise pollution, however this appeared to be only protecting those on the parallel motorway rather than the countryside and housing either side of the corridor.
Soon we were approaching our base at Maarssen, in the Utrecht suburbs. (Carlton President Hotel – this is an excellent 4 star hotel, which does exceptional deals at the weekends. Approx £20 per person including buffet breakfast when sharing a room; also has Hoegaarden on tap!!) After booking into our hotel we drove the short distance to Maarssen station to board a local train into Utrecht CS.  Maarssen is situated 2 stops out of Utrecht on the busy Amsterdam mainline which is currently going through and upgrade to raise the line speed as part of the HSL network.
Following a pleasant meal at “Muntkelder”, an old Dutch Pancake House restaurant near the canal in Utrecht we returned to CS to enjoy some of the railway activity. One of the highlights was the City Night Line from Amsterdam to Munchen and Zurich.  Plenty of passengers were noted on the platform waiting to board, which was probably a result of the popularity of this service with skiers. Being “night train fanatics” we were pleased to see the popularity of the service compared to a previous visit when we witnessed the poor loadings of the “Overnight Express” to Milan.  Following the departure of the CNL, we caught a train back to Maarssen. First the train indicator board informed us the train was 5 minutes late, then 10 minutes, then 15 minutes. As the train pulled into our platform we walked towards the doors to board (this included the ticket inspectors), however the train did not actually stop and proceeded to accelerate away!!  The train indicator board went blank as if to conclude the train had departed satisfactorily .The ticket inspectors looked mighty embarrassed as the train indicator boards then announced the next service to Maarssen that preceded ours!!!  However I must say that was the only time we experienced any delay on the NS system.
Next day we awoke eager to get to the Houten swapmeet to seek out all those goodies!!  For those who have not experienced this “little known” bimonthly occasion it is well worth the visit.  Two halls full of traders from Holland, Belgium, Germany and France with competitive prices. We all split up and agreed to “rendezvous” at an appropriate time.  Prices in general were good and some negotiation was accepted by the traders, however given the £ to Euro rate at present one had to be selective.  My view is, if you are after everything at bargain prices you will be disappointed, however if you are looking for availability of rarer items, then there is a good chance you will find them here.  Following an exhausting 4 hours searching on and under the stalls, followed by a delicious ice cream (slaag hoorn – what great name!!!) in the entrance to the Hall, we returned to the car to make our 4 hour journey to Thionville for the next 2 nights.
We stayed at the Campanile Hotel in Thionville as this proved convenient for Luxembourg and considerably cheaper than “Grand Duchy” hotels. In the evening having stuffed ourselves silly on French cuisine, we walked down to the station to try our hand at night photography on all those freight trains.  Not sure what we ate, and our so called Francophile, Alan Marlow from the SNCF Society, only managed to order a bottle of Bordeaux in French, the food was beyond him, but he kept saying “oui oui” to everything the waitress said!!  Anyway when it came to paying the bill the waitress forgot to charge for the bottle of claret, obviously Alan’s grasp of the language had entertained her too much. At the station we spotted double-headed Belgian Class 13s on an intermodal freight from Basel.  Interestingly, both locos appeared to be allocated to St Louis, (Basel?) or at least that was the name applied under the number to both locos.
So much for Thionville being a freight hotspot, in fact this was the only train we saw in about an hour and this could not be photographed because of the glare from the yard lamps. In fairness it was a Saturday night.  Next day we drove the short distance to Creuthan, (near Bettembourg) in Luxembourg to visit our first ever swapmeet in the country.  It proved to be a worthwhile visit as many traders had specialist CFL items not usually seen outside of the country.  Brendan was in heaven, as he is a keen CFL modeller in HO, he was able to find a Lima Velo coach at a bargain price.  CFL 1800’s were seen for sale with RTL adverts for approx. €280!! The preservation group GAR based at Luxembourg depot were present with a stand selling videos and books etc. They informed us that the previous day had seen NoHab 1604’s engines recorded by Roco for their digital sound on their soon to be released model.
As the weather was proving to be excellent for photography we made our way to Bettembourg station to “dump” the car and purchase the “Billet Reseau” for approx £3. Bang on time our Z2 railcar departed for the 15 min trip to Luxembourg City.  Here we made a decision to “bash the shed” as the light was still good.  On arrival at the depot we made straight for the manager’s office and were duly granted permission to explore the depot at our will.  It was good to see 3600’s in abundance although there were tell tale signs of one (unidentified) having been cut up at the depot. Many 1800’s, 3000’s and 900’s were also present in the fabulous roundhouses.  After making the most of our opportunity to take photos we thanked our hosts and made our way back to the station.
Another ride on a Z2, this time to Wasserbillig.  Here we photographed DBAG trains on the opposite bank of the Moselle.  A pleasant stroll along the riverbank and then time to photograph the DBAG Intercity before catching it back to Luxembourg City, with the abolition in Germany of IR trains, these services are now designated IC. Certainly the DBAG 181 in red with a complete rake of newly painted stock in ICE colours looked impressive and provided a comfortable ride back.
The next day we decided to give Thionville station another chance.  In approx. 1 hour we saw no freights but 3 loco hauled passenger trains.  Of note was a night train from the ski region (probably the Alps) to Luxembourg City consisting of SNCF sleepers and couchettes.  It was now nearing time to make our way back towards the “Channel”.  As we passed through Strassen on the outskirts of Luxembourg, Brendan informed us there was a good model shop.  A quick deviation saw us peering through the windows of a large shop front of MBSL, unfortunately it was Monday morning and shop did not open until after 1300 hrs. Perhaps just as well, we had already spent a small fortune between us!!  As we were making good time we made a second deviation at Arlon to find a good vantage point near Stockem depot. We found a super little station called “Viville” which was adjacent to the depot and at the top of an incline coming out of the yard.  In 1 hour we saw a number of double-headed freights with 52’s, 53’s and 54’s, the sound was tremendous as they accelerated out of the yard and stormed up the grade towards us, if only I had brought my camcorder with me!  Certainly a place I will return to before long.
So that was a very busy weekend which took in 4 countries; had we walked a couple of metres more at Wasserbillig we could have included Germany to make 5!!  As a result of this trip and a follow up trip to another swapmeet in Arnhem I have embarked upon an N gauge NS exhibition layout to be called “Hollandsch Diep”.  There is something that I find very appealing about long girder bridges!!!!!  
Perhaps another article as the model progresses.

