l Nieuwsbrief Issue 48 - March 2004
Contents Return of Consolidation Model News New Books
Video Review Eurotrack 2004 SNCB/NMBS Operations Belgian Railway News
Belgian Tram and Light Rail News CFL News Dutch Tram and Light Rail News Dutch Railway News

Return of Consolidation 8th November 03

The SNCB consolidation 29.013 was the focus of this special organised by the SNCB. This was one the 300 locomotives that was delivered post World War II to help the SNCB and Belgium recover from the war. 29.013 was built by the Montreal Locomotive Works, was the locomotive that worked the last passenger steam train in Belgium Form Ath to Denderleeuw in December 1966. The locomotive has been at the DBAG's Meiningen Works since 2001 being overhauled and this was its maiden run from Montzen back to Schaerbeek.

The run was out from Brussels hauled by 201.010 and 6306, on a cold November Saturday with the steam heating leaking as usual to add to the heritage feel of the 1940's first class stock. The train itself was full with enthusiasts from Belgium and all its neighbours.

The SNCB provided a handout in English, which provided details of which side to alight a Montzen station. Not surprisingly as the route was build by the Germans in 1916 to supply the western front it has no stations so having weaved around the back of the yard and past the depot Montzen the station turned out to the track outside the former driver room. At Montzen there were a sizeable number of the people awaiting the arrival of the train and for the arrival of 29.013. After we had all disembarked the two diesels were quickly detached, then November sunlight 29.013 appeared from the east heralding her arrival with long blasts on her whistle and ran on to the turntable behind the driver's rest room.

While the 29.013 was on display the stock was moved further down the yard to allow 29.013 back on the train, it then ran back into Montzen 'station' to collect us. On the return journey to Brussels we had a photo stop at Vise Haut. The passage of a stream train caused livestock in fields to bolt, and trackside life to pause while the train passed. Then at Hasselt the locomotive took water in the platform using the platform level connections on the tender. As this was the return of steam to Belgium the event was closely followed by TV camera crews who were intent of getting the best shot. Fortunately for one cameraman somebody noticed that was he was starting to climb the ladder on the rear of the tender to get a better shot of the footplate guess this keen eye for detail had failed to notice the overhead wires. At Hasselt 202.010 which had followed from Montzen was attached at the rear, and provided assistance on leaving Hasselt.

After a brief stop at Aarschot, described in the SNCB handout as 'Train spotters' snapshot halt' the journey behind 29.013 concluded at Schaerbeek station with 201.010 taking over for the final part back into Brussels.

Of more modern interest Class 77 7809 was noted at Leuven on the outward leg of the trip. Hasselt station had parked the rakes of the new M6 stock with the locos at both ends as they still lack suitable driving trailers. At Montzen, at the other age extreme, in diesel terms, formed into a line were in sequence 8405, 9216, 9215, 9210, 9214, 8412, 8408 & 8404.
Andy Stewart

Model News

One of my favourite “gripes” is the lack of any standardisation for couplings. Each manufacturer has its own standard, with some couplings being interchangeable, and some not! What is even worse, there is no standard coupling holder, which would allow one to easily standardise couplings for ones collection. Roco, to give them credit, do at least provide a coupling holder suitable for a large variety of couplings.
Despite reports of the Lima group going into liquidation, they have a full back page advertisement in recent “Rail Passions”. In fact the latest is that Lima are being run by an administrator, but have got rid of their moulds. With the exception of Marklin, new model releases are few; no doubt most manufacturers are waiting for the Nuremberg Fair.

Current SNCB / NMBS model releases, by courtesy of Train Miniature are:
Ferivan have made an HOm scale sand wagon MIVA as used on the earlier Antwerp tramway systems
For beer lovers, Marklin, have released a two tank four wheeled wagon set inscribed “Primus” and “Duval”. These are only available from Treinshop Olaerts, Tel 00.32.89 856016.  In addition Marklin have issued a three cereal wagon set in HO scale. These are inscribed “Transcereales” and “Monfer”, ref 46321. Finally the SNCB steam locomotive type 26 is now available in a digital version. Marklin seem to be curtailing their operation, as they have now closed their Belgian office, which has been replaced by a Post Box Number. This may not bode well for future Marklin Belgian releases.

Minitrix now have an N scale cereal wagon inscribed “AMYLUM”, these are sold in sets of two.

Jocadis have now issued their second version of their “Ballon” luggage van, ref JOC 52039.  In addition Jocadis now sell a set of Époque IV-V colour signals, ref JOC 65321/25/27/31; and an Époque V hut currently used alongside automatic level crossings, ref JOC 91007.

Rocky Rail is advertising a series 41 to be available this year.

