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A reproduction of the DH1/DH2 'Wadloper' diesel passenger train that operated on the non-electrified lines of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch national railways) network.
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|At the beginning of the 70's, the NS started considering replacing the Blue Angels (an older train type), that were in service on the northern 'nevenlijnen' around Groningen and Leeuwarden. Compared to steam, the Blue Angels had provided a cheaper option meaning that more of the unprofitable branch lines in the north were prevented from being closed. The question was asked whether it was possible to make these lines even simpler, and thus cheaper, to operate, by building a train type that was designed specifically for this area. Even the Plan U trains were to be replaced. To research how the still unprofitable northern lines could still be exploited by a train service, the 'Werkgroep Exploitatie Nevenlijnen (WEN)' was formed in 1976. They looked at how the service could be made cheaper.|
The conclusion was obviously that the existing service was too expensive. A quick tram variant wouldn't help. A bus service was the cheapest option but that would lead to a further decline in passenger numbers.
The working group gave preference to the development of a new 4-axle diesel train, meaning the service could still be kept simple. The train was to be designed for one-man operation, meaning that the driver could take over conductor and ticket-seller duties in the quieter hours.
The new trains were very boxy and quickly got the nickname SRV-wagon (the name of a small, boxy, mobile supermarket service that operated all over Holland). The engine came from a freight truck, made by Cummins, with the intention of being something that could easily be swapped out after 15 years of service. These swapouts never happened in practice.
The seats were made by French company Compin, and were basically the same as those in the (at that time) new SGM Sprinter trains. By removing the interior dividing walls, the whole train became a single compartment giving it a roomy feel on the inside. The walls between the passenger compartments and the boarding areas were furnished with landscape pictures of the northern region.
The driver's cab was also roomy, mostly because of the one-man operating design, and had a glass wall in the rear with a window and ticket table. The trains also got fold-out mirrors for the cab so the driver could check the outside doors were clear before closing them. There was no separate conductor to perform this function.
Because the 'SRV-wagon' really had no association with public transport, the NS started a competition to pick a proper name for the new train. Residents of both northern provinces could choose, and in October 1983, after counting 48,000 votes, the name 'Wadloper' was chosen (in Dutch, a Wadloper is the name of a wading bird commonly found in the northern province marshlands). Train unit 3231 was the first of the DH1 DH2 trains to be delivered with this new name.
|Power||DH1:1x210kW (281hp) DH2:2x210kW (562hp)|
|Axle Formation||DH1:Bo-2 DH2:2-Bo + Bo-2|
|Length||DH1: 22.31m DH2: 43.45m|
|Maximum speed||100 km/h|
|Weight||DH1: 37ton DH2:69ton|
|Number built||DH1: 19 DH2:31|
|Built by||Düwag, Cummins, Voith, SIG|
|Years entered service||1981-2008|