Belgium March 2003

By Chris West
The Mercia Charters’ “Unnatural Selection” railtour provided an opportunity for a weekend based in Gent.  The railtour ran on the Saturday and the Sunday was spent riding the Gent trams.  I had hoped that it may also have been possible to check some of the industrial railways around Gent on the Sunday, but there proved to be insufficient time.

Itinerary

Service trains

7/3/03      Waterloo → Brussels Midi                                     Eurostar
                Midi → Gent Sint-Pieters                                      551+532+534
9/3/03      Gent Sint-Pieters → Midi                                      1354 (at rear)
                Brussels Midi → Waterloo                                     Eurostar

Mercia Charters “Unnatural Selection” routes and motive power

8/3/03      Gent Sint-Pieters → Monceau Formation                              2623
                Monceau Formation → Centrale d’Amercoeur                      6218+7332
                Centrale d’Amercoeur → Port de Dampremy                        7332+6218
                Port de Dampremy → Centrale d’Amercoeur                        6218+7332
                Centrale d’Amercoeur → Monceau                                        7332+6218
                Monceau → Fleurus                                                               6218+7332
                Fleurus → Port de Malonne                                                   7332+6218
                Port de Malonne → Floreffe                                                  6218+7332
                Floreffe → Ronet                                                                    7332+6218
                Ronet → Saint Ghislain                                                          5217
                Saint Ghislain → Boussu                                                        270.005+8524
                Boussu → Saint Ghislain                                                        8524+270.005
                Saint Ghislain → Gent Sint-Pieters                                        6077

De Lijn routes and stock

9/3/03      Sint-Pietersstation – (40) – Moscou                      6213
                Arsenaal – (21) – Leeuw                                         25
                Leeuw – (21) – Stelplaats                                       6308
                Stelplaats – (22) – Boswachtersraat                       38
                Boswachtersraat – (22) – Gestichtstraat                                38
                Gestichtstraat – (22) – Sint-Pietersstation             38
                Sint-Pietersstation – (1) – Brielken                        6313
                Brielken – (1) – Heinakker                                      6313
                Heinakker – (1) – Savaanstraat                               6306
                Savaanstraat – (1) – Sint-Pietersstation                  6310

Mercia Charters “Unnatural Selection”

The day began with a 07:30 departure from Gent Sint-Pieters, which it had been hoped would be behind one of the elusive class 12 electric locomotives.  However, SNCB declined the use of a class 12 due to unavailability (continuing problems with acceptance of SNCF BB36000 class by the Belgian authorities) so 2623 substituted for the first leg of the tour.  1209 was later seen in use at Monceau.
The train took the Oostende – Brussels mainline (50A) to Y.Brussels Petite-Ile where it joined the short spur onto Line 28, the Brussels avoiding line.  At Y.Pannenhuis we took Line 50 to Y.Zennebrug and from there Line 161/1 under the vast number of tracks near Brussels Nord joining Line 161 (the Brussels – Namur mainline) at Y.Josaphat.  Following Line 161 a call was made at Brussels Luxembourg to pick up passengers, before heading to Etterbeek where Line 26/2 was taken up on to Line 26 to Y.Linkebeek Halle.  From there Line 26/5, the short connecting line onto Line 124 (Brussels – Charleroi mainline) was joined before continuing through Nivelles and into Monceau Formation (Yard).  (The Y preceding the names above appears to indicate that this is a junction, can anyone confirm this please? - Ed)
At Monceau Formation 6218 and 7332 took over from the class 26, in top and tail mode for the next portion of the day.  During the locomotive change it was possible to view the locomotives stabled in the yard area.
On departure the train took freight Line 260A over the Brussels – Charleroi mainline to Centrale d’Amercoeur, after a short stop the train reversed to Port de Dampremy.  From there the train headed back to Monceau, where it reversed to head along Line 260, the direct freight line onto Line 140, which was taken to Fleurus.  Here, a further reversal took the train over the recently reopened and rebuilt Line 147 to Auvelais, where Line 130, the Charleroi – Namur mainline to Floreffe was joined.  From Floreffe, after picking up the pilot, the short freight branch, Line 288, to Port de Malonne was traversed.
Returning to Floreffe the train continued onto Ronet Yard and depot. Here, it was possible to view a number of SNCB locomotives including, some withdrawn engines in the adjacent scrap yard.  Unfortunately, as a result of previous incidents SNCB's B-Security division are conducting a full review and investigation into the activities of railway enthusiast groups on SNCB property. Consequently it proved impossible to gain full acceptance for a depot visit at Ronet.
During the visit to the scrap lines at Ronet the train locomotive changed to 5217 for a high speed run to St Ghislain via Charleroi Sud, La Louvière Sud, and Mons. 
St Ghislain is the home of the PFT Collection, and a short break was made for a visit to the adjacent wagon shops for access to the large collection of preserved locomotives and rolling stock that are in the custodianship of PFT.  It also proved possible to make a short run to Boussu, at the end of the yards, with 270.005 and 8524.
For the run back to Gent St Pieters the train was hauled by 6077, which is one of the mainline certified PFT locomotives.

