Society for the Preservation of Steam Engines

Founded at Nijkerk, October 1995

Since 1882 Nijkerk has a steam pumping-station, called "Hertog Reijnout" used for  pumping the polder Arkemheen.

When the steam pumping-station was closed down in 1983 a group of volunteers took action to restore the steam pumping-station and to turn it into an industrial monument. Since 1986 the steam pumping-station is steaming for 12 days a year and accessible to the public again. A few volunteers active at the steam-driven pumping station founded the Society for the Preservation of Steam Engines in 1995. The reason behind this initiative was the opportunity to obtain a portable from the Museum for Road Constructions in Ede. The portable was a Ransomes, Simms and Jeffries built in 1948.Steam engines were built in an era where the idea of economical lifecycle was not an issue yet. And because no computers were available yet to execute complicated strength calculations a choice was often made for an amazing robustness which gave such engines an almost infinite lifecycle.

But, the knowledge how to operate steam engines is disappearing rapidly. People that actually worked with steam are retired or deceased. The younger generation that wants to preserve the heritage of steam will have to take care that this knowledge will be preserved in the first place. It's also very important to establish a solid network of people and professional organizations that are prepared and capable to assist in the preservation of the steam heritage. That's what keeps the volunteers of the steam pumping-station "Hertog Reijnout" and members of the Society for the Preservation of Steam Engines occupied.

It's a mistake to believe that steam does not play any role anymore in today's society. In every company in the dairy and food industry steam boilers are present. Steam is an indispensable link in the production processes of innumerable industries.

Even though the steam engines were built very robustly, they don't last forever. A recent accident with a Case steam traction engine in the USA proved this very clearly. As steam minded people we will have to take full responsibility to operate these engines in a safe way. That's only possible if we have enough knowledge about steam and steam engines.

The Society for the Preservation of Steam Engines is a rather small society with about twenty members/donors of which about ten are really active. Steam is our hobby not building websites. That's why this site is a plain and simple one.

The Society for the Preservation of Steam Engines has made the preservation of knowledge about steam and steam engines to its main objective. If you want to support our society you are invited to become a member or a donor for a small yearly fee. Send us an e-mail with your address and we will take care of the rest.


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