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M.B.S. 45 'Venlo'

The twelfth model will be M.B.S. 45 'Venlo'.
In order to get a complete M.B.S. steam tram, a locomotive is missing.
These dark blue Hohenzollern machines ran from 1913 until the end in 1944.

Construction can only begin with the correct drawing, until then this project is at a standstill and other announced models have priority...!

Construction report from M.B.S. 45 Hohenzollern with factory no. 3046 of 1913

On the outdoor track of the M.B.S. steam tram locomotives do not actually run because of the lack of facilities for this

such as a coal bunker, water tap and ash pit.

The M.B.S. workshop has announced the construction from a Hohenzollern M.B.S. steam tram locomotive series 40-47, so a complete steam tram with postal baggage car LE 101 and the coaches AB 1 and AB 7 can be assembled.

As representative of this series, the M.B.S. locomotive no. 45, Hohenzollern Düsseldorf with factory number 3046 from 1913 was chosen.
The locomotive wil be built as the commissioning version, without the center windows in both end walls using the original M.B.S. drawing from 1913.

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An edited factory photo of M.B.S. 45 'Venlo' with the name of M.B.S. 42 'Gennep'.
The locomotive appears to float above the rails, but if you look closely you will see that the rails are indeed at the correct height for the rail brushes.
This photo is from 1912 and the locomotive is painted in shades of gray for a better contrast ratio.

Why the locomotive has the name Gennep instead of Venlo fitted is probably related to the location of the customer: Gennep.

In the book "The steam tram locomotives of the Dutch tramways" by Ir. S. Overbosch (ISBN 90.6707.051.3)

the author describes this type on pages 151 and 152 as follows:

The M.B.S. locomotive numbers fitted into the numbering scheme of the N.B.D.S.

This was before the N.B.D.S. easier, because the M.B.S. machines were under maintenance for major repairs in the N.B.D.S. workshop in Gennep. From 1932 this workshop was owned by the M.B.S. of the N.S. rented.

Around 1920, locomotives 40-45 were equipped with larger water tanks.
In 1924, a spare boiler was purchased for these machines at Hagoort, Tilburg, which had a firebox that was 5mm deeper than the original version.

Machines 46 and 47 received a preheater (Heated surface 2.5m²) with a Knorr feed pump of 3m³/h, which they kept until the end.

There was little or no evidence of coal or water savings compared to the 40-45 during the service.

All locomotives had a Knorr air brake.

The machines performed very well.

They ran all services until 1934 when diesel-electric traction was introduced.

Since then, the locomotives have been gradually taken out of service.

Only two units remained operational as reserve locomotives.

In 1940 several machines were put back into service.
However, they had been seriously neglected in the previous years, so that the M.B.S. trams could not be compared with the neat, well-maintained steam trams from before 1934.

During the liberation battles along the Maas in 1944, the track and equipment suffered so seriously from the violence of war that the entire tram company was closed down in 1947.

The locomotives, which had not been in service after 1944, were scrapped, except for the 44 that was sold to Utrecht as a boiler.

The M.B.S. steam tram locomotives all had a name:

40             Nijmegen

41             Plasmolen

42             Gennep

43             Mountains

44             Arcen

45             Venlo

Named after places on the Nijmegen - Venlo line.

In 1920 the series of six locomotives was supplemented with 2 more of the same type.

These two machines were also given a name:

46             Mook

47             Fields

In addition to what Ir. Overbosch described the maintenance schedule at the N.B.D.S., all machines also had the color scheme of the parent company.
These were blue in color with red piping.

tram bij hoofdkantoor nbds in oorlog.jpg

M.B.S.steam tram to Venlo in the Spoorstraat in Gennep, consisting of locomotive M.B.S. 45 'VENLO' (Hohenzollern 3046/1913), freight wagon 122 (ex V.M.H. 151) and passenger coaches AB 1 and 5, looking northwest, August 21, 1943

(N.V.B.S. Archive / Photo J.J. Overwater)

On this site the correct color blue, which is the N.B.D.S. and the M.B.S. used for their locomotives, was not previously discussed.

This typical blue color is still available at paint stores and hardware stores.