SNCB/NMBS

The railway from Mechelen reached Gent on 29 September 1837 and was completed through to Oostende on 28 August 1838.  The more direct link between Gent and Brussels was only opened in 1856.  In 1842 the government granted a private company the right to build a line from Antwerp to Gent, which was completed in 1847.  This was built to the unusual gauge of 3’9¼” and was taken over by the state on 1 January 1896.  After World War I a new direct line was opened between Brussels and Gent on 4 April 1934.
Before World War II there was a line running from the west end of Gent Sint-Pieters to Wondelgem on the line to Eeklo, but this has now disappeared as has the former station at Rabat.  However, there have been some recent additions to the railway systems.  Two lines, numbered 216 and 217, have been built from Everstein serving various canal side industrial sites to Evergem.
Various observations were made, mainly from the Mercia railtour.  Monceau has lost its allocation of locomotives to Charleroi, but continues to be used as a stabling point.  During the morning of 8 March nine class 73 and three class 77 were noted.  Of particular interest was CFL 3016, which was also stabled in the yard.
Ronet is another locomotive depot, which has lost its allocation in recent years.  The yard adjacent to the depot is now used to store locomotives before they make their final journey to the scrap yard at Bressoux.  Participants on the Mercia railtour were able to visit the scrap lines where the most interesting locomotive was quadri-system electric 1803.  Also present were eight class 51; a class 52 with accident damage; a pair of class 53 both with accident damage; three class 59; four class 62; and a class 84.  A steam locomotive is preserved in the yard at Ronet.  This is the 0-4-0T, carrying SNCB livery and number 55.011, that was formerly plinthed at the end of the platform at Namur.  This locomotive was never part of the SNCB roster and is actually ex Glacerie St. Gobain, Franière.  (By pure coincidence Phil Colton sent some photos to illustrate his article in this issue, one of which includes this loco; see centre spread. – Ed)
On my first visit to Ronet, in August 1993, it had just been announced that the locomotive depot was to close.  At that time the depot had an allocation of 108 electric locomotives, 19 diesel locomotives and 48 EMU’s.  In a thicket behind the shed were three veterans, which carried no identification.  These were an 0-6-0T, believed to be Tubize 2007/1926 and two Moyse 4wD.  It was not possible to determine whether these locomotives are still there.
At Charleroi-Sud station railcar 4603 is preserved on the platform where 0-6-0 41.195 used to be.
At Mons station class 2552, with plated numbers, was seen at the head of an eastbound freight train.  At Mouscron a class 27 was noted at the head of a northbound passenger service, although it was not clear what service this was.

Industrial Railways

Several industrial railways were seen from the Mercia railtour.
Groupe Arcelor       The various Cockerill-Sambre works around Charleroi, in Hainaut province, have now been absorbed into the Arcelor group.  The Mercia railtour passed the Site de Marchienne where there are still coke ovens.  One of the 4wE coke oven locomotives was seen by the mainline.  Carsid, part of the Duferco group, in which Arcelor retains a 25% stake, now operates the Site de Marcinelle.  The locomotive shed is by line 260, where two Cockerill 0-4-0DH's were stabled; these were numbered 040 and 081.  SNCB 0-4-0DH 9130 was in use in the steelworks and may have been on hire.  The FAFER works, which is now known at Industeel, Groupe Arcelor, has an uncertain future with a large investment having recently been cancelled.  Two yellow Cockerill 0-4-0DH were seen from the passing train, but could not be identified.
Glacerie Saint Gobain, Auvelais, Namur            Formerly Glaceries de St. Roch. The light blue 0-4-0D was noted stabled by the mainline.  This carries a GM badge, and according to CFD Locorem, who supplied the locomotive, General Motors built it.  However, General Motors are not known to have built any locomotives of this type.
A works to the north of Line 130 between Aiseau and Farciennes appeared to have a small green diesel locomotive.  Further details would be of interest.
Carlam, Châtelet, Hainaut    This works is another part of Groupe Arcelor.  Cockerill master and slave 0-4-0DH+0-4-0DH numbered 009 and 010 were seen from the passing train.  Two more Cockerill 0-4-0DH could be seen in the works.
Rolamer S.A., Marchienne, Hainaut    This works is adjacent to the mainline near to Marchienne-au-Pont station.  Two Cockerill 0-4-0DH's could be seen in the shed.
On 9th March half an hour was spent walking alongside Line 216 near to Gent.  No industrial locomotives were seen, but the railway serves numerous industrial sites and would bear further investigation.
BREC, Lot              The works of this wagon builder on the outskirts of Brussels appeared on 9th March to have been abandoned.

Locomotive registration

Many Belgian industrial diesel locomotives carry 12 digit numbers.  These are believed to be registration numbers, from the UIC series, which are allocated to all private locomotives, which are required to run over the SNCB.  An example is the Hudswell Clarke at Carmeuse, which carries the number 96882032102-4.  The PFT’s mainline certified locomotives carry numbers in the same series.
Belgian industrial steam locomotives were required to have their boilers registered by the province in which they worked.  A couple of steam locomotives have been noted to carry boiler registration plates.  The narrow gauge 0-4-0WT that was preserved at Etterbeek station carries the plate Brabant 1861, the Couillet 0-4-0T at La locomotiv’, Besançon caries the plate Brabant No 1864.
Further information on either of these registration systems would be welcomed.

