2012-09-12 ZLSM

During our holiday I visited the ZLSM. Not for the first time really, but this time I also visited the workshop where I found the two 2-6-0 steam locomotives.
P1050179 P1050153  Simpelveld's station is relatively big for such a modest location. And then just realise it used to be twice as big, originally extending to both sides. P1050154 P1050155  Somehow I like the color and the form in this photo.
P1050156 P1050158 P1050159 P1050161  Steam locomotive 2-8-0 inside cylinders, running around the train
P1050162  Originally built as 0-8-0s between 1908 and 1920 some examples of the E class were fitted with an extra leading wheelset to ease its running issues at high speeds. The E2 class managed speeds up to 70 km/h. With 9,000 kg tractive effort this engine is clearly oversized for the work it does now.  What makes the engine especially interesting is that it looks very much like the Swedisch replacement locomotives ordered by the Dutch government in exile by the end of WWII (Dutch NS class 4700) P1050165 P1050167 P1050169
P1050178 P1050163 P1050180 P1050184  One thing is for sure: the ZLSM is running through the most scenic landscape you may hope to find in the Netherlands
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P1050189  The town of   Eys  viewing towards the north east. P1050190 P1050194  This line was originally built as a double track line, catering for the transport needs of the coal industry. Its construction caused a political row at the time, costing more than a million guilders per kilometer. Imagine! The line is still nicknamed Miljoenenlijn today. During WWII the majority of one track was lifted and shipped to the east front. P1050195  Station Schin op Geul
P1050197   Here  the ZLSM enters the realm of the public railway system. The ZLSM is registered as a formal TOC (Train Operating Company) and is fully licensed. This makes it possible to run through to Valkenburg. P1050198 P1050202  Valkenburg's castle, the only height fortress of the Netherlands. P1050206  Another unique building is the station of Valkenburg, which is the only station built in marl, a locally present mineral stone.
P1050208 P1050210  Time to look at some detailshots... P1050211 P1050214
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P1050218  Running round P1050219  Busy platform. One reason why the ZLSM wants to run through to Valkenburg is that Valkenburg is one of the major tourist towns in Limburg, attracting hundred thousands of visitors, even from Japan. I still haven't figured out why. P1050221  The front of the station P1050227
P1050223  Making a dash to get in front of the train P1050226 P1050228 P1050229
P1050230 P1050231 P1050249  After a twenty minutes break the train heads back to Simpelveld. P1050258
P1050259 P1050256  Some shots of the scenic area, well worth a visit. P1050260  The  Keutenberg , the terror of cyclists with a 22% grade. Guaranteed to be DOA (dead on arrival) no matter whether you go up or down. P1050262
P1050263 P1050269 P1050282 P1050285  It is also possible to travel by railbus, built in the fifties for the German local railway lines.
P1050286 P1050293 P1050296  I left the train in Simpelveld to visit the signal box and the workshop. P1050297  Signal lines
P1050299  The gathering rain clouds make an impressive background. P1050301  Meanwhile the train is awaiting departure P1050306  I was skillfully shown around... P1050303  ... and informed about signalling and its working.
P1050304 P1050305 P1050307 P1050309  Leaving for Kerkrade
P1050310 P1050316  First thing to notice about the depot is that the original turntable pit is still present, a rare exception. P1050319  This is another originally Swedish locomotive, a 4-6-0 this time P1050332
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P1050356  In one of the sheds another 2-6-0 was awaiting its future P1050361 P1050369  Time to return home... enhanced