NBDS blue Sikkens ACC U0.40.20 is the correct code, and it is wise to also use the white base paint from Sikkens.

Detail van het cover van P.J.M. Rutten, Maas-Buurtspoorweg (1991).jpg
NBDS blauw voorbeeld.jpeg
MBS 40-45.jpg
Omslag Jan Feith, Met den Maasbuurt Spoorweg (1981).jpg
MBS naamplaat Venlo.jpg

A random selection of images of the possibly correct color blue...
From top to bottom: Loc 40 on an oil canvas by Harry Maas (photo F. Prinsen), top right a model in 1:87 h0m, below

a booklet by Jan Feith with a locomotive from the series 40-47 depicted.

Middle left a model of the N.B.D.S. 30-35 in the railway museum (photo N. Spilt)

At the bottom a photo of the original nameplate of M.B.S. locomotive 45 with the correct blue color.
This typical blue shade is also known as Caledonian Blue, but there are several shades. 

As you have already noticed, it is certainly not an easy task to determine the exact blue color.
Now there are certainly experts who know what the mixing code of the paint is, but the question remains whether this is correct.

What I try to mention by this is that color perception (just like sound) is different to anybody.

Because dust particles in the air between the object and the photographer make the observation and therefore also the capture of the photo appear lighter to the photographer, a photo is not always representative, especially not a shot more than 90 years old.

A person's memory is also rarely a good indicator...
However, at some point the painter must have used a color sample in the workshop to recreate the paint applied to the locomotives at the time.

For the model of M.B.S. 45 I will have to rely on the expertise and data of third parties.
Based on photo material and documentation, for me it's almost impossible to do this myself.
For the M.B.S. workshop there are two sources that can provide paint with the correct blue color.

These are the suppliers Phildie from Kampen and MK Model Building Studio from Haarsteeg.

A paint sample was ordered from both, so that the two samples can be compared with each other.
These are the suppliers for historic Dutch rail and tram equipment.

If the two samples differ slightly from each other, the correct color should be in between.
After all, they both supply independently from each other and each will have their own source.

LGB B-aandrijving.jpg

Former locomotive 5 on the small turning loop around the depot in 's-Hertogenbosch, July 14, 2020
This locomotive has the correct drive.
Inset: the standard B-drive from L.G.B.

M.B.S. 45 becomes a standard B-drive unit from L.G.B. used with spoke wheels connecting rods, like L.G.B. 2090 shunting locomotive.

The connecting rods from the cylinders to the rear axle are omitted, they are invisible in operation.

The axle distance of this B-drive unit is 77mm, M.B.S. 45 needs 80mm.
The difference of 3mm in model makes it 1:1 to 1710mm instead of the 1800mm that the locomotive actually had.
This difference is negligible and will only be disturbing if it is measured or known.
With this B drive unit applied, the use of HLW trucks for new equipment is also abandoned.

HLW trucks are no longer available for the time being (unfortunately).
This B drive unit guarantees problem-free and reliable use, for which individual parts are still widely available from various suppliers.
Another major advantage of this drive is that one wheel is equipped with an anti-slip tire, which provides enormous traction and one of the axles can be fitted with a pulse generator for the smoke generator.
This pulse generator emits a pulse per rotation of the shaft to the electronics, which uses it for the smoke generator and the sound module, which will subsequently be installed during digitalization.


A copy of the original drawing of M.B.S. 40-45 from 1913 by Hohenzollern.
The copy is in scale 1:20½, a bit too large to work from.

To get it right, this would have to be copied again to 91% of it's original to make it to 1:22½ scale.
A simple solution by reducing the original size by 93% was sufficient.


The materials for locomotive 45 now have been delivered.
This delivery also included the 1½mm thick base plate, 100mm wide and 191.1mm long.
Unlike B.S.M. 10, the standard B-drive unit from L.G.B. can be used here. be used, additional recesses for the wheels aren't necessary.


The B drive unit is ready for further use, with the wheels and coupling rods already receiving the same specific blue color as locomotive.
The loose wire on the drive unit is from the pulse generator, in preparation for conversion to digital driving.

For a nice low adhesion weight, iron blocks will be incorporated at the location of the water tanks next to the wheels and behind the buffer plates.

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