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Offline jerdenberg  
#1 Posted : 19 July 2019 13:37:49(UTC)
jerdenberg

Netherlands   
Joined: 10/01/2005(UTC)
Posts: 949
Location: Den Helder, Noord-Holland
Last week Tuesday, I realized an idea I had considered for a long time: a one-day (nearly) circular train trip from my home town of Den Helder to the region I was born in (South Limburg). As Den Helder is a terminus, the trip could not be entirely circular: the nearest station where that is possible is Heerhugowaard, so the trip could be compared to a pear or an apple. There is only one direct rail connection between South Limburg and the rest of the Netherlands, so I decided to make part of the trip through Belgium to Aachen in Germany, then back to the Netherlands in South Limburg. The entire trip was to take ~15 hrs including a number of stops at stations for changing trains.

For the occasion, I had purchased a discount ticket for one-day unlimited travel outside rush hours (up to 6:30, between 9:00 and 16:00, and after 18:30) on non-surcharge NS [Nederlandse Spoorwegen] lines (€20.50 for 1st class), as well as tickets for the Belgian and German legs of the trip (a total of €29.80 for two separate tickets so as to be able to take the route I wanted instead of the shortest connection between the last Belgian station and the Netherlands). With an additional fare of €2.83 for a short leg on Arriva in the Netherlands, the trip cost a grand total of €53.15.

The first leg of the trip was from Den Helder to Heerhugowaard. Advantageously, the train leaves Den Helder at 9:04, only 4 minutes after the end of the rush hour. Rail travel in the Netherlands nowadays is possible only with scannable tickets or travel cards, and on an increasing number of stations, among which Den Helder, the platforms can be reached only by gates that open upon scanning the ticket or card [click images for full-size photos]:

ticket gates

The train I'm going to take here has just come in – Den Helder was its final station; it still has to reverse its lights before it starts the return journey:

Train to Heerhugowaard

Displays in the train show the destination as well as the stations served in between. Comfortable seats, with somewhat more room in 1st class:

Train to Heerhugowaard

Train to Heerhugowaard

Arrival at Heerhugowaard at 9:31, that is ~35 km with 2 intermediate stops in 27 minutes [~77km/h].

From Heerhugowaard, I'll take the train to Haarlem via Beverwijk:

Train to Heerhugowaard

tbc …

Jeroen


Figomima division, UP; mostly figment of my imagination yet.
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Offline jerdenberg  
#2 Posted : 20 July 2019 12:41:52(UTC)
jerdenberg

Netherlands   
Joined: 10/01/2005(UTC)
Posts: 949
Location: Den Helder, Noord-Holland
The train I rode from Den Helder to Heerhugowaard is a bi-level interregional set (where interregional in our small country means distances of up to about 250km). The first sets of this type date back to 1994, so a refurbishment program was started in 2014.

The train from Heerhugowaard to Haarlem is an urban-regional set (somewhat awkward translation of "stadsgewestelijk"). This type dates back to the late 1970s/early 1980s, and all sets were refurbished between 2003 and 2009. These train sets are nicknamed "Sprinter". In the photo, the Sprinter from Hoorn (a single-track connection) enters the double-track connection from Den Helder (coming from left):

Sprinter from Hoorn

Both in Den Helder and in Heerhugowaard, the original stations were razed in the late 20th century and replaced by utilitarian nondescript buildings:

Heerhugowaard station

The interior of the 1st class in the Sprinter; a look through the window shows how much lower the bottom windows of the bi-level material are than those of the single-level Sprinter:

Sprinter 1st class

After leaving Heerhugowaard, I'm still in the land of dikes and polders, with stereotype views outside:

Cows and polder

tbc …

Jeroen
Figomima division, UP; mostly figment of my imagination yet.
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Offline kiwiAlan  
#3 Posted : 20 July 2019 21:06:45(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 4,398
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
And people on the forum are worried about having wriggles in their track after points to get the alignment they want ... BigGrin BigGrin

Untitled.jpg
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Offline kimballthurlow  
#4 Posted : 21 July 2019 09:18:46(UTC)
kimballthurlow

Australia   
Joined: 18/03/2007(UTC)
Posts: 5,828
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
And people on the forum are worried about having wriggles in their track after points to get the alignment they want ... BigGrin BigGrin



Hmmmm... I think the lack of Pukos is of more concern ..