Roco have issued the Roco 2004 New Items catalogue.
The catalogue is available on application with 4 x 1 st. class stamps from Winco. Alresford Road 149, Winchester, SO23. 0JZ.

Trains Scen Master produces an HO size diesel generator.

Although not Belgian, the Dutch company PeArd Cardboard models have produced a comprehensive series of HO scale typically Dutch buildings, such as: windmills, opening bridges, NS stations and canal side buildings. Prices are around £ 6 to £ 7 per model. These are well detailed and look quite realistic. Their contact is www.peArd.nl

Treinshop Olaerts has announced a delay in the issue of their Break AM’80 models, due to the later delivery of the o/h conductors.
Those readers who saw Train Miniature issue 26 will have seen the recent prototype SNCB AM’96 scratch built by Martin Petch.  This was exhibited at last year’s Eurotrack. This is based on a conversion of the LS Models I11 using a “Black Beetle” motor. Hopefully there will be sufficient interest to get this model into production.                                                                                           Ralph Hanley

 Nuremberg Fair
[Thanks to Peter Brett of WINCO and Train Miniature]

Peter Brett from Winco made his annual visit to Nuremberg. This time he found very little to get excited about, with a general lack of new items. However he felt that manufacturers are now more willing to listen to what their customers want, rather than “this is what you will get”. Surprisingly Lima had a stand, but the general view is not to get too excited that they will be back in business although Rail Passion’s boutique, in their latest issue, are offering a Lima SNCF Bo-Bo 22437 with two Corail HO coaches for €120.
Artitec have introduced a three storey building which would fit into a Belgian city. Also a weighbridge plus cabin; and a typical Dutch pavement stall.
Auhagen have scheduled a Belgian type farm and buildings for October
The Belgian company ER Decor have cobbled type paving suitable for rail or tram tracks, including points and crossovers.
Faller has become more daring with their new “Night Club” model complete with an assortment of call girls! In addition Faller now has three storey town houses in the old Dutch / Flemish style.
Ferrivan have introduced a Belgian bus Van Hool 126 in De Lijn colours.
For container “enthusiasts”, Heljan have a very realistic container crane assembly
Kibri were quite disappointing with minimal new kits. They are planning to launch a “Budget” range of kits. Details to be announced
Ladeguter Bauer continues to issue typical loads for flat and open wagons. Their latest are two SNCB Class 77 cabs, but why these should be both numbered 7764 is not clear.
LS Models - Heris have issued a new catalogue with more new items. Delivery of their existing items has been delayed due to a “spat” with Sachsenmodelle over the use of some moulds. This has now been resolved. However since February this year, the collaboration between LS Models and Heris has finished. As LS Models now want their own workshop, currently they are in negotiations with an Asian [Chinese?] company.
Trix have two N gauge NS items:
NS 3 unit Class mBK 381 set Ref 12749
NS sliding wall wagon [Cargowagon] Ref 15621
A copy of Peter’s report is available from Winco,

New Books

Trix have recently published “La Locomotive Diesel series 59” in both French and Flemish text at +/- €35. This is in addition to their other publications covering series: 61/60/55, Steam Locomotives and Electrical Locomotives all at €33 - 37.

Video Review

Rivage - Gouvy from 1997 to 2002 TTR38 this is the latest SNCB/NMBS video released by Ticket to Ride. Full retail cost is £21.50. As the cover explains this is one of the most scenic routes in Belgian. As with earlier “Ticket to Ride” videos this one does not disappoint and maintains the earlier high standards. Both standards of photography and commentary are excellent. Viewers should beware, as the end is not the end, as this follows by a recording of the steam Vennbahn operations and also some snowy winter scenes. My own opinion is that this video should have included the scenic run from Gouvy into Luxembourg City. But maybe this one for another day. Again one wonders how Tim still manages to find so much sunshine in Belgium, perhaps he could advise my youngest daughter who truly believes Belgium is located under a rainy cloud.

