Tuesday 30 January 2024

Cross-border Service Coming Soon (2)

 We Know It Opened in 1910 ...

... and fbb has finally identified the station above that was celebrating.
It was Nordhorn at which we now see less raucous "celebrations" in 1974 when the passenger service ceased.
The final train was a whole five coaches long ...
... hauled ignominiously by a humble diesel shunter! Here is said train at Nordhorn.
So we had better try to pull all this together before our loyal reader gets thoroughly confused.
The whole line runs from Bad Bentheim in Germany (lower right) and eventually pops over the border to Coevorden in the Netherlands (upper left). 

In apologetic mood, fbb cannot tell you for certain what opened in 1910 and what exactly was closed in 1974.

What is certain is that freight continued to run from Bad Bentheim to Nordhorn.
It was proper freight, not just a few wagons!

Whilst the final passenger train was special, normal traffic on the line was always sparse and things like this ...
... or, even smaller like this ...
... sufficed for the few customers.

Fortunately, we can watch an on-line video, a cab ride in a freight train from Bad Bentheim to the freight depot at Nordhorn. Actually, there are TWO videos.

One is from the German news magazine Der Spiegel and is speeded up and ideal for this blog.
Sadly, the magazine holds tightly on to its videos and fbb has no means of downloading them. Well, maybe he has, but doesn't know how to ackle it.

A 30 minute cab ride through open country is only marginally less exciting than watching paint dry, so fbb has tried to distil the essence of the normal speed version in a series of screen shots.

We leave Bad Bentheim travelling East.
The line soon turns north, however, and the first thing we notice is a complete lack of "health and safety" lineside fencing.
Most roads are unprotected, although the section below does have a chunk of battier metal. There are only TWO overbridges on the route - both newish ...
...whilst most level crossings are un-gated, un-barriered, un-everythinged except a wooden coloured "X" sign.
The train-borne warning is multiple strident shrieks on the loco horn. You would not ignore that noise.

We pass some sidings that appear to be part-filled with a selection of rusty unloved and unwanted wagons left to rot.
There is one industrial site en route ...
... which was probably once rail connected but appears to be very disconnected now.

Isolated houses usually have a garden fence but very nominal in construction and nothing "official" on railway land.
We pass under the second bridge ...
... then at one point the train stops and the driver gets out ...
... then changes that point!

Have you seen any signals yet? Of course not, because there aren't any!

This is about as basic as a railway can get.

But hold fast; we are now approaching the terminal yard. On the left are some passenger coaches which look very much like those which formed the very last train in 1974!
We stop just after the DIY pointwork, presumably waiting for the "man" in the yard to tell us (by phone? by radio? by semaphore flags?) that it is safe to enter  - which of course it always is. And look ...
... there is a shunter here, but weirdly, we also espy ...
... a Nederlandse Spoorwegen loco some distance from its Netherlands home. Has it got lost? It is waiting to take a train back home - if so it needs to know that, at the time of the video, the track north of Nordhorn is very much disused. It will need to go "the long way round".

But our freight train has arrived ...
... having travelled at no more than 40 mph along a very extended siding from Bad Bentheim.

But in 2017 big changes were announced ...


Please note :

Episode 2 of the tank wagon phantasmagorica is postponed. Yesterday was too dull to use natural light for very detailed photography (depth of field limitations, you know!) so the great excitement will return tomorrow, light permitting.

It will be all about ladders!

 Next Bad Bentheim (and ladders!) blog : Weds 31st Jan 

1 comment:

  1. Not sure why FBB thinks it is Nordhorn - the building is a different shape, and the picture is labelled Bentheim!

    The German Wikipedia page captions it as being Bentheim Nord, which no longer appears open for passenger usage from the line diagram on the same page. I can't find a "platform side" view to confirm, but I suspect FBB would be nearer the mark looking at the "Hotel Bentheimer Hof" for the building in question.