Preservation

Patrimoine Ferroviaire Touristique (PFT), Saint Ghislain

The Mercia railtour allowed time to visit the PFT collection at Saint Ghislain and three PFT locomotives were used on the Mercia train.  The following PFT locomotives and railcars were seen: -
1805                                        C-C WE                  BN/ 1974                                                ex SNCB 1/2001
5128        (200.028)                                Co-Co DE               Cockerill  3761 / 1962             ex SNCB 7/2001
5183        (200.083)                                Co-Co DE               Cockerill  3907 / 1963             ex SNCB 7/2001
(1602)     202.020                  Co-Co DE               SAFB      156 / 1955               (a)
6077        210.077                   Bo-Bo DE               Cockerill  4108 / 1965             (b)
6106        (210.206)                                Bo-Bo DE               Cockerill  4127 / 1966             (c)
(7005)     270.005                   Bo-Bo DE               BetM      / 1954                      ex SNCB 4/2001
8428        (250.103)                                0-6-0DH ABR                        / 1963                      ex SNCB 8/2001
8524        (252.024)                                0-6-0DH HStP                       2173 / 1957             ex SNCB 3/2002
9209        (232.009)                                0-6-0DH BN                          / 1960                      ex SNCB
4333        (602.03)                  B-2 DH r/c              Nivelles   / 1955                      ex SNCB 1988
4602        (554.02)                  1A-A1 DH r/c         Ragheno  / 1952                      (c)
4605        (554.05)                  1A-A1 DH r/c         Ragheno  / 1952                      ex SNCB 4/1990
4612        (554.12)                  1A-A1 DH r/c         Ragheno  / 1952                      (d)
4613        (554.13)                  1A-A1 DH r/c         Ragheno  / 1952                      (d)
(4618)     554.18                     1A-A1 DH r/c         Ragheno  / 1952                      ex SNCB 6/1986
(A320/23.D No. 21.412500-6) 4w diesel crane      / 1925
a)             This loco was ordered by SNCB, but was diverted to Luxembourg.  It has been restored with the SNCB identity it would have had.  It was purchased by the PFT in 1998.
b)             Ex SNCB 1989. This locomotive also carries registration number 94 88 1 050303-7.
c)             Originally preserved by the BVS.  Purchased by the PFT in December 1993.
d)             Recent acquisitions. 4612 carries a pantograph used on engineering duties.
The January 2003 issue of the PFT magazine, “En Lignes”, gives details of locomotives and railcars in their collection.  The following PFT locomotives and railcars were not seen at Saint Ghislain: -
26.101                                     2-10-0                     KrM        16691 / 1943           (a)
230.084                                   4-6-0                       Henschel / 1921                      (b)
5204                                        Co-Co DE               SAFB      141 / 1955               ex SNCB 1993
5927        (201.027)                                Bo-Bo DE               Cockerill  3432 / 1955             (c)
5941        (201.041)                                Bo-Bo DE               Cockerill  3446 / 1955             ex SNCB 9/2002
6003        (210.003)                                Bo-Bo DE               Cockerill 3697 / 1961             ex SNCB 9/1996
CCB 215                                 0-6-0DH                 Henschel                 26139 / 1942           (d)
(CCB216) 231.002                 0-6-0DH                 Deutz      46394 / 1944           (d)
082          (228.082)                                A1-1A+A1-1A WE r/c B&D / 1955                      ex SNCB 10/1997
4506        (605.05)                  A1-1A DH r/c         Germain                  / 1955                      ex SNCB 10/2002
(4906)     553.29                     A1-1A DH r/c         Germain  / 1942                      (e)
(ES308)  551.26                      A1-1A DM r/c        Mechelen                / 1939                      ex SNCB 1988
a)             This locomotive was delivered to the Deutsche Reichsbahn and initially allocated to Linz in Austria.  At the end of WWII it was captured by the Russian Army and became SZD TE 3554 in 1948.  In 1967 the locomotive was transferred to Poland where it became class Ty2, but it retained its Russian number 3554, which suggests that it was probably allocated to an industrial railway rather than PKP.  It was purchased by the PFT in August 1990.
b)             Purchased from CFR by the PFT in December 2001, this locomotive is still in Romania.
c)             Originally preserved by the BVS.  Purchased by the PFT in December 1993.
d)             Delivered new to the Wehrmacht, to CCB, Havinnnes in 1952 and purchased by the PFT in March 1993.  CCB 216 is to be restored as SNCB 231.002
e)             Based on the CF3V from 1985 to 1998.
On a previous visit to Saint Ghislain an 0-4-0D was seen in the shed.  This was absent on our 8th March visit.  A board in the cab of the locomotive described it as Locotracteur UMH and it is believed to be one of the fifty-five industrial diesels built by the Usines Metallurgiques du Hainaut at Couillet.  More information on the history and present whereabouts of this locomotive would be welcome.

De Lijn Oost-Vlaanderen

My aim was to cover the tramway system in Gent, although being a Sunday and with restricted time, it was not possible to cover all the track or ride all of the routes.
The Gent 32 km tramway system is largely street-based, but it has expanded with a new reserved track route to Evergem (1).  The old terminal loops at Sint-Pietersstation have now been superseded by a new tram station in a subway under the railway platforms and a new route (21/22) has recently been opened from the station to Zwijnaarde.  At one time the old SNCV operated steam trams into the centre of Gent.  It would be interesting to know how these fitted in with the tramways currently operated.

