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.
2 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.
4 Somehow I like the color and the form in this photo.
8 Steam locomotive 2-8-0 inside cylinders, running around the train
9 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)
16 One thing is for sure: the ZLSM is running through the most scenic landscape you may hope to find in the Netherlands
21 The town of Eys viewing towards the north east.
23 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.
24 Station Schin op Geul
25Here 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.
27 Valkenburg's castle, the only height fortress of the Netherlands.
28 Another unique building is the station of Valkenburg, which is the only station built in marl, a locally present mineral stone.
30 Time to look at some detailshots...
49 Running round
50 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.
51 The front of the station
53 Making a dash to get in front of the train
59 After a twenty minutes break the train heads back to Simpelveld.
62 Some shots of the scenic area, well worth a visit.
63 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.
68 It is also possible to travel by railbus, built in the fifties for the German local railway lines.
71 I left the train in Simpelveld to visit the signal box and the workshop.
72 Signal lines
73 The gathering rain clouds make an impressive background.
74 Meanwhile the train is awaiting departure
75 I was skillfully shown around...
76 ... and informed about signalling and its working.
80 Leaving for Kerkrade
82 First thing to notice about the depot is that the original turntable pit is still present, a rare exception.
83 This is another originally Swedish locomotive, a 4-6-0 this time
97 In one of the sheds another 2-6-0 was awaiting its future