Model Diesel III

Object number 2012


Wind tunnel model: the Diesel III

The appearance of the first diesel-electric trains in the Netherlands in 1934 caused a revolution on the railways. With their streamlined silvery appearance, these locomotives were radically different from anything in common use at the time. Diesel became synonymous with everything modern, fast and pioneering. Manufacturers eager to profit from the diesel trains’ popularity introduced products such as ‘diesel washing powder’, ‘diesel margarine’ and ‘diesel vacuum cleaners’. Even the famed French-American designer Raymond Loewy enthusiastically praised the design, whose form and colour were pure Dutch design – specifically the work of the NS’s Coach and Carriage Building department. In 1933, this same department ordered a 1:25 scale wooden model built in order to test its wind resistance in the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin wind tunnel in Germany. Following the positive results of this testing, forty three-couch trains were built; these became known under the name ‘Diesel III’.