2017-05-25 VSM

Ascencion Day in the Netherlands has, by lack of further spiritual purpose for or understanding from most people, been declared National Steam Train Day.
Most railway museums have elaborate schemes to display their collection, staff and skills.
DSC02588b  The VSM (Veluwe Steam Train Co) is a society which keeps a stud of standard gauge steam and diesel locomotives active. The diesels are mainly from Dutch origin, the steam locomotives are mainly from German origin. I will do the photo report thematically rather than chronologically. DSC02595  I arrived at Beekbergen, the place to be when you visit the VSM, by steam train from Apeldoorn. In the distance a Geman class 23 is backing up against the train to pull the next train back to Apeldoorn. The station of Beekbergen (Bbg in telegraphic abbreviation, as indicated on the wall) was completed in 1886 and is a simple, sturdy two story building in the style of the day. DSC02614  The railway line Apeldoorn-Dieren was opened in 1887. The line was closed to passenger transport in 1950 and freight transport has been in a gradual decline since then. Piece by piece the line was closed but not broken up. Only the section Apeldoorn to Apeldoorn Zuid (South) is still in use for revenue earning service. Since 1975 the line is in use by the museum society VSM. DSC02596b  My train was drawn by a (West) German class 23. This 105 strong class was built until 1959. After the war the West German railway authorities started a large scale programme to replace the ageing steam locomotive classes from the private railway era (pre 1920) by modern steam locomotive classes. The programme was cut short though by the onset of dieselisation and electrification. The class 23 was to be the only really numerous new built class. No 23 105 was the last steam locomotive to be supplied to the West German railways.
DSC02597b DSC02599 DSC02603  The locomotive has many modern features like electric lighting, all welded frame and tender, roller bearings etc. What it lacked was the modern insights of André Chapélon. Wide steam tubes and a Kylchap exhaust and other measures would have turned this already excellent engine into a formidable performer. The class is very popular among preservation societies for one because it is the youngest class and second for the modern techniques in the design which make it a relatively comfortable and an easy to maintain performer. DSC02604
DSC02814  The characteristic low slung frameless selfsupporting tender makes the class instantly recognisable. DSC02815 DSC02818 DSC02606  Quite a contrast is this diminutive locomotor. Designed to replace the uneconomical shunting steam locomotives this tiny engine moved usually no more than two or three cars at a time in freight yards of larger stations. It could be operated after a relatively simple training, a full qualification as a loco driver was not mandatory. Two prototypes were built (1927 and 1929), the rest nos 103-152 were built in 1930 and 1932.
DSC02611  The first locos proved to be a bit light: when starting a heavy set of cars it lifted its front wheels from the track. This was duely resolved, I suppose by adding weight. DSC02729b  Its whistle made a funny somewhat bleating sound because it was operated on the exhaust gases of the engine, earning it the nickname Sik (in itself a nickname for a goat). Six engines of the orginal class have survived. In the background number the 321 is a representative of the second class. Being a more sophisticated design, far larger, stronger and with a closed cab, 169 examples were built in the 1930s and 1940s which served until quite recently (as late as 2005). Between 85-90 are still in existence. DSC02607 DSC02613  This Polish loco was designed and built in the 50s as an industrial loco. 390 were built, the VSM has two of them, both currently not operable.
DSC02736b  The German 44 2-10-0 class, was built between 1926 and 1949, the class eventually having 1989 members although there never was a time that so many examples roamed the rails due to the war losses. DSC02608  Peeking under the boiler is the shaft of the third cylinder. The 44's simple (not compounded) cylinders had three invidual sets of Walchaerts (Heusinger) gear. Nothing like a complicated Gresley conjugated valve gear (see this  Youtube simulation ). Greater simpicity and reliability at the cost of more weight, more parts and more greasing by the running staff. If that meant more maintenance is doubtful because the Gresley conjugated valve gear was notorious for its need of maintenance. DSC02727b  The middle cylinder is tilted to clear the second coupling axle. DSC02616  The piping on this engine is a modeler's nightmare.
DSC02617b  The last revenue earning timetabled train of West Germany was powered by sister engine 043 903-4 (043 being the sub-class for oil fired 44s after the 1968 renumbering) on 26 October 1977. DSC02730  The only depot of steam locomotives I ever visited (excepting museum and tourist railways) DSC02731 DSC02735b  This particular engine was converted to oil firing, one of only 36 to undergo such a conversion at the West German DB. The East German DR converted 97 engines but that is still a relatively small number compared to the total of 1989 built. Another 22 DR engines were converted to coal dust firing.
DSC02740b  What a spectacle it must have been to drive these locos heading a 4000 ton ore train (a regular service in the 1970s) DSC02745  The crosshead of the middle cylinder DSC02746  And the Walschaerts motion DSC02609  This 44 is a East German example of the same class. It is currently one of only three operational 44s. As it is expensive to operate it is only put to work on special occasions.
