2012-05-17 VSM

I spent 2012's Ascension Day at the Veluwsche Stoomtrein Maatschappij (Steam Train Co of the Veluwe). The VSM has the largest collection of German steam locomotives in the Netherlands. Why German locos? Well that's simple: at the time the preservation movement in the Netherlands got hold in the early seventies Dutch steam locomotives were extinct whereas the West German and East German locos were still in active service. With the demise of steam especially after the end of the DDR a large quantity of steam locomotives came available.
P1020192  The Veluwe is an area of "Outstanding Natural Beauty" and as such protected and preserved.  More on the Veluwe on Wiki.  The VSM, a volunteer organisation founded in 1975, exploits a former local line between Apeldoorn and Dieren. It currently owns some 20 or so steam locomotives, most of German origin, and more than 20 Dutch diesel locomotive in majority dating form the transition era between 1952 and 1958. P1020075bb  The first view I got was from the classes 23 and 64 moving around their respective trains. Schnittzeichnung-BR64  The German State railway had envisioned a simple tanklcomotive for short range local services in their "Einheitsprogram" uniformity program, a much disputed effort to create a uniform locomotive fleet with common design standards and as much common parts a possible. The program started in the 20's and by 1926 the Class 64 came from the design tables. Between 1928 and 1940 no less than 520 examples were built. About twenty have been preserved.    Drawing:  http://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Datei:Schnittzeichnung-BR64.png&filetimestamp=20110512230025 P1020077
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P1020083 P1020084  A view on the front of the loco clearly demonstrating the German design filosophy. Where the english strove for elegance and simplicity, hiding the technical details of the design, the Germans chose the opposite course: "Form drückt Funktion aus", form expresses function. So no second cylinder cover to hide the nuts 'n bolts, air pump clearly in the open, the feedwater heater right through the smokebox. Easy for maintenance, hard on cleaners. Another hallmark of Geman locomotive practise is the red painting of the area below the footplate. It has a simple and clever reason: if oil or grease leaks somewhere it easily shows up on a red surface!! P1020085  Brake air pump and atop the feedwater heater through the smokebox. P1020086  A view on the valve piston, from which the threaded adjuster makes easy work of precise valve timings.
P1020087  The crosshead P1020089  The motion bracket (rigth) on which the expansion link is hung. The expansion link (left) is the banana in the motion and it controls how long steam is admitted to the cylinder and also determines whether the locomotive runs forward or backward. On the photo it is in mid-postion, the loco is going nowhere. P1020090  The return crank takes the movement from the wheels and translates it into a rocking motion to steer the valve timings P1020091
P1020092  Another view on the piston valve P1020094  The firemen clearly having fun. P1020095 P1020096  Meanwhile the class 23 is preparing to pull its train to Loenen.
br23-200  The Class 23 is of a later date. Though its concept existed before the war it took until 1950 before production started. By then the original pre-war design had been completely overhauled. The loco shows all characteristics of the latest in steam technology: roller bearing all round, all welded construction and a frameles self-bearing tenderbody. Intended as a successor for the ubiquitous Class 38, which was built by the thousands, its production was halted when it became clear that the demise of steam was irrevocable. Only 105 where built until 1959. No 105 was to be the last built W.German steam locomotive. Though the Class 23 performed extremely well it barely outlived the class it had to replace by just one year!  Drawing:  http://dlok.dgeg.de/90.htm P1020097 P1020098  The roller bearings are visible. Not only do they make the locomotive roll easier, they were also largely maintenance free, eliminating the need to oil and grease the lcomotive all around after every so much kilometers. P1020099
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P1020104  The non-lifting injector P1020105 P1020106 P1020108  The coupling between tender and loco.
P1020109  The all welded self-bearing tender. Though most Dutch people consider steam as something of the distant past, operational steam in the Netherlands ceased in December 1957, they rarely realise that this steam locomotive is younger than most Dutch diesels in the VSM collection. P1020110b P1020111b P1020112b
P1020113  Some superheater tubes. When steam is taken from the boiler it is lead through these tubes to raise the temperature even further. This gains two things: the steam is less prone to condensation and the steam carries more energy into the cylinders. As a result superheated steam locomotives tend to use less fuel for more output. P1020114  A 50ÜK. The Class 50 was also one of the classes concepted in the unification program. Production started in 1939. After WWII had started, the production of many locomotive classes ceased. But the demand for the 50 class rose because of the war effort. The war needs however demanded that the locomotive would be built faster and with less use of costly metals, very much akin to the reasoning behind the English austerity program. A new design was underway, the later class 52, but until than production of the 50 class was greatly simplified, resulting in the subclass 50ÜK, ÜbergangsKriegslokomotive, transitional war locomotive. The class 50, including the ÜK subclass, was built in 3164 examples P1020115  Production of the 50ÜK took place all over Europe, although somehow production in the occupied countries was not very successful. Guess why. P1020116  A tell tale of the austerity measures: a welded sand dome instead of a cast one.
