De Arend

Object number 1001


This Arend is not the real Arend. The original locomotive was scrapped in 1857. This replica was built in 1938 by the Central Workshop in Zwolle, at the request of the NS, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Dutch railway.
The real Arend, which was built in England, made the very first official train trip in the Netherlands when it drove from Amsterdam to Haarlem on 20 September 1839.
A second locomotive, De Snelheid, went along in case the Arend were to break down. The first engine driver, the Englishman John Middlemiss, was very secretive about his profession.
When carrying out maintenance on the locomotive, for instance, he would hang up a sheet so that no one could see what he doing.
The Arend drove on a wider track than the ones we are used to today. At first, the Netherlands choose a track gauge of 1,945 mm, which was supposed to be safer. Later, however, they switched to a standard gauge of 1,435 mm wide: the same gauge used in neighbouring countries. The Arend is frequently stoked to create steam here in the museum.