1974-04-32b  I have seen them in real operation when I was a tender 16 years old. Here presumably at Rheine station in 1974. 1974-04-36b  The same engine. In the station? Did I really step into the track? Inconceivable these days. 1974-05-09b  Another 44 storming through Rheine with a coal train DSC02676
DSC02706  This 44 stayed in East Germany after the war and was reconstructed there to DR practises. That is why the appearence of the loco is a little different from its DB sister engine. DSC02615  This used to be the driving cab coach of the Benelux service that ran between Amsterdam and Brussels. In the 1970s and early 1980s the service was run with push-pull consists of which this was the drivers cab at the non-powered end. They were a conversion from existing Plan D coaches. The livery pictured here is from the period when it served as a maintenance of way vehicle after withdrawal from the Benelux service in the later 1980s. 1974-05-32  This photo is of my own make. Rotterdam 1974. The entire scene is gone now. All coaches are gone, the 1100 class in the distance is gone and the station Rotterdam Centraal has been demolished and entirely rebuilt. DSC02621  This is the former Dutch Railways (NS) no 2530. This is the last loco of the 130 members strong 2400 class (if the numbers exceeded 99 numbering continued into the next class range). It was built as an experiment to allow a better view for the driver. The experiment was not repeated and certainly did not lead to conversion of any of the existing 129 class mates. Because of it good view on the track it was used as motive power for the weed spray train from 1964 to 1989.
1975-02-16  This a photo of my own making. The 2530 in 1975 in its modern NS livery. I guess the location is Rotterdam, though I am not sure. NS2530 vs 2400  The 2530 in comparison to normal class mate 2459. The raised cab is not only higher, its also much more spacious and comfortable (although the word comfort may have a different meaning to today's standards) DSC02623  Suddenly we are into shipping: contemplating the merits of the bulbous bow. DSC02638
DSC02646 DSC02648 DSC02656 DSC02660
DSC02639 DSC02666 DSC02672 DSC02640
DSC02669 DSC02811 DSC02697  The class 52 was to the Germans what the Liberty ship was to the allied forces: with little sophistication and time and material reduced to the absolute minimum necessities they were produced in large quantities. The total number produced is estimated to have exceeded 7,000. Almost all manufacturers in the Geman zone were involved in producing them. Not unlike the logistical process of building the Liberty ship, many factories specialised in certain parts and there were various assembly locations. DSC02782  At the end of the war the 52 class was spread all over Europe. Although designed to last for the war only, many of these locomotives were dearly needed after the war and reconstructing them and bringing them up to standard with conventional locomotives often proved more economical and faster than ordering entirely new locomotives. This engine is one of the few surviving unrebuilt engines. The loco's, rebuild or not, were put to work in Eastern Germany, the Sovejet Union, Belgium, Lucemburg, France, Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria, Norway, Poland and Austria.
DSC02629  The DB, West Germany, could relatively quickly dispense with the locomotives. The DR (East Germany) however kept them running until the very last of steam in 1989. Because the DR got 1150 locos and also kept them running, they were present in large numbers after the German reunion. This explains why they are very numerous among the museum locos. The VSM alone has five of them of which three are operable. DSC02790 DSC02783b DSC02785
DSC02788 DSC02791 DSC02795  Roller bearings are a sign of the later reconstruction. No time for such fancies in the war. DSC02793
DSC02798  The motion also shows signs of the simple and quick production: rounded corners of the forging process were left unkempt. Before and after the war it was custom to mill them exactly square. DSC02805 DSC02794 DSC02631
DSC02636  Another 52 class back in the maintenance shed. DSC02677 DSC02752  Another member of the 50 class, this one came to East Germany after the war. DSC02755
DSC02753  It was constructed during the war in Belgium, being produced in parallel with the start of the production of the 52 class. The Belgians were not very willing to help occupying forces, so production was notoriously slow. DSC02756 DSC02757  Contrary to British design principles the steam manifold is not placed near the drivers cab but relatively far to the front and operated over pretty long operating bars. DSC02758  The steam manifold
DSC02759 DSC02760 DSC02762  Again this is an oil fired locomotive DSC02766
DSC02691  I already mentioned the 2400 class. On display on Beekbergen was this outwardly splendidly restored 2459. DSC02678 DSC02680 DSC02683b
DSC02686 DSC02688 DSC02689 DSC02692
DSC02767b  Further back in a line-up is a sister loco in the colours in which they were originally delivered. The turquoise proved cumbersome for cleaning and the locos were quickly repainted brown. DSC02770 DSC02773 DSC02700  A derivative of the British class 11. Several generations served the NS from 1946 until 1998 as Class  500, 600 and 700  three sub-classes of basically the same design. From 1998 until now various members have seen continued active service for other Dutch railway companies.
DSC02701b DSC02703 DSC02704 DSC02718  Meanwhile a 23 was recoaling
DSC02717 DSC02722  Ready for the next train to Apeldoorn DSC02723 DSC02618  This is a German class 50 in it pre-war outfit. This 2-10-0 class was the originator class of the 52 class before austerity measures took effect.
DSC02641 DSC02674 Videoplaceholder DSC02750  A member of the 500 class
DSC02751 DSC02774 DSC02775 DSC02777
DSC02778 DSC02819  There comes my train from Apeldoorn DSC02821  The 23 is duely uncoupled and the train soon leaves for Apeldoorn again. DSC02827  A storage site with no less than three Sik locomotors. Two can easily be spotted in yellow and green, the third can just be seen peeking behind the carriage that is behind the yellow Sik. Also two class 52 tenders.
DSC02837  Two class 50 tenders (left). In the centre an East German class 50 (?) which apparently was a ÜK50, Übergangskriegslokomotive = Transitional war locomotive, that is a 50 class on which austerity measures where effected as much as possible within the existing design, before production of the true war locomotive class 52 gathered pace. Tell tales of the ÜK type are welded sandboxes on top of the boiler and a disc running wheel instead a spoked one. I can't identify the rear locomotive. DSC02840  Our train had to halt at almost every road crossing. DSC02844  In the curve towards Apeldoorn station DSC02861  The conclusion of a lovely, sunny but not too hot day. I enjoyed the visit thoroughly