John Speller's Web Pages Broad Gauge in The Netherlands

John Speller's Web Pages -- Railways -- The Netherlands
Broad Gauge in The Netherlands
The Hollandsche IJzeren Spoorweg-Maatschappij (HSM)or Netherlands Iron Road was heavily influenced by Brunel's broad gauge Great Western Railway of England and adopted a 7 ft. gauge for their railway, although owing to a slight miscommunication it made use of an Amsterdam foot (voet), which was eleven inches and thus produced a gauge of 6 ft. 5 in. (1945 mm.), which was also, rather curiously 2π feet. The line ran from from Amsterdam to Rotterdam via The Hague and was broad gauge between 1842 and 1866. When Brunel decided to upgrade the original light bridge rails on the Great Western Railway with some more substantial ones the surplus bridge rails were imported and used on the HSM. The 6 ft. 5 in. gauge was also adopted by the Nederlandsche Rhijnspoorweg-Maatschappij between 1842 and 1855 for its Amsterdam to Arnhem via Utrecht line.
Map of The Netherlands showing the Hollandsche IJzeren Spoorweg-Maatschappij and the Nederlandsche Rhijnspoorweg-Maatschappij
First train on the Hollandsche IJzeren Spoorweg-Maatschappij at Amsterdam on 20 September 1839. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Administrative headquarters of the Hollandsche IJzeren Spoorweg-Maatschappij opposite their rail terminal in Amsterdam. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
A rather fanciful depiction of the temporary diversion the Hollandsche IJzeren Spoorweg-Maatschappij were forced to make between The Hague and Rotterdam when Aernout Hendrik van Wickevoort Crommelin refused to allow the railway in front of his house. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
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