Eurotrack 2004

This year’s Eurotrack clashed with the Leatherhead Exhibition, which somewhat “stretched” the Society’s resources. However Bill Roberts was able to bring the stand and help out part of Saturday. Martin Petch very kindly volunteered for a spell on Saturday. Paul Stoddart was able to take over and remain for part of Sunday, and finally [being a good modeller’s wife], Carolyn took the remaining Sunday shift. One new member joined, and several members stopped by for a “social”.
This year the focus has moved to more UK layouts, of which some were superb. Continental layouts were: “N” / “TT” scale Baross Gabor displays from Hungary, “HO” Malix based on the metre gauge Rhaetian railway in SE Switzerland, “N” scale Unserstadt Swiss diorama, “N” scale Cunning Plan depicting an Austrian / German, “N” scale Kehlbahn based on the town of Kehl in western Germany; and SNCF members “HO” scale Chevineaux Le Grand of the 1980-1985 French period. In addition there were several US layouts.
Continental Societies present were: Austrian, French, German, Hungarian, Scandinavian and Swiss. For next year the Scandinavian Society are proposing a “NoHab” display, and are looking for SNCB / CFL models to include with their Scandinavian and Hungarian outline.
The usual traders were there, WINCO again had good display, but mainly Austrian and Swiss. John Rowcroft is essentially selling all his stock, and Martin Petch’s sharp eyes got him a Piko tank in good condition. The German Society also had a small stand with many excellent DB bargains. Patrick Delalandre from Le Havre may have over priced, as his stand was quiet, compared with earlier exhibitions when it was usually three deep around his stand.
In all there were 65 stands. The 2004 Eurotrack Association Exhibition is planned for 02/03 October at Fleming Park.
Ralph Hanley


Zevendaal NS made its first outing in public at Leatherhead Trains in Miniature February 28/29. I would like to think that the general impression of the layout in the spotlight was visually good and interest was expressed by a number of members of the public. There were in fact several Dutch visitors and a Belgian lady who gave opportunity for ‘conversation’.
The layout is based on a freight marshalling yard or exchange sidings set back from the IJssel between the mainline and the Quayside (as at Deventer), while buildings are occupied and facilities are used by Strukton (as at Zutphen). The stock is entirely freight and the impression is of a busy, dirty, open access freight sector yard. While some electrical problems dogged operations on Saturday—surgery removed these in the first hours of Sunday and operation was subsequently very effective. Especial thanks to Phil Colton for support, advice, help and rolling stock.                  
Future appearances: Newmarket June 19th, Woodmansterne World 4th September, Croydon MRC October, Derby 2005                                                                                                                  Tom Nicholls

SNCB/NMBS Operations

The restoration Society PFT is selling off two of their collection. The first is an ex diesel 5204 at the bargain price of €1,000. But attention, there is no engine, and the wheels are seized! The second is an earlier luggage van 77.307 in running condition, again offered at €1,000. Terms of sale for both vehicles is that buyer collects!
SNCB / NMBS are apparently close to finishing their negotiations to buy the Dutch company ACTS.

Following withdrawal of most of its international services, the SNCB / NMBS now only have a requirement for 18 I6 & I11 international coaches to cater for the remaining services. As a result, the couchettes I5, sleeping cars AB 30 and dancing coach SR 2 are up for sale; and type MU sleeping cars have been returned to CIWL.  Currently the Vauban has reverted back to FS coaching stock. However this will not be for long as the SNCB / NMBS plan to terminate this service at Brig instead of Milan.  Possibly the Vauban may be later withdrawn and replaced by the Jean Monet, being extended from Strasbourg to Basel.

Thalys are planning to renovate their units from 2007 and equip these with internet facilities. The earlier threatened Liege - Paris service will be maintained, together with trains 9445 / 9412 on the Bruxelles to Köln service.
SNCB / NMBS are making further economies, as this year will see the last edition of their Timetable 2003 / 2004. In 2002 only 6,000 timetables were sold vs 41,000 in 1990. Thus the printing and publishing costs are no longer covered by sales. After 13 December 2004, information will only be available on the Internet, or local brochures at the major stations. [Maybe this will become a collector’s item!]

Further economies have been made in the reduction of mini-bar chariots on the trains. Sodexho employing 57 staff will take over this service on selected trains only. These will only total 88 trains versus 3,500 trains now operating.

SNCB / NMBS look like exercising their option to order additional M 6 double Decker coaches. If so, an additional 112 will be ordered, consisting of: 29 first class, 29 mixed luggage / second class, and 52 second class as pilot coaches.

Recently the SNCB / NMBS have leased a series [200] of open wagons type Eaons from the DB keeping the DB red cargo livery. This is the fifth series of wagons leased by the SNCB / NMBS since the end of 2002. In July the SNCB /NMBS have introduced new ballast wagons type Faccns. These are in yellow livery and will automatically discharge ballast on either the track underneath the wagon or on adjacent tracks. Finally in October, the SNCB / NMBS have put into service a new series of flat bed wagons type Smmns, mainly for container transportation. There will be approximately 200, and these are painted in the “old” brown red livery.