De Lijn operates the following trams in Gent: -
(62)01 – (62)46       M4          BN          / 1971-72
(62)47 – (62)54       M4          BN          / 1974
6301 – 6314            AM6       Siemens   / 1999-2002
The Maatschappij voor het Intercommunaal Vervoer te Gent (MIVG) PCC cars had two-digit numbers and these were prefixed 62 when the system was incorporated into De Lijn.  These trams are in the process of being refurbished and those trams awaiting refurbishment continue to operate with two-digit numbers.
Prior to the arrival of the new Siemens articulated trams, ten trams were purchased second-hand from Bochum.  These were numbered as follows: -
                (62)60 – (62)69       AM6       Duewag                   / 1961-62
These have now all been withdrawn.  One, 6267, has been set aside for rebuilding to a battery locomotive.  The others are understood to have been scrapped.

Deventer 2003

By Tom Nicholls

Deventer’s History

Deventer is one of the Historic Hanze ‘steden’. It lays in Salland, in the East of the Netherlands, just North of Zutphen, not far then from where the Twente Kanaal joins the IJssel. It lies along the east-west rail corridor between Utrecht-Apeldoorn and Hengelo-Enschede passing over the border to Germany. It also once had two stations one from the Staatsspoor and one from the HIJSM hinting at the town’s past importance. The town’s industries were once linked to the IJssel, literarily, and the town had developed a harbour complex with numerous rail branches. Industries included its own brewery, mattresses, and carpets under the influence of the textile centre of the Twente district. According to Rail Magazine No. 175 (2000) the good-bye to Deventer’s 'straatspoor' was on 27th May of that year, but there is something of a comeback at least for the present.

If you look at a map of Deventer you’ll see a good number of interesting spurs that run down to the docks (see map). On the ground however they have either been completely removed or truncated! (Picture 1, next page) But looking at the rails of a junction there are clear indications that traffic was passing over these rails. Rust has been scrapped from the rails in all the right places; flanges have recently compressed mud in between the rails and chipped tarmac away from the road surface where the rails cross the road. (Picture 2, next page)

Modern Day Use – Essent Milieu

The following photographs (see centre spread - Ed) were taken on two days 22nd and 23rd of February 2003 in Deventer. As can be seen in the map the lines serving the harbour branches were extensive but are now truncated serving only one depot, that of the Essent Milieu, a transhipment depot for Deventer’s household waste.
It’s February 20th 2003 and I’m standing next to the Saxion Hogeschool IJsellanden (renowned recently for the Dutch version of ‘Bums on Seats’ Fraud!) at 8.50 on a bright and clear Thursday morning. I’ve seen the loco already 6406 resting in the station — while putting my brother-in-law on his morning train to work in Apeldoorn. The loco then collects the empty Essent containers from the remnants of Deventer's goods sidings. These have been delivered as part of a consist including those for Apeldoorn (a different operation there as the Essent Depot is on an ‘out-of-town’ industrial estate). Now the journey really starts.

Operation

The delivery of the (empty) wagons is between 7.45 and 9 am I am told, and their removal (when full) between 7 and 8 pm. I have heard that the depot retains its own locomotive for movement of wagons within the depot and will research this further, along with more details about the depot itself. The remaining space here is dedicated to the operation of the train from the mainline to the depot.

Back to 20th February

The engine, now coupled to its train reverses so as to cross from the mainline to the spur to the harbour. As I stand on the platform that are the remains of the goods platform it comes towards me but comes to a stand before the crossing of the car park entrance – the new function of the goods yard. The driver and his mate – and companions – step out on to the engine’s front footplate from where the driver now controls the engine with a remote control radio set – this control is indicated by a decal of a lightening flash on the locomotive and a letter ‘R’.
Travelling between the Rabobank buildings and the Saxion Hogeschool the train then has to come to a stop to cross the Snipperlinsdijk. The driver’s mate turns the traffic lights to red from a control box that he accesses at the roadside and the train rolls on along the Mr. H.F. De Boerlaan before stopping again at the Teugse Plein where again crossing lights have to be controlled – although at this point it is a cycle path crossing!
The train then runs along the Industrieweg, where is pauses once, actually so I can pick up my hat which has been blown off my head by a rude gust of wind – of course landing in front of the locomotive. Recovering from my embarrassment we both continue on our journey!
Just before the crossing of the Hanzeweg the locomotive has to come to a stop again, but this is a scheduled stop! Just the driver’s mate with red flags this time stopping the traffic and the train traverses the road. As the wagons clear the point blades on the far side, around the bend, the train stops. The driver dismounts and walks around to the rear of the train. He then mounts the shunting step and controlling the locomotive with the remote control console he drives the train from the rear so to speak. The point being changed and again under the protection of a waved red flag the train reverses back across Industrieweg and along Kamperstraat.
One stop to cross the Schonenvaardersstraat, a touch of the horn and that red flag again and the train reverses into the compound. On the Thursday the wagons were run directly into the depot but on the Friday they were reversed into the bay platform.
At this point a conversation was managed. The incident with my hat was kindly over looked and I established that Essent repeat this activity for several of the towns in the area, including Apeldoorn and Utrecht amongst others, although they don’t run along the street in these places. The empties are divided up from empty wagonload trains that cross the entire land at night delivering the countries household waste to the processing plant a Wijster.
After the brief exchange with the driver’s mate, we, that is the light locomotive and crew and I, bicycle and hat safely stowed in my pannier, set out to repeat the whole procedure in reverse.
Incidentally on the Friday visit I saw American Military Vehicles passing through Deventer to Rotterdam.
Thanks to Paul Stoddard-van de Maaden for the Rail reference.