Kimball
HO Scale - Märklin (ep III and VI, C Track, digital) - 2 rail (USA and Australia) - 3 rail (English Hornby Dublo) - a few old O gauge.
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Offline jerdenberg  
#5 Posted : 21 July 2019 22:49:49(UTC)
jerdenberg

Netherlands   
Joined: 10/01/2005(UTC)
Posts: 949
Location: Den Helder, Noord-Holland
The train from Heerhugowaard arrives exactly on time in Haarlem, at 10:30; that is 52 minutes for 40km with 11(!) intermediate stops. While the destination was given as Haarlem in Heerhugowaard, it really goes on to Amsterdam. The destination board in Heerhugowaard is "erroneous" on purpose, so as to prevent passengers for Amsterdam to board this train instead of a later one that goes to Amsterdam directly.

From the platform in Haarlem I see, to the right of the train I just deboarded, a set of the newer generation of "Sprinter" trains; the first sets of that type entered service in 2016 [click images for full-size photos]:

Sprinters

My next train (to Roosendaal) will leave at 10:50, so I have about 20 minutes for a look around the platforms. Haarlem is a "classic" station. It is not the original one (which was part of the first scheduled train service in the Netherlands, located elsewhere in Haarlem); the present station was built early in the 20th Century, in Jugendstil design. One of the many ornaments is a remembrance of 100 years train service in the Netherlands, depicting the first train and the most modern material of 1939:

100 years of trains

The platform for the train to Roosendaal is served by two tracks, with a double switch in between; interesting how the train wheels interact with the (points of the) switch:

switch

wear

The train to Roosendaal is of the same type as the one from Den Helder to Heerhugowaard; its end destination is Vlissingen, but I'll change to a Belgian train in Roosendaal:

wear

wear

tbc …

Jeroen







Figomima division, UP; mostly figment of my imagination yet.
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Offline jerdenberg  
#6 Posted : 22 July 2019 21:14:05(UTC)
jerdenberg

Netherlands   
Joined: 10/01/2005(UTC)
Posts: 949
Location: Den Helder, Noord-Holland
The train from Haarlem to Roosendaal is an Intercity originating from Amsterdam Centraal for destination Vlissingen [click pics for originals]:

In-train destination board

With the dense population of the Netherlands, distances between (intercity) stations are quite small: between Haarlem and Roosendaal, a distance of 125km, the train stops 9 times; no wonder that average train speeds tend to look mediocre (1:40h for 125km – 75km/h), even though trains easily cruise at 130–140km/h.

On the way to Roosendaal, we encounter the Moerdijk bridge. Its metal part is about 1km in length, and is traversed at speed [click pic below for movie]. Calculating from the time needed to cross the bridge we're doing about 120km/h:

Moerdijk bridge by train

Arrival at Roosendaal is on schedule, at 12:30h. From here I'll take a local train into Belgium; it leaves at 12:52h, so again I have about 20 minutes for a look around the platforms:

Destination board for Puurs

In-train destination board

In-train destination board

tbc …

Jeroen
Figomima division, UP; mostly figment of my imagination yet.
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Offline jerdenberg  
#7 Posted : 23 July 2019 16:21:47(UTC)
jerdenberg

Netherlands   
Joined: 10/01/2005(UTC)
Posts: 949
Location: Den Helder, Noord-Holland
For the Belgian part of the trip, I'll be travelling 2nd class. The series of which set 843 is a member was built in 1975–1977; set 843 was the first to get a complete overhaul and a new look outside (2010–2015). The type travels on 3kV DC in Belgium, and (at half power) on 1.5kV DC in the Netherlands:

Belgian 843 front

Belgian 843 side

Belgian 843 interior

Contrary to historical practice, the Dutch and Belgian railways do not list distances between stations anymore; there are tariff distances, but those are not proportional to real distances. It takes some searching to find the real distance. From Roosendaal to Antwerpen Centraal is about 35km. With 10 intermediate stops, the journey takes 48 minutes. The passengers are typical for this time and day: pupils on their way home from school, families returning from or going to a shopping centre, etc. Arrival at Antwerpen Centraal, at 13:39h, is subterranean, as will be my departure to the next transfer, Leuven, at 13:57h. Antwerpen Centraal originally was a (famous) terminus, but two levels of track have been added, of which one now serves through connections that need not reverse out of the station anymore. The original building is incorporated in the present station:

Antwerpen Centraal 1

Antwerpen Centraal 2

Antwerpen Centraal platform

The train set that will take me to Leuven is from the MS80 series, delivered in the early 1980s and refurbished from 2009 onwards:

Train set 375

I'm boarding the train somewhat early, which allows me to catch a glimpse of the cabin:

Train set 375 cabin

tbc …

Jeroen


Figomima division, UP; mostly figment of my imagination yet.
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Offline kimballthurlow  
#8 Posted : 24 July 2019 00:26:42(UTC)
kimballthurlow

Australia   
Joined: 18/03/2007(UTC)
Posts: 5,828
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Originally Posted by: jerdenberg Go to Quoted Post
The train from Haarlem to Roosendaal... even though trains easily cruise at 130–140km/h.

On the way to Roosendaal, we encounter the Moerdijk bridge. Its metal part is about 1km in length, and is traversed at speed [click pic below for movie]. Calculating from the time needed to cross the bridge we're doing about 120km/h:
..

tbc …

Jeroen


Hi Jeroen,
If you have a smart phone, you can get a free application (app) to measure speed.
It is quite accurate.

Kimball
HO Scale - Märklin (ep III and VI, C Track, digital) - 2 rail (USA and Australia) - 3 rail (English Hornby Dublo) - a few old O gauge.
Offline jerdenberg  
#9 Posted : 24 July 2019 08:48:53(UTC)
jerdenberg

Netherlands   
Joined: 10/01/2005(UTC)
Posts: 949
Location: Den Helder, Noord-Holland
Hi Kimball,

Good idea; now you mention that, I remember some time ago I forgot to switch off training mode on my sports watch, and it faithfully reproduced the speed variations in my car drive home :)

Jeroen
Figomima division, UP; mostly figment of my imagination yet.
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Offline jerdenberg  
#10 Posted : 24 July 2019 21:06:27(UTC)
jerdenberg

Netherlands   
Joined: 10/01/2005(UTC)
Posts: 949
Location: Den Helder, Noord-Holland
The train from Antwerpen to Leuven covers a distance of about 55km in 1:05h; with 11 intermediate stops, this is a regional train.

At the exit from the first stop, Antwerpen Berchem, the layout of the tracks illustrates the complexity of the Belgian rail network [click pics for originals]:

Antwerpen Berchem

Along the way, some typically Belgian scenes near the stations of Heist op den Berg and Booischot, respectively:

Wachtzaal Heist op den Berg

Brasserie Stationneke Booischot

Further into Belgium we encounter the first terrain that is not completely flat:

Non-flat countryside

Before entering Leuven station we pass a rail yard with a pair of locs in very different states of livery; the rightmost box in the foreground can be found on Google maps at 50°53'34.1"N 4°42'48.3"E:

Rail yard Leuven

We arrive on time, at 15:02h; I'll have more than 20 minutes to have a look here before I leave on the next leg of my trip:

Rail yard Leuven

Cont'd …

Jeroen

Figomima division, UP; mostly figment of my imagination yet.
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Offline kimballthurlow  
#11 Posted : 25 July 2019 00:19:21(UTC)
kimballthurlow

Australia   
Joined: 18/03/2007(UTC)
Posts: 5,828
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Originally Posted by: jerdenberg Go to Quoted Post
...