P1020117  Another tell tale: the driving rods have not been milled after forging. P1020118 P1020119  The enormous class 44 built between 1926 and 1949, numbering 1989 in total. It is the heavier and stronger and three cylinder variant of the 50 class.   This loco is in operational condition but runs only a few time a years as it is very uneconomical on coal, being largely overpowered for the bread and crums work on the VSM. I have seen them at work near Rheine, a year before the end of steam in W.Germany, double headers pulling hard on a 3000 tons ore train. Very impressive! P1020120  Another 44 in the yard
P1020254 P1020261  But this one is clearly in need of repairs P1020255  I may have seen this one at work in 1976 P1020256  The third (midde) cilinder in its tilted posotion
P1020257  The detrimental state of the cylinder cladding P1020258  No piston valve P1020259  The rear of the middle cylinder, again no piston valve. P1020121b  The "oersik", the "original goat". This locomotor, a very simple 50 hp diesel locomotive, was built between 1930-1932 to eliminate the need for steam during shunting. It is nicknamed "sik", goat, after the bleating sound its whistle produces, being operated with the exhaust gases of the diesel engine
P1020122  A 2200 class. P1020123b  and another one in a more recent livery P1020124 P1020125  a 2400 class
P1020126b  A 500 Class, very similar to UK's Class 8. P1020127  The shop. P1020128b P1020129  And this is the class 52 I already mentioned, a true austerity locomotive. What the Liberty ship was for the Americans was the 52 locomotive for the German war effort. Objective of the design: building faster than the enemy can destroy, able to run anywhere but the lightest of track, low on maintenance, only strong enough to outlast the war. Appr. 7000 were built, most in just three years. At the height of the production over 50 locomotives per day where built!!
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P1020141 P1020140 P1020144 P1020145  Another 50 class in for some serious maintenance.
P1020147 P1020148 P1020153  Meanwhile outside the 23 class was preparing for a turn to Loenen. P1020157  I hopped on and took a seat in a unmotorized Class '24 coach. The Class '24 stock of the Dutch Railways was though not the first electric stock in the Netherlands, the first to be built in large numbers from 1924 onwards (hence...). It was part of a large scheme to eliminate steam beteen 1940 and 1945. If not for WWII this attempt would probably have succeeded.
P1020158b  Much interest, but the event was certainly not overcrowded. P1020159 P1020160  The VSM line runs through a very scenic area. Visit it, if not for the steam line, than for the beautiful countryside. P1020162
P1020163  Running round at Loenen P1020164 P1020165 P1020166b
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P1020172b P1020173  Brake testing P1020174 P1020179b
P1020181  Beekbergen in sight P1020184 P1020183  This peculiar loco is the last built example of the 2400 class (numbering from 2400-2530). It was built as a testbed for various constructional ideas and improvements and later put to work on herbicide spray trains, its cab on top giving the driver a good view on the progress of the work. P1020156b
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P1020195 P1020196 P1020198  The shortest possible diesel locomotive P1020199
P1020200 P1020202  The Class 52, of which the grey one I portrayed in the shop was an original example, was intended to last only for the war. The Germans expected the war to last no longer than five more year. They were right but the end result was a little different from their plans. After the cessation of hostilities some some 6.000 were spread all over Europe and hundreds more in various stages of production. Motive power was badly needed and despite the spartan construction and prognosed short life span they were put to work. The 800 engines remaining in W.Germany lasted not much longer than the prognosed lifespan, halfway the fifties the DB began sending them to the scrapyards and by 1962 the last one was gone. In the DDR however had 1100 engines and could not dispense them. During the sixties they were reconstructed to a more lasting and normal design, the 52.80 and 52.90 subclasses. The REKO (reconstruction) locos are easily recognised by the trapezium shaped mixing preheater on top of the smokebox. P1020207  The 23 preparing for a run to Apeldoorn P1020209b  Again I hopped on this time for a return trip to Apeldoorn.
P1020214b  Apeldoorn P1020216 P1020217  This toddler was highly excited, completely wild about the steam locomotive. Who says it is all education?? P1020218
P1020220  Ow, there it is!!! P1020221b P1020222b P1020228
P1020238  Some road crossings must be guarded by a red flag. P1020239  Some protests against plans of the Dutch Railways to revive commercial traffic on this line P1020241 P1020242
P1020248b P1020253  After my second ride I returned to the yard again P1020262  I found a 2400 class hidden between wagons. After its life in the Netherlands it was sold to France were it worked on several railway construction sites. After that it was disposed of and apparently bought back by the VSM P1020263
P1020266  Another pair of 52's in the yard, in front a REKO engine P1020267  and further back an non reconstructed version P1020275  The 23 Class came into the yard giving a good opportunity to make a three quarter view without any visitors on it. P1020269
P1020271 P1020272 P1020273 P1020274  Staff also having fun
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P1020281  A polish loco P1020284 P1020282  The draw and buffing gear of a tender. P1020291  Some last shots of this 52.80
P1020292 P1020293 P1020295 P1020298  Well Mr Hitler, or Speer (minister for armament and equipment in the Third Reich) for that matter: did you expect your war machines to be here in absolute pristine condition, seventy years on?
P1020289  After a lovely day and one last view of a leaving train I returned to my car and went home.