Currently the SNCB / NMBS are considering soliciting proposals for 50 four voltage electrical locomotives. These are planned to be used on their international freight traffic, and are to be compatible with the voltages of the adjacent countries and possibly Switzerland, and will minimise engines changes in future.  Proposals will probably be requested from: Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens, with an option for another 20. Apparently these will be named “Series 14”

Ralph Hanley

Belgian Railway News

Class 13

This class will be enlarged with 30 more locos (1361 – 1360) to allow expansion of existing services such as the Athus-Meuse line and to provide a greater contingency pool – there has been a shortage of serviceable locos for several months now because of accidents and major defects.  This class can also be used for passenger work.

Class 14

The specification for this new class is now known.  40 locos will be ordered with an option on a further 90.  They will be fitted for work into all the neighbouring countries (NL, D, LUX, and F) as well as Switzerland (Traction supply; communications and safety systems).  They will be able to work in multiple with Class 13 and a have minimum top speed on 140 km/h.

Class 15

Loco 1502 has been out of service for so long with a 25 kV equipment fault that it is now officially withdrawn from service.

Class 22 & 25

Both of these classes should be completely withdrawn by the middle of 2004 as a result of the reduction in diagrams caused by the introduction of M6 stock.  2201; 2203; 2211; 2218; 2220; 2234; 2235; 2237; 2241; 2242; and 2245 also 2503; 2505; 2506; 2507; 2510; 2513 and 2514 have already been withdrawn, the other eighteen 22’s and seven 25’s will follow in May.

Class 23

It is good news for this class as the introduction of the new Class 14 will not take place imminently; it is likely that 81 stored locos will be overhauled – including remodelled cabs and B-cargo livery.

Class 51

5122 and 5135 have left Schaarbeek / Schaerbeek for their new owners in Italy.

Class 52/53/54

5319 has been scrapped.

Class 55

With the return of Class 62’s it is envisaged that withdrawal of this class will begin with the 5 worst examples.  5525 and 5534 are the first to go.

Class 62

6245 has been scrapped, 6298 has been withdrawn.
By 14th December there were no Class 62’s allocated to Antwerpen Noord. Charleroi and Merelbeke will retain their current allocation of 62’s until the summer service 2004 while Kinkempois will retain the 2 diagrams for the timber trains to Büllingen (D).  All of the other work will go to class 77 although the availability of 77’s is not great at the moment.  By the end of 2004 around 30 62’s will remain for traffic.

Class 73/82

Following damage to 7302 and 7312 on 1st October, the first build of this class left in service are 7301; 7317 and 7320.  8275 and 8225 have been scrapped as a result of a collision in Kinkempois depot.

Class 77

Extra locos were provided to Merelbeke from Antwerpen (7791 – 7795 and 7721) during the sugar beet harvest. 

In August the Dutch transport ministry inspectorate granted a licence for NMBS locos 7719 – 7870 to work on NS infrastructure subject to certain conditions:

  • 7719 – 7770 have no ATB fitted, but do have cab radio, so are restricted to sections between the border and Roosendaal, Maastricht, Weert and in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (Sas-van-Gent – Terneuzen).  7701 –7718 are not permitted to cross into Holland because they are fitted with BSI automatic couplers.
  • 7771 – 7790 are fitted with can radio and ATB so are permitted anywhere on the Dutch network.
  • 7791 have no radio or ATB so are only permitted into Holland marshalled in the middle of two others carrying ATB and radio.
  • The most important restriction is that the locos must only run with the ‘short’ bonnet leading to give better visibility to ground signals for the driver who is situated on the left hand side of the loco.

Class 80

8062 has been purchased by a museum in Ostfriesland (D).

Postal units

There is a possibility that one of the former postal units will be converted to a mobile exhibition train.

Preserved stock

29.013 had a test under its own power run from Meiningen (D) works on 24th October. Later that day the loco arrived back in Belgium via Welkenraedt.  On 8th November the first commercial trip ran to Brussels organised by the NMBS.

Vennbahn 1602 and 50.3666 have been sold to Transeurop Eisenbahn AG.

Belgian Tram & Light Railway News

De Lijn

Pegasus Plan
At the end of June De Lijn presented the Pegasus Plan – the strategy for 2003 – 2005.  In Oost Vlaanderen, Vlaams-Brabant and Antwerpen provinces €1,000 m will be invested in the trams and bus network to improve links to and from town and city centres.  The main projects will be:

  • A tram route on the Singel in Antwerpen –The Antwerpen premetro – between Noorderlaan and Zuid station.
  • Extension of existing tram lines to the edge of the city with a six-minute service during the peak, every ten minutes off peak.  The lines would be extended as follows:

Hoeven – Kapellen                                         Merksem – Brasschaat
Antwerpen – Wilrijk/Edegem                         Hemiksem – Schelle
Linkeroever – Kruibeke                                  Zwijndrecht – Beveren

  • An express tram to Malle and Ranst (Wijnegem – Malle and Borsbeek – Ranst) with a 15 minute service (10 mins peak)


  • Renewal and expansion of the Gent tram network by 35 km with new routes running thus:

1:     Evergem – Merelbeke
2:     Sint Martens Latem – Oostakker
3:     Melle – Mariakerke
4:     Zwijnaarde – Meulestede
5:     Lochristi – Flanders EXPO
6a:   Gent St. Pieters – Destelbergen
6b:   Gent St. Pieters – Melle Leeuw
Routes 1 – 5 will have 8 trams per hour (7 ½ minute service) while Routes 6a and 6b will have a 15 minute service each.  There will be a higher frequency during the peaks.

