Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Sunday Streamline #48: Three, One, Two, Five

The streamliners are back again! This Sunday, our guest stars are diesel-motor units of NS, Dutch National Railroads.

They were a large and prosperous family. The first streamliner, Mat'34 (aka NS 27 or DE3 or DE III or Dieseldrie) was a three-car articulated unit, inspired by DRG Fliegender Hamburger and looking like a close copy of the German trend-setter. The engines were German too - a pair of 410 hp Maybach diesels coupled to electric transmission. The Centraal Station website claims that their "streamlined form was developed during numerous trials at the Zeppelin Luftschiffahrt Gesellschaft in Friedrichshafen. "

Here it is, saying "Coming soon!" on the postcard from Nico Spilt collection. Photographed near Hilversum (hello Dieter!)

The 101-ton unit developed 140 km/h on trials. Its official top speed was 125 km/h. The train carried 48 passengers in the 2nd class seats and 112 in the 3rd. There was also place for 32 standing passengers, 16 in each class.

Photo by Foto JB Hilversum @ Flickr

From 1934, 40 units were built by Allan in Rotterdam, Beijnes in Haarlem and Werkspoor in Utrecht, their prewar numbers, 11-50 changed to 141-171 in 1952. They served into 1960s, the last being retired in 1964. One Mat'34 is preserved at the Railway Museum, Utrecht.

Photo by Foto JB Hilversum @ Flickr

In 1937, a batch of 8 streamlined diesel-mechanic railcars was built by Werkspoor, comprising the omBC 2900 class ("om" for oliemotorrijtuig, oil-motor train, BC for the 2nd and 3rd classes). Powered by 8-cylinder Stork/Ganz or 6-cylinder Thomassen/Frichs 150hp engines, they had seats for 71 passengers, 15 of them in the 2nd class.

Only three railcars survived the war, and in 1940s-1950s they were used for Gouda - Aalphen aan den Rijn service. The photo, also from Nico Split collection, is taken in 1951.

Then came the DE5 (or DE V or Dieselvijf) class of five-car diesel-electric units, designed with fast international service in mind.

Photo by nicospilt @ Flickr

They were heavy (239 tons), powerful (three Maybach engines, 1950hp total output), carrying enough fuel for 2000 km run, and very fast, the first unit showing top speed of 172 km/h on trials. Service speed was 125 km/h. Each Dieselvijf took 265 passengers (1st class - 11, 2nd class - 38, 3rd class -  216). Production started in 1940, just before the German occupation. 18 units, built by Werkspoor, served until 1974.

Photo by nicospilt @ Flickr

Unfortunately, all DE5's were scrapped.

After the war, a new class of DMUs was introduced, called "Plan X". Superficially they had a lot in common with electric-motor Mat '46 units, being totally different from the mechanical point of view. Actually, "Plan X" consisted of two subclasses, DE1 or DE I (single-car 27.05 meter unit, 73 seats, 180 kW) and DE2 or DE II (two articulated cars, 45.4 m long, 133 seats, 310 kW).

Two DE1's at Leeuwarden. Photo by nicospilt @ Flickr

30 DE1 and 46 DE2 units were built by Allan, Rotterdam between 1953 and 1954 and were put in use in a lightblue livery. On the nose they carried the winged NS emblem which quickly earned them a nickname: Blauwe Engel (Blue Angel).

Photo by Generaal Gibson @ Flickr

Between 1977 and 1981 DE2's underwent a renovation, and were painted in the yellow housestyle of the NS.

Photo by Tim Boric @ Flickr

DE1's, repainted in 1960s, retained their red livery. Here's one, photographed in 1984, sans wings:

Photo by groen47 @ Flickr

One single-car unit is preserved at Utrecht museum, restored to its former glory.

Finally, in 1954 the one and only NS 20 (or DE-20) was built by Allan.

Photo by groen47 @ Flickr

Technically similar to the Blauwe Engel, it had two glazed superstructures on top, hence the nickname: Kameel (Camel). Intended for inspection purposes, it served NS management as a VIP transport. In 1973, the "luxury camel" received new yellow livery.

Photo by Amsterdam RAIL @ Flickr

Now, restored to its original Prussian Blue color scheme, it is a Railway Museum exhibit.

Of course there were also Plan U and TEE, very interesting units - but, introduced in late 1950s and 1960s, they do not belong to Diesel Era.


Nico Spilt website

Centraal Station


Headline photo by Rijkvv @ Flickr

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Comment by Dieter Marquardt on January 8, 2012 at 8:32am
I love these, thanks for posting!

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