Before entering Leuven station we pass a rail yard with a pair of locs in very different states of livery; the rightmost box in the foreground can be found on Google maps at 50°53'34.1"N 4°42'48.3"E:

Rail yard Leuven
..

Cont'd …

Jeroen



Thanks Jeroen, great photos of a very interesting journey.
The outrigger catenary masts are iconic.
Maerklin do a similar arrangement for a single mast, but I guess it could be doubled or tripled to look similar.
Maerklin 74106 (photo copyright acknowledgment to Maerklin.de).
74106

Kimball
HO Scale - Märklin (ep III and VI, C Track, digital) - 2 rail (USA and Australia) - 3 rail (English Hornby Dublo) - a few old O gauge.
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Offline jerdenberg  
#12 Posted : 26 July 2019 11:44:45(UTC)
jerdenberg

Netherlands   
Joined: 10/01/2005(UTC)
Posts: 949
Location: Den Helder, Noord-Holland
It is no problem at all to spend the time until departure at 15:26 looking around on Leuven station. The station building dates from 1875, and has been renovated several times; the classical building is now complemented by modern platforms and an intriguing canopy. [Strange detail: there are no publicly accessible toilets in the building itself, but passengers can use a semi-permanent sanitary unit at the side of one of the platforms.]

Leuven station detail

Leuven station platforms

The station square has been renovated as well:

Leuven station square

Leuven is the 5th busiest station in Belgium, and trains are coming and going all the time. Shown below are only some of the trains I've seen at the station. The train arriving in the next photo has a single bi-level coach between the loc and the other, single-level coaches:

Mixed single/bi-level coaches

A train set of the MS08 series – a Siemens design based on Desiro Main Line of which ~300 were built by Siemens and Bombardier:

Desiro Main Line set

Bilevel M6 coaches of the intercity to Blankenberge. Loc on one side, cab car (not visible) on the other:

Bi-level coaches

A sister of the train I arrived with:

Bi-level coaches

It is 15:23h and IC 513, the train I'll take to Welkenraedt, approaches the platform, cab car first; it is a fairly long train:

IC 513

IC 513

Within minutes, I'm on board and the train leaves on time; next stop will be in Wallonia; announcements are made in Dutch/Flemish while we are in the Flemish-speaking area and change on the go to French as we cross into Wallonia:

IC 513 destination board

Cont'd …

Jeroen



Figomima division, UP; mostly figment of my imagination yet.
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Offline LoeM  
#13 Posted : 27 July 2019 22:19:01(UTC)
LoeM

Netherlands   
Joined: 18/02/2017(UTC)
Posts: 58
Location: Zuid-Holland
Hi Jeroen,

Beautiful made description of your yourney so far! Makes very clear what travelling with the train means in NL and BE!

Best whishes,

Leo
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Offline jerdenberg  
#14 Posted : 28 July 2019 17:14:14(UTC)
jerdenberg

Netherlands   
Joined: 10/01/2005(UTC)
Posts: 949
Location: Den Helder, Noord-Holland
The 93km leg from Leuven to Welkenraedt has only three intermediate stops, at Liège Guillemins, Pepinster and Verviers. Between Leuven and Liège we cross the language border between Flemish/Dutch and French, and the landscape changes too; we reach the lowest part of the Ardennes. The train is comfortable, except for one strange phenomenon: it is almost as if there is slack between the coaches that every once in a while is eliminated with a bang and a lurch forward.

