Photo above: With a rented Dodge truck we went to Gelsenkirche in Germany for parts for a steam engine. Koos Snel was driving with Ben Honders and me beside him. On the way back this was very helpful. Since the truck had no power steering and had to much weight in the back we could help steering. At Gelsenkirche depot we found a 44 that was still in service as a heating locomotive. Of course we ask if we can shunt it on to the turn table. In the cabin; Cor de Rijke and Ben Honders.
Soon they talked me into becoming an activ member of the STEAM foundation Holland. It happened all the time that we, at the end of our shift, went to Rotterdam north to work on a old steam locomotive. I remember very lively one evening when Koos Snel and me welded new doors for the 23023 in the light of a single lamp. The old ones were very rusty and we wanted to fix things before the winter run in 1980 (?) to Utrecht Central Station. In the ‘jaarbeurshallen’ in Utrecht was the ‘Technics in your spare time’ fair. By the time this run would take place it was winter. It was freezing and there was a lot of snow. But I wanted to be there the whole weekend as a volunteer. While others were cozy and warm in their beds, I was on my back in the snow underneath the, in Germany, rented carriages to try and fix the frozen heating system, together with Ben Honders (Nedtrain Rotterdam). Frankly we lacked knowledge of heating systems, but we succeeded in warming up the carriages again. In the mean time Koos, as the fire man, took care of the fire in the kettle. A lot of NS material breaked down because of the cold, but we were running! It gave beautiful pictures, by the way. When I came home afterwards they didn’t recognize me because of all the dirt.
Photo above (Cor de Rijke): That certain winter night at Utrecht.
Photo below (Cor de Rijke): I’m not sure if Koos is born with a beard, but he had one, even then…
Photo above (Ad van Sten): Steam in Holland... and snow! Will we ever see this again?
Photo below (Ad van Sten): Despite the cold everone was hanging from the windows.
Another important day was a nation wide public day, organised at oktober 10th, 1987. I was present that day at Kijfhoek to answer the questions of my guests about an electric locomotive of the 1100 series. I thought it was fantastic, but the public enjoyed it even more considering their reactions...
Photo above (Ton Poortvliet): A day for the public at the Railroad Company. To feel what it’s like to run a real locomotive; it’s very special. Everyone liked it very much! Today we miss these kind of events. Although they are more important than any other commercial event.
Photo below (Yolanda de Rijke): De Rijke jr. on daddy’s lap.
Photo (René Loesberg): September 1996 during a shift at Kijfhoek.