16th June 2001

"Neil Webster Memorial Tour"

(Werkgroep Locomotief 1501)

Locos Used ex-NS : 1202, 1501, 2208 (as 2233), 2459, 2530
Stock Used 21003 + 21036 + 51 84 88 80 217-5 + 21027 + 21019
(21xxx vehicles are ex-SNCB)

Route :
28311E : 08.05 Den Haag Centraal - Kijfhoek Yard
28313E : 09.25 Kijfhoek Yard - Tilburg Works - Tilburg Station
28314E : 12.43 Tilburg Station - Apeldoorn
No reporting number for the run on the VSM
28316E : 17.25 Dieren - Den Haag Holland Spoor

Loco(s) Route
1501 Den Haag Centraal - Den Haag Laan van NOI - Berkel en Rodenrijs - Rotterdam Centraal - Kijfhoek (via yard) - Dordrecht - Breda - Tilburg Rivisiebedrijf
1501 (1) Tilburg Rivisiebedrijf - Tilburg Goederen
1202 (2) Tilburg Goederen - Tilburg - 's-Hertogenbosch - Geldermalsen - Utrecht Lunetten - Utrecht Maliebaan - Den Dolder - Amersfoort - Apeldoorn
2459 (3) Apeldoorn - Beekbergen
2459 + 2530 + 2208 (4) Beekbergen - Dieren (VSM platform)
2208 (5) push to under the wires at Dieren
1202 + 1501 Dieren - Arnhem
1501 Arnhem - Ede-Wageningen - Amersfoort - Hilversum - Weesp- Amsterdam RAI - Schiphol - Leiden Centraal - Den Haag HS

Notes :
(1) : 1202 on rear.
(2) : 1501 on rear.
(3) 1202 "dead in tow", 1501  dead on the rear.
(4) Five coaches & five locos!! Formation was:
2459 + 2530 (both working) + 1202 + 1501 (both dead) on the front, 2208 on rear (also working).
n.b. 2208 was running as 2233.
(5) 1202 + 1501 dead on the front, 2208 shoved the train about two train lengths from the VSM platform to the mainline where the electrics were under the wires again.

Sources : Gary Thornton (on the train throughout)
Train reporting numbers from Iain Dobson

Tour review :
by Gary Thornton :

Some photographs taken during the tour can be found by following this link.

This railtour, organised before the sad and unexpected death of Neil Webster, was to celebrate 15 years of locomotive 1501 "Diana" in preservation. Neil had always been heavily involved with the group and their previous tours and it was therefore decided to run this tour in memory of Neil.

I'd flown over as part of the "British contingent" on the Friday and was staying with about a dozen others in a small hotel in Den Haag, including Iain Dobson who had taken over much of the background organisation in the UK. After a group breakfast we made our way to Centraal station where the tour was starting from. We beat the stock in by a few minutes but it soon arrived being propelled by 1501 "Diana". Well loved by local enthusiasts in the Netherlands, this loco is also of much interest to UK enthusiasts as it was built in the 1950's to haul passenger trains on the 1,500V dc line between Manchester and Sheffield (the Woodhead route). After the withdrawal of passenger services on the Woodhead route a number of the EM2 class were sold to NS for use in the Netherlands. 1501 is currently the only operational example of the class.

The tour stock consisted of five carriages, four ex-SNCB and a "Mitropa" buffet car. Coaches A and B (at the front) were for the UK enthusiasts, the buffet was coach C, and D and E were for the Dutch railfans. It perhaps seems a little strange that Dutch and British were given different coaches to sit in - I'd preferred to have seen a mix of passengers in each coach as I'm sure it would have made for an interesting exchange of stories and experiences. During the day there were some Dutch enthusiasts who came into our half of the train, but in general we seemed to keep to our own halves of the train, which seemed a bit of a shame.

On leaving Den Haag we were given a tour brochure which showed some minor route changes over that originally advertised - for me it meant a net loss of one required curve - I gained one I hadn't expected early in the day but lost two others later on. Oh well...

Our route to Rotterdam was not on the direct "mainline" route but was via Pijnacker and Rotterdam Kleiweg. Just after the latter station we took the relatively rare curve (which I needed) to bring us into Centraal station. This was a pick-up point for passengers and also a photo-stop. On leaving we headed south to Kijfhoek yard where another photo-stop had been arranged. This was however somewhat different from what us UK enthusiasts are used to in that a line up of locos had been arranged - and we got to photograph them without getting off our train! The line-up consisted mainly of class 1200's in various liveries. All were parked with their pantographs raised.

On from Kijfhoek through Dordrecht and then over the Moerdijk Bridge towards Breda and Tilburg. At the latter we ran down into the works alongside the main station. Here we were due to have a privately organised works tour. We started by having coffee and rolls in the works canteen. After an explanation of how the tour would be organised we paused for a short speech by Harry Schneider in memory of Neil Webster. He finished by asking for a minutes silence which all the tour participants complied with.

The works tour consisted  mainly of a walk round the outside past many of the locos which were either stored or waiting attention. We were allowed to photograph whilst on the outside of the works itself, but not once inside. Although I have yet to check my number book as I write this, I suspect I'll have "claimed" quite a few new locos for sight - especially shunters as there were quite a few in storage around the site. Classes represented included 600, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1600, 1700 & 2200.

