2015-08-01 Industrial Narrow Gauge Museum

Being in the the east of the country for other reasons we happened to have a few hours to spare. Enough for a quick visit to the Industrial Narrow Gauge Museum in Erica in the province of Drenthe
See: http://www.smalspoorcentrum.nl/
DSC1-03670  The Industrial Narrow Gauge Museum is themed around the former peat industry that was extensive here in the second half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century. The last peat processing company closed in 1983. The industry made extensive use of narrow gauge railways to transport the peat to the mills.  The museum has recently been relocated to this new main building. DSC1-03672  Loco no 81 is plinthed in front of the main entrance. 81? Yes, the museum owns over eighty locomotives and the remains of more, totalling over one hunderd. In terms of number of locomotives this may very well be the largest railway museum, most certainly in the Netherlands and I suppose far beyond. Table of terms  All locos are listed on the   museum's website  with all details of them individually. The site has no English translation so above a crash course Dutch with a translation of the most common terms. You may also try this  automatic translation by Google , which may in many cases be somewhat amusing. DSC1-03673  As simple as simple can be.
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DSC1-03682  The workshop. Recently built and well equipped. A lift, much akin to a car lift in a garage, provides a work pit. DSC1-03684 DSC1-03685 DSC1-03686
DSC1-03687 DSC1-03688  A "new" bonnet DSC1-03690 DSC1-03689  and the poor remains of a discarded one, I guess beyond salvation.
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DSC1-03695 DSC1-03696  A home grown locomotive. Forestries in the US where known for their own contraptions, after all that is how the Shay came to be, but the Dutch peat industry was obviously very inventive too. DSC1-03697  Remains of a B17 bomber aircraft from WWII that crashed nearby. DSC1-03698  Lest we forget
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DSC1-03719  A diesel with an identity disorder. DSC1-03720 DSC1-03722 DSC1-03723
DSC1-03724 DSC3-00092  The children are kept busy by giving them the opportunity to drive one loco themselves on a special track DSC1-03725  Monorail! I never thought there was something like that in the Netherlands but as it turns out one of the peat industries in the area actually operated a monorail system. DSC1-03726
DSC3-00091  An this must be the only monorail vehicle in the Netherlands. DSC3-00084 DSC3-00089 DSC3-00090
DSC1-03699  Our train for the day. Included in the museum admission fee is a train ride around the terrain, which includes a tour around the only remaining peat mill in original condition. DSC1-03727 DSC1-03728 DSC1-03729
DSC1-03730 DSC1-03731 DSC1-03732 Aerial  We set out for a tour around the museum grounds, the yellow line approximates the track. We drove counterclock wise.
DSC1-03733 DSC1-03736 DSC1-03739 DSC1-03741  Our tour guide and driver
DSC1-03745  A display to show the various gauges in use by the peat industry: 500, 600, 700 and 900 mm respectively. DSC2-00004  Another train. This loop railway runs on 900mm gauge. DSC2-00011 DSC2-00015  Many an exhibit is parked in the forest tracks.
DSC2-00016 DSC2-00017 DSC2-00019  This one has a special history. It was brought along with allied troops by the end of WWII to serve in the building industry during the period op reconstruction immediately after the war. DSC2-00021
DSC2-00022  In need of some restoration. Funding for just that is underway. The locomotive will however not operate on the tracks of this museum because it simply is too heavy for the soft ground under the tracks. DSC2-00023 DSC2-00025 DSC2-00026
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DSC2-00036 DSC2-00037  A rustin' Ruston DSC2-00038 DSC2-00039
DSC3-00017b  The only peat mill that retains  its original character. Most mills still in existence have been redestined as restaurant, lodge or conference center. But this one was bombed in the war and reconstructed with a concrete inner structure which makes it impossible to give it another destination. So it remains Aerial1 DSC3-00001  In the peat mill. White peat was unsuited as fuel and was ground to be used as ground cover and soil improvement. DSC3-00002
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DSC3-00019  At the left the one remaining tipper which rotated the peat cars and emptied their content onto a conveyor belt. DSC3-00022  A rare electrical loco. It originates from Germany (1925) DSC3-00033 DSC3-00023  The orginal locomotive workshop of the peat factory, dating from 1910, and now a listed building.
Aerial2  The location of the old shed DSC3-00027 DSC3-00030 DSC3-00031
DSC3-00034  On returning to the museum main building I ventured into "the garden" to take a look at te numerous exhibits Aerial3  The garden, here still relatively open, but by now fully overgrown and matured. DSC3-00035 DSC3-00036
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DSC3-00041  Via "the garden" I came to the new locomotive shed. Aerial4  On this Google aerial the new shed is not yet present DSC3-00042  The multiple gauge traverser DSC3-00043
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DSC3-00058  I chanced upon one of the volunteers who was kind enough to let me in. DSC3-00059 DSC3-00060  This pair probably workes in some kind of fun park. DSC3-00061
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DSC3-00054  Well, if you are interested in industrial narrow gauge, this is the place to be!