  • The introduction of a Park and Ride ‘belt’ round the city


  • An express network of buses between Brussels and Leuven

MIVB - Brussel / STIB - Bruxelles

New metro units

MIVB / STIB have ordered 15 six-car units (type BOA) from CAF.  They will be 94m long and carry 726 passengers.


Translated by Kjeld Spillett from Het Openbaar Vervoer Railnieuws 46/10 & 11 and 47/1 & 2. 

CFL News

The class 3600 electrics still retain a lease of life, but now are only rostered for 4 workings per day.
The hire of the 7 Siemens type ME 26 terminated in December.
CFL now have 16 engines on hire, these are 4 from CMI, 2 from Vossloh, 2 G400B from Locomotion Capital, and 6 type 185. As a result CFL have withdrawn 4 type 800 and 5 type 900 diesels.  
During December one of the Diesel “Dispolok” locomotives was rostered to haul a DB IC train. Unfortunately the “dispolok’s” heating supply is not compatible with the DB stock.  As an alternative, a temporary hose was fitted at Luxembourg station, hopefully to warm the coaches enough to last until an engine change to DB motive power at Trier.
In November platform 3 at Luxembourg station was temporary designated “Kings Cross Station - Platform 9 3/4 - Hogwarts Express”. This was to publicise the release of Harry Potter volume 5. Vintage carriages from Fonds de Gras were used to add authenticity to the scene.
The CFL have extended the Bettembourg - Dudelange Usines line to Volmerange les Mines. This in fact takes CFL metals several 100 metres into France. The intent being to persuade French commuters to discard their cars and travel into Luxembourg City by train.
The Luxembourg Parliament has approved a budget of €390M to build a new tramway. This will run 14 Km from Luxembourg station to Dommeldange [near Kirchberg]. Construction work is planned to start mid 2004.
CFL have acquired two ex DSB MK diesel shunting locomotives, no’s: 201.121/122. These are the Vossloh G 400 B. Main details are : weight 40 ton, length 9.4 m, height 4.5 m, max speed 70 kph, motor 390 Kw driving through Voith L2r4zseU2 system.
Ralph Hanley

STIB Trams

The STIB have signed an order with Bombardier [Bruges], for 46 bi-directional trams for the Bruxelles system. Included in the contract is a service agreement for 15 years. Total value of the contract is €106M for the Trams and €19M for the servicing. Delivery is foreseen between June 2005 and February 2007. Provision is made in the contract to order additional batches with a minimum of 10 trams.
There will be two versions of these trams: 32 m long with 3 bogies and 4 motors of 105 KW, or 43 M long with 4 bogies and 6 traction motors of 105 KW. Weights are 38 or 52 tonnes, and passenger capacities are: 66 seated plus 118 standing or 78 seated plus 180 standing. Maximum speed is 70 Kph with an acceleration of 1.1 m/sec. Voltage supply is 650 V.
Ralph Hanley

Dutch Tram & Light Railway News

GVB – Amsterdam

Lengthened Route 16 in use
Since 8 November the extension to Route 16 opened.  On 5 November Utrecht car 1 and Wien (Vienna) car 110 ran proving trips over the line. 
Metro station Sixhaven scrapped
The proposed metro station on the Noord-Zuid line has been scrapped on financial grounds.  Costs have more than doubled from the original estimates.
Overhead masts have been erected on the IJburglijn.
Entered service: 2104; 2105; 2106; 2107; 2108; 2109; 2110; 2111; 2112; 2113; 2114; 2115; 2116; 2117; 2118; 2119; 2120; 2121; 2122; 2124.
Delivered to Amsterdam: up to 2124 inclusive, except 2091. (2125 – 2137 are at Moerdijk)  No further cars will be delivered for the time being as, ironically, Siemens are concentrating on delivery of Combino cars to Poznan (PL).
Combino’s (Combini?) have been allocated as follows: 2001 – 2070 and 2201 – 2204 to Havenstraat depot; the rest (except 2091) to Lekstraat.

