The Railway from Amsterdam to Antwerp

The Railway from Amsterdam to Antwerp

The Railway from Amsterdam to Antwerp.
Built in the period from 1839 to 1877
- From the view of postal history -

The distance between the two cities was 160 Km, yet, because of many obstacles it took 38 years to build the track. The first part of the railway was Amsterdam - Haarlem, which was opened in 1839. Rotterdam was reached in 1847. The terminal was in the north end of Rotterdam near the gate of Delftsche Poort, which became the name of the station. Nothing happened here until 1877.

Fig 01.The station of Delftsche Poort in Rotterdam 1847-1877

As from 1850 every sub-office along the railway received a special hand-stamp with broken rings with the name of the main post office under which they belonged

Fig 02. Noordwijk (sub-office under Leiden) to Amsterdam sent by train. This letter was posted in the train and was never in Leiden. The hand-stamp was applied to show from where the postage should be paid. (van Hussen: „De Klassieken“)

Fig 03. In a convention between The Netherlands and Belgium of 1852 it was laid down that a railway between Antwerp and Moerdijk should connect the two kingdoms. A side-track to Breda from Roozendaal should be added.

Fig 04. In article 11 is decided that post shall be conveyed by the railway

Fig 05. In 1855 the railway from Antwerp towards the north reached Moerdijk, on the south bank of the Hollandsche Diep. It was decided on May 11th 1855 that a rolling post-office should be erected on the railway from Moerdijk to Antwerp. The name became EXP: MOERDYK.

At the same time steam-ships were operating between Rotterdam and Moerdijk.
Letters posted in Rotterdam, heading for the south were marked in the train by the special strike of

Fig 06. Oudenbosch (NL) 1863 to Eecloo (Belgium). Both hand-stamps are set in the rolling post-office of EXP: MOERDYK. The postage-due of “2” Décimes should have been 4. The distance was longer than 50 Km.

As of 1859 letters on the stage Amsterdam to Rotterdam got a hand-stamp H. SPOORWEG

Fig 07. Delft 1861 to Rotterdam.

Fig 08. Rotterdam 1871 to London, conveyed by steam-boat from Rotterdam to Moerdijk. The three hand-stamps are all set in the rolling post-office of EXP: MOERDIJK.

At the same time the track from the bridge to Dordrecht was opened.

Fig 10. Feyenoord is on the south bank of the river Maas. The track to Feyenoord from Dordrecht was opened on Nov.11th 1872 via the bridge from Dordrecht to Zwijndrecht across the Oude Maas.

What is missing now is a bridge over the Maas and a break through of the densely populated city of Rotterdam.

Fig 11. Rotterdam 1875 to Paris. The track from the south has now reached Rotterdam, at least in the part of Rotterdam (Feyenoord) that was on the south bank of the river Maas. So, above we see a train having a round hand-stamp of ROTTERDAM – ANTW:

In 1877 the railway through Rotterdam was opened and as from 1882 the trains received hand-stamps with the names of the two terminals: Amsterdam & Antwerp

Fig 12. 1888 Post card marked in the train by the hand-stamp of AMSTERD:-ANTW:

Later on the Grunopost will publish a series of post cards showing the track through Rotterdam.

- Erling Berger

Zie verder DEEL 2

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