On the way there is a long stretch where the tracks run parallel to motorway E(uropean)40/A(utoweg)3. The Croatian lorry illustrates the diversity of traffic in the Benelux:

E40/A3

The part of the Ardennes around Liège is characterized by narrow valleys; this already starts before we reach Liège Guillemins:

Viaduct Liège.

From the train, at the platform in Liège Guillemins, a view of the city, featuring prominently the Tour Paradis (offices of Belgian tax authorities):

Tour Paradis

Shortly after departure from Liège Guillemins, we cross the river Meuse; while less than the Rhine, the Meuse sees a lot of commercial traffic:

Meuse crossing

Between Liège Guillemins and Welkenraedt, the terrain is very accidented; while these hills are not very high, the valleys and ridges are so narrow that we traverse one bridge or tunnel after the other, and buildings are everywhere:

Ridge buildings

Verviers

I'm not sure what is mined at the spot on the next photo; it is a fairly big operation (for Benelux standards), but Google maps does not identify it (at 50°37'48.8"N, 5°56'32.9"E):

Mine

Arrival at Welkenraedt is on time, at 16:38h (93km in 1:12h, average 77.5km/h, with about half the time needed for the part between Liège and Welkenraedt); there is a connection to Aachen (my next destination) at 16:41, but I had decided I would ignore this one in view of the 3 minutes left for changing trains. Apparently the station staff at Welkenraedt is used to passengers not realizing they have so little time to change over: a lady asks passengers deboarding IC 513 whether they are going to Aachen, and advises them that the train to Aachen will wait (while advising by body language that they should hurry). It is nice weather, so I let this opportunity pass as planned, and I'll go for a walk in Welkenraedt; the next train for Aachen leaves at 17:41h.

IC 513 at Welkenraedt

Cont'd …

Jeroen
Figomima division, UP; mostly figment of my imagination yet.
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Offline jerdenberg  
#15 Posted : 30 July 2019 16:29:49(UTC)
jerdenberg

Netherlands   
Joined: 10/01/2005(UTC)
Posts: 949
Location: Den Helder, Noord-Holland
While the train from Leuven usually continues to Eupen, today its final destination is Welkenraedt. A crew member walks along the train to alert any passengers not aware of this [click pics for originals]:

Crew member

Welkenraedt has had a station since 1843, but the present building dates from 1998:

Welkenraedt station

This was a border station until after WW I, which may explain the fairly large rail yard for this village with 10,000 inhabitants. The train sets stored in the rail yard are used for border traffic (a regional connection between Welkenraedt in Belgium and Aachen in Germany). They are members of the MS66 series, built between 1966 and 1970, and modernised from 1999 onwards:

Welkenraedt rail yard

From the station it is a short walk to the central square; as in many Belgian and French cities, there is a monument for the casualties of the two World Wars. As if arranged, a pigeon sits on the hand of the angel atop the monument:

Welkenraedt monument

There are no monumental buildings or views around the square, but it is nice to see a building style that is quite comparable to that in my town of birth in southern Limburg:

Welkenraedt street

Back at the station, I see the train from Aachen coming in. As with its sisters of the MS66 series, its outside looks somewhat tired.

Train from Aachen coming in

Train set 649

Train set 649

There is an interesting detail I do not really understand; what could be the function of the hooks on the corners of the carriage?

Hook on carriage

The seats are fine, and after leaving Welkenraedt on time we rumble through the hills, with nice views and a gradual change in building style, until we see a rail yard with typical German material and arrive in Aachen on time:

View from train to Aachen

Change in building style

Aachen rail yard

Destination board in Aachen

It's now about 18:00h, and time to get something to eat before I return to the Netherlands.

Cont'd …

Jeroen

Figomima division, UP; mostly figment of my imagination yet.
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Offline kiwiAlan  
#16 Posted : 30 July 2019 17:43:12(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 4,398
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: jerdenberg Go to Quoted Post

There is an interesting detail I do not really understand; what could be the function of the hooks on the corners of the carriage?