On 6th February the first 14G for the IJburg line was delivered.  It is numbered 2135 and came into service on route 3 on 7th February.
605; 610; 613; 615; 619; 621; 622; 623; 624; 626; 630 have gone to Poznan (PL).
The following have gone to HKS for scrap: 606; 629; 631; 634; 660; 663; 667; 674; 675; 680; 687; 688; 690; 701; 712; 715; 716; 602; 665; 709 and 734 are designated ‘museumwagens’

Fleet Summary at 1st January 2004


3G           629; 631 (both withdrawn on 14th January)
6-7G        680; 682; 686; 688; 690; 695; 700; 701; 705; 706; 709; 710; 711; 716; 717; 718; 720; 721; 722; 723; 724.
8G           767 / 3001 TTS
9-10G      780 – 816
12G         817 – 841
11G         901 – 920
Combino: 2001-2090; 2092-2124; 2201 – 2204

Metro - Sneltram

M2:         5 – 37                                      S3:           70 - 73
M3:         1 - 4; 38 – 44                           S1:           45 - 57
M4:         74 – 106                                  S2:           58 - 59

RET – Rotterdam

Rolling Stock
Citadis cars in Service: 2012 on 28/10; 2013 on 31/10; 2014 on 03/11; 2015 on 11/12; 2016 on 10/12; 2017 on 08/12; 2018 on 19/12; 2019 on 30/12; 2020 on 06/01; 2021 on 21/01; 2022 on 27/0.  2002 arrived from Wien (A) on 30/1.

Cars 1611; 1616; 1621; 1633 and 1635 were taken out of service in January and are store at Hilledijk
On 16th October cats 720 was in collision with a lorry causing 14 passengers injuries and substantial damage to the car.  On 3rd November car 724’s middle bogie was derailed on Stationsplein at the beginning of the evening peak.  The car was re-railed by 18.00 but widespread disruption ensued with trams services being diverted.  On 7th November car 713 ran into the back of 726 causing bad damage to both cars.

After many problems the IJsselmondelijn will open on 1st March.

Dutch Railway News


Accident at Rotterdam Lombardijen

Unit 845 collided with a steel girder on 20th October, damaging one bogie so badly that a new bogie had to be brought in order to re-rail the unit.

International service alterations from 14th December

From 14th December several international services were altered:

  • CityNightLine services between Amsterdam and München/Zürich are formed using double deck stock
  • EuroCity service Amsterdam – Interlaken/Chur is replaced with and Amsterdam-Basel ICE.
  • The Ski-Thalys (Amsterdam-Bourg St. Maurice) will run until 20 March
  • Hoofddorp-Berlin trains will start from Amsterdam CS and the stock will be serviced at Watergraafsmeer.
  • International ticket offices will close at Maastricht, Roosendaal, Nijmegen, Hengelo, Dordrecht, Zwolle, Haarlem, Venlo, Leeuwarden and Hilversum.  Most surprising is that all the Dutch border town stations are losing their International offices.  The NS website states that tickets to Belgium, Luxemburg and the western part of Germany can be purchased at any NS ticket office – but they cannot do reservations.  The remaining 10 international offices can book to over 1400 destinations but charge a booking fee of €3.50 person (max €10.50) except for non-reservable journeys to destinations available at domestic ticket offices. The latest type of automatic ticket machine does, however, issue tickets to selected international destinations in Belgium and Germany but cannot issue Thalys tickets.  Of course Internet and telephone booking is available.

The last working of EC3 Amsterdam – Chur on 13 December was worked by 1302 as far as Emmerich (D).  It was planned that the train would be worked forward by DB 103 184 – the last DB Fernverkehr example of this class – however the loco was out of service with an Indusi fault.  The train is diagrammed ICE for 14th December.

Reduction of off peak trains

Following poor financial results, the NS plan to run less Off-peak and weekend trains from 2005 as well as altering train crew working practices to improve efficiency.

New equipment for front line staff

In the first half of 2004 all train crew and station staff will be equipped with ‘Frontliners’ – an HP Palmtop computer connected by wireless link to a Sony Ericsson mobile ‘phone for up to the minute information. This will replace the Nokia ‘phones and HP-rail pocket computers currently in use.  The project is costing €8,5m.

Rolling Stock

Nederlandse Spoorwegen

Class 700

The first of the 700 series, 704 arrived in Tilburg works on 16 November from Kiel, followed by 705 & 706 on 12/12; 707; 708 & 710 on 15/12; 709 on 19/12; 711 & 712 on 4/1.  The plan is that 13 locos arrive by the end of January. 

Class 1700

1755 was involved in a collision on a level crossing at Veenendaal on 31 October.  It was taken to Tilburg for repair.