Model News

By Ralph Hanley
[We are grateful to Train Miniature as a source for some of this information.  As readers may be aware, Train Miniature [or Modelspoor in Flemish] is available from Meta Media, Wettersestraat 64, B-9260 - Schebelle, Belgium at €49 for 6 copies]. Model news is for HO scale unless otherwise noted.
2003 promises some major new motive power by some manufacturers, those planned are: SNCB Type 77 by Mehano, SNCB/CFL type 1300/3000 by Heris, CFL type 3600 & SNCB NoHab by Trix, SNCB/CFL NoHab by Roco.
For those modellers who look for total realism, Multirex Hobby, offer 1/87 scale bricks in various colours at 300 for €6, plus roof and ridge tiles at 25 for €6. In addition there are “N” and “HO” kits of: windmills, bridges, cottages and chateaux from €38 to €74.  Their contact is: BP 101, 95157 Taverny, Cedex, France, or “www.multirex.net”.

Nurembourg Update

This year’s show was judged by Peter, of Winco, to be much quieter than previous years, with many of the smaller companies missing. As for previous years most of the stock was German focused.
Items of Benelux interest were:
Artitec have released a Netherlands style facade of 3 houses in HO scale.
Mehano produced a sample model of their much-awaited HO scale SNCB type 77 diesel shunter with an anticipated cost of €160 [DC] or €270 [Digital]. The DC version is available in May, and the Digital is planned for September. In addition, Mehano propose a Vossloh Diesel Loco in the “colours” of the Belgian company “Dillen & Lejeune”
Heris promise a good selection of HO scale motive power and rolling stock in their catalogue for this year and 2004. These items are:
SNCB/CFL type 1300/3000 electric locomotives, [outstanding from Jouef]
NS P 1600 diesel
CFL epoch V coach,
NS sleeper coach type “P” in blue/silver or “TEN” colours
SNCB type K4 coach, SNCB epoch IV/V baggage and bar disco coaches, SNCB I11 coach and SNCB sleeper coach epoch V in “TEN” or blue/silver livery
SNCB epoch III type I1/12 with multi colour banding
SNCB type 14 & 15 coach and
SNCB auto transporter.
LS Models are also focusing on the SNCB/CFL type 1300/300 electric locomotives in HO scale. A variation is to offer a “non powered” version to run as a double headed working; however these were conspicuous by their absence! In addition LS have an NS couchette coach, again in HO scale.
Marklin/Trix in addition to the earlier announced series 25 SNCB electric locomotive with M2 Bordeaux coaches, the following are announced:
SNCB type 55 Diesel
SNCB 2-10-0 type 26 steam engine
CFL electric type 3600, but in a blue livery [Trix planned for year end]
A series of 5 period V SNCB wagons, including a tank wagon “Pont Brule”, two skip wagons, a closed wagon, and one with small containers
CFL “Wegmann” 3 coach set
“Z” scale, 4 x SNCB wagons
“1” scale, SNCB Diesel shunter type 260
“N” scale SNCB series 53 Diesel by Trix
Also “N” scale set of SNCB cereal wagons “Amylum”.
Minitrix announce [N scale]: CFL type 1600 NoHab, Noorwagon “B-Cargo” and a series of 4 cereal wagons.
Roco advise that their long awaited SNCB “Gros Nez” type 204 Diesel will be available in May. In addition a SNCB type 260 Diesel shunter is planned. Over the next two years, Roco plan to release a series of new SNCB wagons, the first being a closed type “Oppelin” in brown livery. The long awaited CFL type Z 2000 emu will no longer be made by Roco, but by Albatros, and not before 2005.
Roco International Collection - spring 2003 offer:
SNCB Reeks 260 Diesel Shunter - green/yellow livery
SNCB Closed wagon “Oppeln”
SNCB Flat Wagon with 3 x Silo Container load
SNCB Sliding Tarpaulin Wagon
NS Class 232 Diesel Locomotive
NS set 2 x 2 axle Tank Wagons “Calpam”
NS 2 axle “Post” wagon
NS 2 axle brown closed wagon
NS Ballast wagon type Fccpps
Rocky Rail is producing an SNCB scale HO type 26 electric locomotive in various liveries and versions. Prices range from €275 to €400.
PB Messing Modelbouw are distributing kits in both “N” and “HO” scale the Matisa VM 500 in yellow but with the SNCB logo.
KleiNSpoor [of Tilburg] are offering in HO kit form an SNCB “RESTO” coach based on the ex SNCF “Grill Express”. Price for the kit is €79 or €125 assembled.
Deak Modellsport displayed their planned HO scale GM diesel Class 66, currently used in Belgium by the private company DLC. Priced at around €400.
Ferivan have produced a Belgian HO scale bus Van Hool A 120 in cream and orange.
Rivarossi are planning their HO scale series of Budd Inox coaches as used on the “Etoile du Nord”, timing is for this year.
Lima together with Arnold, Jouef, & Rivarossi are now back in the “land of the living”. At least they have just issued their catalogue, albeit with few new items. This must surely be a case of “wait and see” and has not particularly impressed Peter of Winco, who has no immediate plans to stock Lima products.
Jocadis have now released their SNCB luggage “Ballon” in green with or without windows. Also Jocadis now sell a paint range [7] of the colours used by the SNCB.
The French MVB Maquettes offer a range of HO scale buildings and a station, which will not be out of place on a Belgian layout. Prices range from €16 to €58.
Via Decor offers a selection of typically Belgian paved roads, including crossroads.
Preiser have available a set of 5 SNCB and 5 Belgacom staff.
Train Miniature 22 main articles:
Nuremberg releases; Digital layouts part 1; Belgian layout “A small corner of Belgium in Holland”; Assembling white metal Belgium models part 1; Baseboard assembly; Making an “Etat Belge” wagon from brass part 1; Ideas for coal loading
Train Miniature 23 main articles:
Latest model releases; Digital layouts part 2; Belgian luggage wagons; Modelling derelict buildings; Assembling white metal Belgium models part 2; Scale models of the SNCB steam loco type 66; Making an “Etat Belge” wagon from brass part 2; Model track fabrication; Making a butchers [van de Kamp], a buffer stop and coal sacks.