Hook on carriage



That looks like a tie down hook for transporting the carriage on a ship, such as a roll-on, roll-off ferry.

Maybe these coaches are based on a design used elsewhere, but i would have thought that such additional bits would only be fitted in required. And yet your picture seems to show that something has been in the hook, I don't think it is left over dirt from rain water that has collected there.

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Offline TEEWolf  
#17 Posted : 30 July 2019 20:43:43(UTC)
TEEWolf

Germany   
Joined: 01/06/2016(UTC)
Posts: 1,765
Originally Posted by: jerdenberg Go to Quoted Post

I'm not sure what is mined at the spot on the next photo; it is a fairly big operation (for Benelux standards), but Google maps does not identify it (at 50°37'48.8"N, 5°56'32.9"E):

Mine


It looks like a stationary crushing plant in a stone quarry to crush and sort the raw material of broken stones achieved with blasting operations, into three different particle sizes by one operation.

Today the technique allows very powerful mobile crushing plants as well. I think you see one at the upper left window on the top of the stone quarry. These mobile crushing plants are often used for recycling purposes at various locations too. But as far as I see at Google, it is not a mobile crushing plant. It looks more like a primary crusher to size down the big ones already.

I know similar crushing plants beside our river the Main. Either directly from the river or beside sand is dredged or excavated from a sand pit. Then the sand is crushed into various needed grain sizes, seperated and stored for usage.

You may know it from a street construction, where often loose gravel is taken on the surface of a freshly asphalted road. Such split is often shredded and sorted by grain size in such stationary plants. At the end of the day, it is a shredder for stones like your shredder in the office fo paper.

Under your given coordinates at Google I found a huge stone pit between the city Limbourg and the Autobahn E 40 Liege - Aachen. There are some more stone pits around in this area. Understandable, because this is the beginning of the upland Eifel. You just scrateced the uplands form the lowlands at the "Hohes Venn". Well it is a very stony area.

For our F1 fans: the race course Spa-Francorchamps is nearby too.
CS 3 is a controller system from Märklin - not a central station.
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Offline jerdenberg  
#18 Posted : 30 July 2019 23:00:31(UTC)
jerdenberg

Netherlands   
Joined: 10/01/2005(UTC)
Posts: 949
Location: Den Helder, Noord-Holland
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post


That looks like a tie down hook for transporting the carriage on a ship, such as a roll-on, roll-off ferry.

Maybe these coaches are based on a design used elsewhere, but i would have thought that such additional bits would only be fitted in required. And yet your picture seems to show that something has been in the hook, I don't think it is left over dirt from rain water that has collected there.



Indeed, a tie down hook was the only thing I could think of, but not for these surroundings; and this type was produced in Belgium, so the design would be original. As to the inside of the hook, I think the darker spot is a coat of dirt after all. A closer look reveals several irregularities that would have been scratched away by a load(?). Guesses …

Jeroen

Figomima division, UP; mostly figment of my imagination yet.
Offline kimballthurlow  
#19 Posted : 01 August 2019 02:43:39(UTC)
kimballthurlow

Australia   
Joined: 18/03/2007(UTC)
Posts: 5,828
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Originally Posted by: jerdenberg Go to Quoted Post
...

Indeed, a tie down hook was the only thing I could think of, but not for these surroundings; and this type was produced in Belgium, so the design would be original. As to the inside of the hook, I think the darker spot is a coat of dirt after all. A closer look reveals several irregularities that would have been scratched away by a load(?). Guesses …

Jeroen



Why not a tie-down hook during routine maintenance above an inpection pit?
Prevent rolling.
Must rember to remove it ......

