THE SIGNAL BOX

OVERSEAS

NETHERLANDS

Index to pages

  1. Nederlansche Spoorwegen
    1. Amsterdam East
    2. Rietlanden Post 1

The Netherlands Railways (NS) was created in 1938 from a joint railway arrangement of 1921 formed by the two large Dutch railway companies:

  1. the privately run, but state-owned, State Railway - Staatspoorwegen (SS), and
  2. the wholly private Holland Railway - Hollandsche Spoorwegmaatschappij (HSM).

The SS used Siemens & Halske double-wire frames of the type also widely used in Belgium and Scandinavia. In Germany, a different type of frame was used, utilising only the same electric block instruments - the dark green boxes above the frame with locking plungers on top and small indicator windows. There are several Siemens & Halske frames of SS and NS ancestry preserved. One will be found in the Dutch railway Museum at Utrecht (the old HSM Utrecht Maliebaan station) and several exist on the Zuidlimburgse Museumspoorweg line between Schin-op-Geul to Kerkrade in the far south, near the German city of Aachen.

The HSM, which owned Amsterdam Central, used their own design of frame, manufactured in their Alkmaar signal works. The only known surviving frame of this type is on display at Hoorn station on the Hoorn-Medemblik Museum Steam Railway.

Signals were based on German practice - with right-handed arms with a blob at the ends.

A signal box is simply called Post. post T stands for Treindienstleider (traffic controller/supervisor),
other boxes were numbered 1,2,3 etc.

Modern signalling in the Netherlands uses NX (Entrance-Exit) panels controlling colour-light signals. Their NX system differs (like many other European countries) from British practice in that the two buttons are operated simultaneously. The entrance button is large (and lit) and the exit button small and blue. Most such boxes control only a limited area, such as a large station and the surrounding area. Some other NX panels (such as Amsterdam C.S.) were operated: entrance button (lit), then route button (owing to the number of route choices between start and finishing point)followed by exit button.

Rural lines use semi-automatic signals and points, controlled by the guard at the loop stations. On the platform is a small switchbox, by which he can take control of the points with a key. A white light indicates that the section is clear, control can be taken. Normal colour-light distant, home and starter signals are provided, and the whole of the line is track-circuited.

The NS did try the principals of American CTC on one rural single line (Nijmegen - Roermond in the south east) in the 1960s, but it was discontinued in favour of the current rural system.

Additional notes by Bob Davies, Michiel Rademakers and René Rozema