Travel in the Past

By Ralph Hanley
The advent of the TGV services has lessened the travel times between major cities to virtually the same as by air. Thus from London to Bruxelles by Eurostar is well under 3 hours, Paris to Amsterdam in just over 4 hours.  In the 1930’s the travel times were somewhat more extended. Thus London to Bruxelles at that time would take 6½ hours by the “Pullman Express”, or 7 hours if going via Ostende:
Victoria dep            14:00                       11:00
Dover arr                 15:36                       12:35
Dover dep               15:55                       12:50
Calais arr                 17:10                       Ostende arr 16:10
Calais dep               17:30                       Ostende dep 16:42
Bruxelles arr            20:27                       18.02
Paris to Amsterdam by the “Etoile du Nord” took 7 ½ hours:
Paris dep                                 11:25
Bruxelles dep                          14:50
Antwerp Est                           15:40
Rotterdam                               17:31
The Hague                               17:58
Amsterdam                             18:50
Both services charged a supplement of Bfr 79 First or Bfr 57 second for Calais to Bruxelles; and Bfr 36 first or Bfr 23 second from Bruxelles to Amsterdam.

Video News

From the Editor
I recently received the Midland Counties Books and Videos catalogue and noticed the following videos which may be of interest to members.  I have not purchased or seen any of them so therefore cannot vouch for them in any way.
NS Electrische Locomotieven and NS Electrische Treinstellen - 2 videos each circa 55 mins B/W and colour, a mix of archive and present day footage with Dutch commentary - £15.95 each.
Stoomtrams in Nederland 1936 - 1957, 49 mins B/W archive film showing steam tram locomotives in action on various lines in the Netherlands with the occasional appearance of early electric trams.  Nostalgic street scenes and lines in the countryside abound.  Background music and Dutch commentary - £15.95.
Travels by Tram through Belgium part 2 - colour and B/W 78 mins, a feast of memories for Vincinal tram enthusiasts.  Coverage is from the 1950’s around Brussels and includes scenes at Leuven, Pl Rouppe and the 1958 World Fair.  English commentary - £16.00.
Travels by Tram through Belgium part 3 - colour and B/W 60 mins, this is a program looking back to the 1964 to 1978 period, focussing on the Waterloo to Wemmel area.  See a large variety of trams in action, both on enthusiast’s specials and on normal services.  Detailed coverage is included of the last routes to Leerbeck and Grimbergen.  English commentary - £16.00.
Also listed is the book Aux Trams Citoyens! 10: De Tram van de Kust Nr. 2.  The tram system centred on Ostende and the surrounding areas are featured in this all colour album.  The photographs cover the period from 1967 to 1999.  French/Dutch text, 95 colour photos, 98 pages - £15.00.
Midland Counties Publications can be contacted at 4 Watling Drive, Sketchley Industrial Estate, Hinckley, Leics, LE10 3EY, email midlandbooks@compuserve.com.  Postage rates apply.

SNCB/NMBS” Menu “Waterzooi a la Gantoise

From Ralph Hanley
Members may like to try this typical Belgian dish.
Ingredients for 4 to 6 people are: 1 large chicken, 3 sticks of celery, 3 leeks, 2 onions, one clove, 4 to 5 carrots, parsley, 70 grams butter, 4 eggs, 200 grams of cream fraiche and 2 litres of chicken stock.
Wash, peel the vegetables and cut per “Julian”. Heat the prepared vegetables in butter to “sweat” for about 10 minutes. Pour the stock into a pot and boil then adding the chicken, onion, clove and heat slowly for 20 minutes. After add the vegetables, salt and pepper and cook for 30 minutes. Take the chicken out, remove the skin and cut into chunks or pieces. Put the vegetables and chicken pieces in a tureen; add sufficient stock to nearly fill the tureen. Whisk the eggs yokes into the cream and add to the tureen, finally sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve hot with boiled potatoes. Wine suggestion: Givry Rouge.