Kimball
HO Scale - Märklin (ep III and VI, C Track, digital) - 2 rail (USA and Australia) - 3 rail (English Hornby Dublo) - a few old O gauge.
Offline jerdenberg  
#20 Posted : 01 August 2019 10:31:04(UTC)
jerdenberg

Netherlands   
Joined: 10/01/2005(UTC)
Posts: 949
Location: Den Helder, Noord-Holland
Originally Posted by: TEEWolf Go to Quoted Post
Such split is often shredded and sorted by grain size in such stationary plants. At the end of the day, it is a shredder for stones like your shredder in the office for paper.

Indeed, now I remember the Dutch phrase "Ardenner steen [stone]", which refers exactly to the type of split you mention.

@Kimball: the inspection pit scenario sounds quite probable to me too. A safety procedure is indeed advised – I can imagine a starting train wreaking havoc on the inspection pit if still tied down …

Jeroen

Figomima division, UP; mostly figment of my imagination yet.
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Offline jerdenberg  
#21 Posted : 01 August 2019 13:09:20(UTC)
jerdenberg

Netherlands   
Joined: 10/01/2005(UTC)
Posts: 949
Location: Den Helder, Noord-Holland
After arrival on Aachen Hbf at about the scheduled time of 17:56h, I have until 18:45h for a bite and a look around the station. The shops and other facilities within the building probably cloud my brain, as I do not remember to look for historical details – as should be present judging from the outside of the building:

Aachen Hbf

From the station square, a nice view into the street:

Aachen street

The front of the station building is classical:

Aachen Hbf front

A closer look at the ornament above one of the windows reveals a somewhat macabre detail. Is that figure in the back a living skeleton?

Aachen Hbf

My train back to the Netherlands has Maastricht for final destination; it would have been nice to go and travel onward from there (as I would have passed my birthplace on the way), but track maintenance beyond Maastricht makes that impractical; I'll get off in Heerlen and will continue from there:

Aachen Hbf

The departure platform reminds me of another forum thread, asking about curved platforms; I'm starting to wonder whether there might be more stations with (a) curved platform(s) than stations without any:

Aachen Hbf

Aachen–Maastricht is served by the DB subsidiary Arriva, since January 2019 with train sets of the FLIRT type; quite a difference with the tired NMBS motor car that took me from Welkenraedt to Aachen:

Arriva FLIRT

Arriva FLIRT

Quite a comfortable interior; a side catch here is the glimpse of a Thalys on another platform:

Aachen Hbf

On time at 18:45h, refreshed and fed, we leave the station on the way to the Netherlands.

Cont'd …

Jeroen



Figomima division, UP; mostly figment of my imagination yet.
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Offline jerdenberg  
#22 Posted : 03 August 2019 15:18:57(UTC)
jerdenberg

Netherlands   
Joined: 10/01/2005(UTC)
Posts: 949
Location: Den Helder, Noord-Holland
Leaving Aachen Hbf, we take over a nice example of tank cars in different states of weathering/repair:

tank cars

tank cars

We leave the station in the direction we came from, but the lines to Heerlen and Welkenraedt split already when we pass the rail yard again:

Aachen Hbf rail yard

After passing the rail yard, the train does not pick up speed as it should, and on most of the way to Heerlen it is running slower than scheduled. Arrival in Heerlen is rather late, and there is some confusion about the platform for the local train to Sittard. I do not take the time to take any pictures, so there is none of Heerlen here. The connection to Sittard is another Arriva concession, and I'm not sure if my NS day ticket is valid, so I check in with Arriva (there are different check-in consoles for NS, Arriva and other transportation companies); in Sittard I then check out from Arriva again (if I had a normal ticket or had used my transportation card, I would then have to check in with NS on the same platform). Due to track maintenance between Maastricht and Sittard, my next train, which normally would come from Maastricht and stop on the same platform opposite the train I arrived with, now leaves much further down the platform, inspiring transfer passengers to a brisk walk as there is not much time left. I do take a moment to shoot the destination board (I will take this train to Hoorn):

