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Purit Maatschappij
Zwartemeer
Holland
 
Gauge : 700mm 
Status : Ceased Dec 1994
 
 

This was the last railway in Holland used for the transport of peat.

 
(Click on images for full size picture)
In its final few years the railway was operated by 5 Simplex locos. This picture looks towards the terminus, with a run round loop, and a single siding. Simplex No 5 is about to take out a train of empty wagons.
The railway itself was very simple. The main running line ran due south for between 1-2km and then branched off to the working areas. This gave the railway a layout shaped like a pitchfork. A sandy road ran beside the line for the whole length to the peat workings.  
At the terminus, no stockpiles of peat were built up. The peat was unloaded directly into road transport by an elevator, and so was not milled or graded, this was done elsewhere.  
The wagons discharged the peat into a hopper below the tracks. A winch was used to pull the wagons onto the hopper, as no loco was kept at the terminus for shunting. These photos were taken in June 1994, approx 6 months before the railway ceased operation.  
Usually there were two locos in use to shunt the loaded wagons up from the peat workings, because the track dropped down a considerable gradient onto the peat loading area. Here the two locos No2 and No3, have just hauled the loaded train onto the main line and await the arrival of the next set of empites.
Once No5 arrives, the two smaller Simplex locos take the empties away for loading and No5 then backs onto the full wagons for the return trip back.  
Back at the terminus, No5 is seen coupled to a train of empties. A branch protrudes from the first and last wagon to give the driver visability of the end of the train.
An overall view of the yard between trains, gives an idea of the low key operation here.
Taken from about the same position as the previous photo, by June 1996 there is hardly anything to tell that a railway existed here at all. The area is closed to road traffic, and has become a nature reserve.
 
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Steve Thomason 2004
Upgraded site relaunched 1st January 2004

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