SS13 (De Bril)

Object number 1004


The SS 13 is the oldest preserved steam locomotive in the Netherlands. The large wheels tell you that this locomotive was used to pull passenger trains. Locomotives with small wheels are used to haul freight. While the latter don’t drive as quickly, they can pull more weight. This locomotive takes its nickname ‘De Bril (Spectacles)’ from the curved steel panel with two round windows located in front of where the driver and fireman would stand. This panel served to protect the two from the elements. Their workstation is intentionally lacking in creature comforts, as the SS was worried about the crew falling asleep during trips. The tender on this locomotive, which operated on the railway until 1932, is from the SS 8 locomotive. A technical malfunction caused the original SS 8 to explode at Harlingen station in 1868. The locomotive turned a complete somersault and ended up some 30 metres from where it was standing. While the fireman was killed in the blast, the SS 8’s tender survived virtually unscathed.