Sittard destination board

The train is similar to the one I took from Den Helder to Heerhugowaard this morning. Comfortable seats and nice views. This one unusually has graffiti on one of the windows; while unacceptable, it somehow seems to fit more or less in the design …

1st class interior

Window graffiti

This leg of the trip started in the sun, but by the time we arrive at Hoorn it is 22:24h and it is all but dark:

Twilight 1

Twilight 1

The once-hourly connection to Heerhugowaard leaves at 22:51 – I'll have almost half an hour to kill here. The station area is not interesting at night, so I walk to the departure platform, stretch my legs a bit, purchase a candy bar from a vending machine that accepts contactless card payment, and saunter around the platform until my train comes in. As with the train I took from Heerhugowaard to Haarlem this morning, the destination board does not list the final destination (Amsterdam) so as to avoid passengers for Amsterdam taking this train instead of a more direct connection:

Hoorn destination board

We leave on time for Heerhugowaard; I'm beginning to feel the effect of all those impressions and views today, so I'm glad it is getting quieter in the train. One more transfer …

Cont'd …

Jeroen



Figomima division, UP; mostly figment of my imagination yet.
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Offline Gregor  
#23 Posted : 04 August 2019 11:20:59(UTC)
Gregor

Netherlands   
Joined: 17/04/2003(UTC)
Posts: 896
Location: Netherlands
Hi Jeroen,

If I knew I would have waved at you from my living room. I live close to the Roermond railway bridge:

UserPostedImage

Thanks for sharing your pictures.

Best regards,
Gregor
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Offline jerdenberg  
#24 Posted : 04 August 2019 13:13:48(UTC)
jerdenberg

Netherlands   
Joined: 10/01/2005(UTC)
Posts: 949
Location: Den Helder, Noord-Holland
Originally Posted by: Gregor Go to Quoted Post
Hi Jeroen,

If I knew I would have waved at you from my living room. I live close to the Roermond railway bridge:

Gregor


Hi Gregor,

Nice view. It's a small world. A late uncle of mine worked for the PLEM and regularly went to Buggenum :)

Jeroen

Figomima division, UP; mostly figment of my imagination yet.
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Offline jerdenberg  
#25 Posted : 04 August 2019 13:55:17(UTC)
jerdenberg

Netherlands   
Joined: 10/01/2005(UTC)
Posts: 949
Location: Den Helder, Noord-Holland
The train set taking me to Heerhugowaard is a very close relative of the one I took from Heerhugowaard this morning (road numbers 2992 and 2982):

Hoorn–Heerhugowaard train

Arrival at Heerhugowaard is at 23:08h, and departure for Den Helder is scheduled for 23:27h. The last two transfer times take up more time than the corresponding times-on-train (not unreasonable, as I have chosen the last legs of my trip not for efficiency, but for avoiding, if at all possible, traveling the same connection twice):

Heerhugowaard destination board

The station facilities at Heerhugowaard have closed for the night – that lends a special atmosphere to the platforms:

Heerhugowaard platform 2

Heerhugowaard platform 1

The train from Heerhugowaard to Den Helder leaves on schedule; it is of the same type as the one I took in the opposite direction this morning, but this is a different subtype, with blue fabric seat upholstery:

Heerhugowaard–Den Helder train

On time, we reach Den Helder at 23:56h. Our train stays here for the night, so the destination board advises not to board this train:

Den Helder destination board

Outside, the station clock also creeps toward midnight:

Den Helder station clock tower

After a 20-minute walk through the fresh night air, I step inside our home, where my wife is waiting for me. "I draw a deep breath and say 'Well, I'm back' " Cool

Jeroen

Figomima division, UP; mostly figment of my imagination yet.
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Offline Chipopo  
#26 Posted : 06 August 2019 07:02:39(UTC)
Chipopo

Israel   
Joined: 19/03/2012(UTC)
Posts: 80
Great trip, Great report ThumpUp
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