2009-02-21 On Traxs

The Dutch National Railway Museum is located in the former station Utrecht Maliebaan. since 1939 a disused station on the line Utrecht - Hilversum. Since a complete renovation in 2003 the museum organises all kinds of events and fairs to attact more visitors. Though with reasonable commercial success this is clearly at the cost of its primary goal: being a railway museum. It is more an amusement park like Disney world. Major exhibits are buried under concrete structures and rest in tombs without even the slightest chance of a view that will delight a railroaders heart. Well anyhow, I visited the National Railway Museum today for the On Traxs event: about thirty top layout builders met to exhibit their achievements.
DSC08450b DSC08451  I mean SPLENDOUR. The station's main entrance hall. DSC08452 DSC08453  Waiting room first and second class
DSC08454 DSC08474 Pano  This is not original but nevertheless impressive: the royal waiting room from the former The Hague Staatspoor station DSC08655  And the barber shop originating from the station in Dordrecht DSC08460  The 2100 series were the largest 4-4-0 in the Netherlands and only little less powerful than it direct competitiors 3700 and 3500 (both 4-6-0 designs). They were known for their good handling. They were called "Blikken Tinus" (Tin Man) because of their clappering noise during running.
DSC08458b DSC08459 DSC08463  Inner cylinders DSC08466  The radius links of the Walschaerts valve gear
DSC08467  Top: the reverse lever. Middle: builder's plate: Schwarzkopff, Berlin, 1914 DSC08475  A first layout: American and modern theme. DSC08477  Modern, but colorful DSC08478  and well detailed
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DSC08485 Combine DSC08501  Time to visit another permanent exhibit: the Nestor, not so called because of its age, though respectable: 1880. But the whole series was named after Greek heroes. The Locos were later numbered in the 1000 series. DSC08504  a 2-4-0 type, it was soon outdated and superceded by newer, stronger types. From then on they were confined to light passenger traffic. DSC08488
DSC08500  Oil pot for cylinder oil DSC08489  Cylinder. Beuatifully round because the valve gear is positioned inside the frame DSC08503  There!!! Stephenson valve gear, as was usual at the time DSC08495  The radius links of the Stephenson valve gear between the frame plates
DSC08502 DSC08490  Crosshead with adjustable pin and double crosshead bars. Note the grease pots DSC08491  Driver crank with driver and coupler bars DSC08494  Just gaze at the play of the lines
DSC08498  Wooden cab DSC08507  Inside the cab DSC08499 DSC08509  One of the successors to the Nestor: "Grote Groene" (Big Green, imagine why). Again a 2-4-0 design. Stronger but soon to be superceded by a 4-4-0 design. The Big Greens were succesful though and no less than 179 were built between 1880 and 1895.
DSC08631 DSC08510  Overview of the main hall of the museum. The modest size of the hall clearly show the poor state of Dutch locomotive preservation. Of the about 2000 main line steam locomotives built for the Netherlands only a handful survived. None of the larger types is operational. I know only of a few tramway of local locomotives to be operational. DSC08516  Well, another layout then. A Swiss theme this time DSC08515  A will known bridge over the Vispa
DSC08517 DSC08518  Modern rolling stock DSC08520 DSC08521
DSC08523 DSC08524 DSC08534  Well, this was a layout that made me gaze for half an hour. Just look why DSC08535  Diesel loco, running enigne sound, revving up when riding. Starting sound when firing up!! Look at the rust
DSC08536  But the scenery was just as striking DSC08537  Take a look at that window. Amazing!! Every single detail was there!! DSC08538 DSC08540b
DSC08541  And he agrees DSC08542 DSC08543  Fuel station!! DSC08546  all the detail
DSC08547 DSC08548 DSC08549 DSC08557  I had to tear myself away to the next layout
DSC08550  Of American origin DSC08551 DSC08554 DSC08555
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DSC08563 DSC08564b DSC08565b DSC08568  Back to the permanent exhibits. The renewed mueseum offer "worlds". In one of these worlds you are are guided through the early beginnings of railroading in England and the Netherlands
DSC08572  Stephenson's locomotive factory DSC08573  with a model of the Rocket in the window DSC08574 DSC08575b
DSC08576b DSC08580b DSC08584b DSC08588b
DSC08591b DSC08589  The brass steam dome DSC08593 DSC08606  A Belgian layout also attracted my attention
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DSC08615  The VIP car of the Dutch Railways, nicknamed the Camel, guess why. It is fully operational since a few months. DSC08619b DSC08620  One of the driver's cabs DSC08621  The raised drivers cabs leave the front ends open giving a full view on the track
DSC08623 DSC08624  The builder's emblem DSC08622  A sunny spell cast a beautiful light on the signal post DSC08625  Normal gauge (1435mm) compared to Dutch broad gauge (1955 mm). One of the widest gauges of the world, was used until conversion in 1866.
DSC08600  Longmoor. The 1000th locomotive to land on the continent after the allied invasion. War Department 2-10-0, later NS series 5000 DSC08628 DSC08629 DSC08630
DSC08602  I don't like locos being displayed in this way DSC08632  but it did give a good look at the drive and valve gear!! DSC08633  The old lady of steam: 3737, last of the numerous 3700 class. 4-6-0 four cylinder. Operational until 2004 and now displayed as a static exhibit. DSC08634  Oil pump
DSC08635  Feed water heater DSC08636  Pump DSC08637  Saftey valve in copper cladding DSC08638  Three axle tender. Most tenders were soon replaced by tenders with four axle ones, giving more capacity and range
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DSC08646  The driver of the pump is derived from the crosshead DSC08647  The 6300 series four cylinder casting. The only (accidentally) surviving 6300 clas is entombed in one of the ludicrous Disney-like attractions. A crime against railhistory!! DSC08648  The Nestor you saw earlier bore the series 1000 numbering. Later this number range was reused on this series of (only ten) elocos DSC08651  The Hilversum-Utrecht line on which the museum is situated is still operational. It cuts the museum area in two. A potential hazard:  I have seen people who mistook the bells of the roadcrossing, signalling the approach of a train, for a museum piece. Intensity of the traffic on the Blauwkapel - Lunetten section is low though, so it isn't much of a problem.
DSC08650  At the end of the day the sole remaining two car set of the Mat '54 type was parked in the museum. It was used to carry passengers / visitors to and fro Utrecht Central Station DSC08652  The charecteristic long nose gave this type the mick name Hondekop (Dogs head). DSC08653  Freshly painted DSC08654  Characteristic window arrangement (compared to the Mat '64 series)
DSC08656  My former collegue Norbert. His is a qualified train driver. DSC08658  Closing the train's cab also means the end of the day