Class 6400

During several weeks in November the usual 6400 loco has been replace with BR225 class from the DB on freight banking duties between Venlo and Kaldenkirchen (D) to combat poor railhead conditions.


‘Extended’ sets delivered (old number in brackets): 8635 (8435); 8642 (8442); 8644 (8444); 8645(8445); 8646 (8446); 8653(8453); 8655 (8455); 8656 (8456); 8657 (8457); 8663 (8463); 8675 (8475); 9402 (8495/8202); 9404; 9443; 9477; 9479 (8492/8279).
‘New build’ sets delivered: 8717; 8719; 8721; 9518; 9520; 9522


Following a fire on unit 4044 the AB coach was sent to Vlasman with the Plan V stock (see below) for cutting up.

SGM Sprinter

Unit 2941 (2841); 2942 (2842); 2943 (2843); 2944 (2844); 2945 (2845) returned from Randers (DK) from rebuilding.  (Old number in brackets)
Unit 2847 was in collision with a bus at Nootdorp on 8th September and went to Leidschendam for repair.  This unit was to go to Randers for a refit; however 2846 went in its place.
Following door problems during testing the introduction of the refurbished units on the series 4800 trains was delayed.  When successful tests did take place services could not begin as there were insufficient units available so Plan V (Mat’64) were used to cover workings.
The refurbished units introduced on the Zaanlijn (train series 4700) on 17 November and were withdrawn from 20-25 November again because of technical problems.
2028 caught fire at Den Haag CS causing damage to a vestibule and one saloon.  As Den Haag CS has an overall roof the fire brigade had to evacuate the station because of the amount of smoke emanating from the fire.  Railway police apprehended the culprits.

Plan V (Mat’64)

Stored: 402 on 27/10; 403 on 24/1; 404 on 09/09; 405 on 03/12; 406 on 21/01; 407 on 13/01; 412 on 09/12; 427 on 15/01; 431 on 16/01; 432 in May 2003.
It is understood that HKS metals as Westhaven will not be scrapping any more Plan V units because of concern over asbestos content of the soundproofing material in the units.  The units are now taken by low-loader to Vlasman in Alphen a/d Rijn who has begun breaking up the units as follows: ABk 462; Bk2 528; ABk 448; Bk 448; ABk 413; Bk 413; Bk 410; ABk 410; ABk 420; Bk 420; ABk 424; Bk 444; BPk 802; Bk 808; ABk 815; ABk 878; BPk 878; BPk 904; ABk 959; BPk 959; Bk2 528.  While a new breaker was found units were stored at Arnhem Berg.  Asbestos is also present in Plan U and Plan W stock.
On 21 November unit 442 caught fire at Hulten and the ABk was completely burnt out.  This unit will not be back in traffic.  461 was attached to it but was only slightly damaged and was back in traffic a couple of days later.
Unit 860 was involved in a collision with a car on a level crossing on 1st December.

Plan U

Unit 193 suffered an engine room fire on 22 September but returned to service in the middle of October.  Unit 114 will become a museum unit and is currently at Blerick.  13th December saw the last day of Plan U operation with all units being moved to Amersfoort Vlasakkers on Christmas Eve where NS Reizigers have hired 3.3km of siding space from the Dutch ministry of defence.  NedTrain will assess the condition of each unit and decide what the fate of each unit should be.

Benelux stock

The first reserve Benelux ICR coach (20-70 583) arrived at Haarlem works on 18 November for refurbishment.  It is one of a series of 5 reserved for the Benelux services and is fitter with TBM control cables for working with NMBS Class 11.8.


The 3 combined ICR/DD-AR sets have been withdrawn from service in their current format and split up.

Plan W

In the middle of December NS Reizigers decide to scrap all Plan W coaches wit the last passenger train running on 19th December.  Three coaches are destined for the railway museum in Utrecht.

Private operators


A second EWS class 58 has arrived in Rotterdam for ACTS – 58044
In October the first gas train from de Sloe to Italy ran.  The train will run twice weekly although it is not known which days.  In Emmerich (D) a Dispolok-Taurus from TXL takes over the train.
At the end of October NMBS 5526 arrived on hire.
The rubbish train to Schwarze Pumpe (D) now runs via Nieuweschans instead of Bad Bentheim (D) thus the class 1200 is no longer necessary.  This will probably become the permanent route for this train as the Bremen (D) train is booked via this route.


Locos 217 and 344 were taken away by lorry on 29 November although it is not known whether the ‘Siks’ will be cut up.


The Belgian freight carrier has handed its Ford traffic between Dillingen (D) and de Sloe to RaiLion in January.