Whilst we were being entertained on the tour round the works our train was shunted and 1501 put onto the other end. Preserved 1202 was then put onto the "UK end" of the train. 1501 pulled us back onto the mainline then 1202 took over for the run to Apeldoorn. Here we ran into the sidings alongside the station. Our route from here was to Dieren - a non-electrified line that is used by the "Veluwsche Stoomtrein Maatschappij" -or VSM for short. A preserved class 2400 (2459) was added to the front and we set off towards Beekbergen, the VSM's main site.

En-route we experienced another somewhat different photo-stop - in the middle of nowhere we all got off and the train reversed to enable a "run-past". We were told that the train would stop a hundred or so meters further on for us to rejoin - but for those of us "requiring" the track that was not good news as we would miss the bit between getting off and back on again!! Iain Dobson pointed out our dilemma to the organisers and they arranged to draw the train back so we wouldn't lose out on the track! Thanks for sorting that out Iain.

There was fun and games during our stop at Beekbergen - 1501 was taken off the rear of the train by class 08 look-alike no. 532 and put onto the loco turntable where it was turned a couple of times. 1202 was taken from the other end and then the train was made up as;

2530 + 2459 + 1202 + 1501 on the front!

2530 was another preserved class 2400. We set off but stopped again just out of the station - and one of the railways other 2200 class locos was added to the rear - bearing the number 2233 it was actually no. 2208 when in NS service. So, off we set with as many locos as carriages! OK only three of them were powering but I'm sure it made an impressive sight anyway. Much use of the locos horns were made at each level crossing.

At Dieren we lost the leading pair of diesels but as we were still not "under the wires" it needed a small propelling move (about two train lengths) by 2208 to get 1202 & 1501 back on the juice. It was an interesting way to get us from the "preserved" line back onto the mainline without the preserved locos working beyond their permitted limit!

 Our run home was fairly uneventful with photo-stops at Arnhem and Amersfoort. 1202 was taken off at the first stop and 1501 was left in charge for the remainder of the journey. As we approached the Amsterdam suburbs we ran into a very heavy rainstorm - we'd been very lucky up to now as we'd had reasonable weather throughout the tour. We skirted round the outskirts of Amsterdam then onwards to Schiphol, Leiden and Den Haag and tours end. We stopped briefly at Schiphol waiting the road and I wish we'd been allowed off to get a photo of 1501 as it would have looked a bit out of place in such a modern sort of station. We rolled up at Den Haag HS where the train terminated. All day we'd been within a few minutes of correct time (both early and late) and we arrived at our last timing point just one minute late, so no complaints about timekeeping!

For the group of us in the same hotel it was a fleet of taxi's back for a quick clean-up then out for a group meal (14 of us in total). During the meal our glasses were raised in memory of Neil and a superb day out - one I'm sure he'd have approved of had he still been around to see it. Even the meal was entertaining - with the menu in Dutch only the waitress had to resort to animal impressions to convey what each choice was as she was struggling with some of the translations. We were doing alright until someone asked what "lamhaas" was - "it's a very small cow" she said, then backed it up by going "baaaa" !!

My thanks go to all involved in the organisation of this tour both in the Netherlands as well as UK. Many thought it might get cancelled or postponed in the circumstances but, without doubt, it was the correct decision to carry on and run it in the way that it was. 

Gary Thornton.

Route, Distances and Timings (Booked & Actual)

KM Location Booked Actual
0.00 Den Haag Centraal 08.05d 08.05
  Den Haag Laan van NOI 08/08 08/09
  Berkel en Rodenrijs 08/24 08/25
25.20 Rotterdam Centraal 08.35a ~ 09.05d 08.36 ~ 09.07
  Rotterdam Stadion 09/10 09/15
  Kifhoek 09.25a ~ 09.34d 09.32 ~ 09.32
  Dordrecht 09/34 09/51
74.35 Breda 09.53a ~ 10.02d 10/19
Tilburg Revisiebedrijf 10rL15a ~ 12rL28d 10.37 ~ 12.26
1.60 Tilburg Goederen 12r32a ~ 12r43d 12.32 ~ 12.43
  Tilburg 12/46 12/48
24.60 's-Hertogenbosch 13.09a ~ 13.09d 13.03 ~ 13.09
  Geldermalsen 13/25 13/24
  Utrecht Lunetten 13/40 13/39
  Utrecht Maliebaan 13/45 13.45a ~ 13.46d
  Den Dolder 13/56 14/02
91.40 Amersfoort 14/05 14/09
Apeldoorn 14L31a ~ ??L??d 14.39 ~ 14.48
Beekbergen ??L??a ~ ??L??d 15.34a ~ 16.21d
Dieren ??L??a ~ 17L25d 17.04 ~ 17.20
Arnhem 17L37a ~ 18L14d 17.37 ~ 18.18
16.55 Ede-Wageningen 18/28 18.28a ~ 18.29d
50.55 Amersfoort 18.58a ~ 19.11d 19.04 ~ 19.11
  Hilversum 19/23 19/23
81.95 Weesp 19/35 19/34
  Schiphol 19/59 19.56a ~ 19.58d
  Leiden Centraal 20.18a ~ 20.26d 20.16 ~ 20.25
47.05 Den Haag HS 20.36a 20.37

a : arrival time
d : departure time
L : attach or detach loco(s)
r : reversal of direction
/ : passing time

Distances by loco :
1202 : 151.05km
1501 : 242.90km
2208 : 15.25km
2459 : 21.35km
2530 : 15.25km

Distances provided by Stuart Clarke, no attempt has been made to verify them.

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