Letters to the Editor

From Henk Hartsuiker
Last year RaiLion obtained 12 class 232 locomotives which were built in Russia for the former East German State Railways (DR).  After having been prepared for working in the Netherlands by Tilburg works the first 2 machines, 232 904-3 and 232 905-0 entered revenue-earning service in January.  One can be seen in a red DB livery whilst the other is in RaiLion livery with white fronts.  The 232’s are twice as powerful as the 6400’s but for the time being train weights are being limited to 1800 tons.  Multiple working is not yet possible as the necessary cables have not yet been fitted.  It is expected that all 12 machines will be in service by the summer, when services into Germany will also commence.
Because of the influx of VIRM stock, the last of the 22 K4 coaches are no longer needed and will be returned to the NMBS from 7th April.  Until then they will continue to be used between Den Haag and Venlo together with ICR, ICK and plan W coaches with either 16/17/1800’s in charge.
Wadloper unit 3218 has been returned to service after having been repaired using parts from no. 3103.
Construction Company Strukton has received a new loco of type G1206, newly built by Vossloh and which arrived tin the Netherlands on 5th February in Strukton’s overall yellow livery.  The class 6400 look-alike will get the number 322318 and carry the name ‘Carin’.  It will get another livery in due course.
It is expected that the Belgian class 25.5 locos now on freight duties between Rotterdam and Antwerp will be replaced by class 77 diesels before the end of this year.
A freightliner from ShortLines headed by Class 66 PB 01 on its way from Born to Waalhaven (Rotterdam Docks) collided head on with DM '90 unit 3405 from Blerick as it approached Roermond station on March 20th. Unfortunately the driver of 3405 was killed in this accident and 8 passengers were seriously injured. The front of 3405 was totally destroyed after it had been pushed back almost 90 yards while PB 01 suffered only minor damage.  Considering the damage to 3405 some have begun to question the desirability of the deployment of Light rail trains on lines with heavy (freight) traffic. If 3405 had been a frail Light rail train the number of casualties would probably have been much higher.
Loco 1837 (Ex 1637), the only electric loco to have received NS Cargo red livery, has been returned to service in yellow livery after a regular service overhaul on March 12th.  Three damaged Class 1600s are for sale, 1605, 1622 and 1625 have been removed from RaiLion's administration and stand idle at Tilburg. The idea behind this is that once a loco has been sold there are no longer stabling costs.  In an earlier issue of Nieuwsbrief it was reported that loco 1618 had been taken out of service but according to the latest reports it will be repaired with parts of loco 1625 and is scheduled to be delivered in RaiLion Red livery in June.  Loco 1603 has been repaired returned to regular service on March 21st after it was damaged in a collision with a car earlier this year.
ICR coaches can be seen on several lines throughout the middle and south of The Netherlands and on the line between Brussels and Amsterdam. Until recently the trainsets that ran between the two capitols had a yellow and red livery with a matching Class 11 of the NMBS providing power. Now blue and yellow A coaches have begun to appear in these sets because there was a shortage of first class seats on this line. The A coaches come from sets that work on the IJssellijn (Zwolle-Arnhem-Roosendaal) and have been replaced by red and yellow liveried AB coaches from the Benelux sets. When the latter arrived on the IJssellijn their first class compartments were immediately demoted, so when you travel on this line and if you are lucky you may get a first class seat for the price of a second-class seat.
Some time ago NS decided to convert 22 BKD coaches into DTV’s with only second-class seats. The first converted BKD was delivered on March 4th and has since undergone a number of tests with loco 1777.  The converted coaches are similar to the ones in the Benelux sets except that they have a yellow and blue livery. The last delivery is expected in the autumn of 2004
As you may remember the whole fleet of ICR coaches is being refurbished.  The process began 2 years ago with 107 examples having been delivered up until about the beginning of this year. They have received a new interior, air conditioning and cables to enable them to work in combination with DTV’s.

From Rodney Beech
I'm sending over a collection of pics for the web site tonight and wanted to tell you about a company called Taco Models of Postbus 206, NL, 3862 AW, Nijkerk who have announced an 'N' scale model of the 2 car DMU. It seems to be powered by a Tenshodo 'Spud' motor but there were no details or info about price.
I was looking through some ancient Rail Magazines from 1993 and came across some info that may be of interest to 1950's modellers: -
The title was: - An Overview of NS Goods Wagons based on Fleischmann Models
Description             cat. No.   DR type  NS type  wagon running number
Closed wagon          5020        G 20                        CHO                       1551
Open wagon            5211        O                             GLY                        44167
Open wagon            5212        O                             GLY                        5170
Open wagon            5216        Om                          GTM                      58240
Closed wagon          5310        Gmms                     S-CHO                    6862
Closed wagon          5361        G 10                        CHO                       14467
Cattle wagon           5366        Vh 04                      FVVAW  77911
Bogie flat wgn         5282        (DB Ealmo)             dienst                      174160
Tank wagon            5433        particulier                particulier                511092 P
Generally these wagons were painted dark grey with white lettering, the closed wagon Gmms/S-CHO were brown following DR/DB style. 'Dienst' means maintenance. P.O. or Private Owner tanks such as 'Esso Nederland' or 'Pieter Bon' were known as Particulier.

From Peter Sunderland
The answer to your query about the picture of the coach in issue 44 of Nieuwsbrief is presumably in N J Van Wijck Juriaanse’s book De Nederlandsche Centraal Spoorwegmaatschappij (no. 2 of the series on railways in the Netherlands).  My Dutch is not good enough to translate completely, but there is a diagram on pages 88-89 showing records of what was observed in service in July 1913, which included most of those mentioned below.  Routes covered by those carriages observed were Nunspeet, Harderwijk and Zeist to Utrecht Buurt station, Amsterdam Weesperpoort to Utrecht Centraal station, Utrecht Centraal to Maarn and Zeist and Baarn Buurt station to Utrecht Buurt station.
There were 2nd class versions numbered B111-127 and 3rd class numbered C111/112 (88 seats) and C113-127 (72 seats), note duplication of numbers in different classes.  There were also some shorter 6-wheel versions which were similar.  The original vehicles appear to have been built between 1899 and 1911 with the 2nd class seating 56 and weighed in at 25 tons and the 3rd class at 24 tons.  Most of the coaches were built at the NCS works in Utrecht although a few of the seconds were built by Zyphen and Charlier in Cologne and both classes ran on 2440 mm bogies.  There were also another five 3rd class coaches built in 1901 by Beijnes at Haarlem (C130-134).  Although built during the early part of the program, they had numbers which followed on after the coaches built by the NCS at Utrecht and Zyphen and Charlier.  It looks as if Beijnes were building to a similar specification as they were the same weight (24 tons), used the same 2440 mm bogies and appeared to be roughly the same length; however they had the clerestory roof chopped off square at the ends instead of being curved as on the others.  It gave them a totally different appearance and for this reason I have never considered them in the same category as the others, however some people may disagree with me.  For some reason, so far unknown to me, they only seated 56, the same as the seconds.
The photo used in issue 44 set me thinking about the changes which must have been made since I was at the museum many years ago, as where the coach is was occupied by a row of locos.  Certainly the NCS coach was not on show when I was there.

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