ERS Railways

In the second week of November a Vossloh G1206 loco (numbered 1201) was delivered from Strukton in Zutphen – the first of two to haul container trains in the Rotterdam port area.  1202 followed this on 4/1
ERS took over the traction for two container trains (to Padova (I) and Melzo (I)) from RaiLion from 5th January.  The Class 66 works through to Basel (CH) where an SBB loco works to Chiasso (I) to be relieved by an FS loco.
The 5 new class 66’s will be numbered ERS 6606 – 6610 and had arrived in Rotterdam by the end of December.  PB07 – PB11 will be renumbered 6601 – 6605.


Test runs (Utrecht – Eindhoven – Horst Sevenum – Kijfhoek – Vlissingen) with 189004 and 189007 began on 24th November following protracted contractual problems.  189004 returned to Germany in the middle of December.  Further tests were carried out on 26 & 27 January with 189007+ wagons + 1619.
At Tilburg works a project team has been set up with a view to selling class 1600’s to an Italian company.  It is not yet known how many locos will go but before they do go modifications to the overhead collection equipment will be required as Italy use 3000v DC.  Alstom are looking at installing equipment to convert to voltage from 3000v to 1500v DC.  As it stands the first four locos would be 1506; 1622 and 1625 with 1618 being the prototype.
BR232 locos are now working trains through from Waalhaven to Oberhausen (D).  232109 and 232904 have been nominated to work trains 42100 and 42107.
On 3 & 4 the January tests were conducted with a 1km long container train.  Each end on the train were 3 6400’s (6470+6472+6430 & 6487+6520+6422).  During the test technical characteristics, brake and tractive effort were measured.
6446 was in collision with ShortLines PB61 on 12 December at Maasvlakte damaging its fuel tank – it went to Tilburg for repair.


ShortLines are providing the traction for a new Container service from Rotterdam – Worms (D) between Rotterdam and Venlo.  From Venlo Rail4Chem provide the traction through to Worms.
New locos SL2001 and 2002 (type G2000) were delivered from Vossloh in December.
During November HGK locos class DE1002 were used on the Fergano train as a temporary measure until the Class 66’s arrive.  The HGK locos are already fitted with ATB-L equipment.  ShortLines have also hired a second G2000 loco from Vossloh for use on the Havenlijn (it has no ATB equipment on board).


On 23rd October LINT 40 was in collision with a cow at Winterswijk.  The damage was so severe that the train had to be towed to Haarlem for repair.
LINT units 41, 42 and 43 have arrived in Holland on 5th December for use on the service between Zutphen and Oldenzaal, which was taken over from NS on 15th November.   An official opening ceremony took place with the Secretary of State for Transport on 13th December.  LINT units 36 – 43 will be used exclusively as the local authority has specified that no trains over two years old can be used on the route. All the Syntus DM’90 units will be renumbered from 3450-3453 to 50-53; 3441 and 3442 to 54 and 55.

The Train Company

The first ‘Bergland Express’ ran from Amsterdam to St Anton (A) and Zell am Zee (A) on 30th January.  1858 worked the train to Roosendaal where NMBS 2715 took over the six-coach train and ran via Brussels and Liege.  The Train Company owns 35 ex-NS Internationaal coaches and is operated by a former member of NSI staff.


Thalys sets are due for interior refurbishment of the coming year with the possible inclusion of on-board internet access.


HSL Zuid (High speed Line)

During a 53 hour possession on 24th November the new flyover at Rotterdam Centraal was commissioned.  Trains from Den Haag will be able to cross over onto the HSL Zuid.


Loco G-1206 was named “Carin” in a ceremony at ‘s-Hertogenbosch on 31 October.   


mP 3027 and mP 3030 have been working Sandtite duties Den Haag – Gouda and Amersfoort – Zwolle in November and December.


The second phase of works at the Moerdijkbrug has proved to be less chaotic than the first episode in August 2003.  The work was completed two days earlier than the contract date of 31st October. 

Track DOUBLING - Rotterdam to Dordrecht

With the commissioning of the second tunnel bore at Barendrecht, following the 15/16 November engineering blockade, the sixteen year long project to double (quadruple?) the track between Rotterdam and Dordrecht is complete.

New Infrastructure in use

On 14th December several new sections of line came into use:

  • In Amsterdam the ‘Hemboog’ connection between Westerlijke Tak and Hemtunnel on the site of the old Amsterdam De Vlugtlaan station.
  • De Gooiboog giving a direct connection from the Flevolijn to Hilversum.
  • Tilburg Reeshof station opens between Gilze-Rijen and Tilburg West.
  • 4 track running between Vleuten and Geldermalsen.


Translated by Kjeld Spillett from Het Openbaar Vervoer Railnieuws 46/10 & 11 and 47/1 & 2

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