Sunday, 17 June 2012

De Hef' Rail Bridge - Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The Rotterdam Rail Bridge known as De Hef’ (‘hef’ means lever) is a steel railroad bridge that connects the Noordereiland (Northern Island) in the Maas river with the Southern part of Rotterdam.. The bridge was built in 1877 as a swing bridge to connect railroad traffic in the North of the Netherlands with the South of the Netherlands. 

In 1918 a German steamship ran into the swing bridge and the swing bridge was destroyed. It was decided that a lift bridge should replace the swing bridge and in 1927 the current lift bridge was completed. It was the first one if its kind in Western Europe. 

In 1993 a 2800 meter railroad tunnel was opened to replace De Hef and other railroad bridges. Today De Hef is not used anymore, although you can still see the railroad tracks at the bridge. The bridge is always open today and is an official monument.

The bridge on the right  is a vintage view of the original De Hef’ Rail Bridge built in 1877.

The Tram of Rotterdam, Netherlands.

In 1879 horse trams were introduced in Rotterdam. Together with steam trams (since 1881) and horse buses they provided the public transport until about 1906. Electric trams, later supported by buses and the Metro do serve the Rotterdam people until today. On this site you can find a small overview of the history and the different types of rolling stock which existed, or still is in daily use. This vintage postcard shows a tram from the Parkwagens series which was in use between 1913 – 1950.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Rügensche Bäderbahn, Germany.

The Rügensche Bäderbahn (RBB), formerly Rügensche Kleinbahn,  nicknamed Rasender Roland is the steam powered narrow gauge railway  that runs from Putbus by way of  Binz and  Baabe to Gohren on the island of Rugen off the Baltic Coast in  Mecklenburg - Vorpommern, Germany. The Rasender Roland is one of the island's main attractions. The railway is running regularly along its stretch of 24.1 km of track with historic steam locos and coaches, some of which are almost a hundred years old. The engine whistle belongs even today to the usual background sounds of southeastern Rügen. Unlike the DB national system which uses standard gauge,  Rasender Roland uses the narrow gauge of 750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in).