Efteling steam locomotive Aagje reaches 100th anniversary
Receives new and redesigned coal wagon as birthday present
On Wednesday 26 October at 13.00 Efteling celebrated the 100th birthday of its steam locomotive Aagje. In the run-up to her 100th anniversary, Aagje spent five months being taken apart, right down to the last screw. The boiler was tested, thoroughly checked, sandblasted and cleaned, and certain parts were replaced. According to Steam Board rules, this must happen every 25 years at most. Eight people spent a total of around 2,500 hours completing this laborious task, all under the watchful eye of Aagje’s day-to-day caretaker for the past 35 years. Regular visitors to Efteling have missed the locomotive and asked about her, and the birthday girl has now resumed her daily circuits of Efteling. She is as good as new; beautifully painted and with gleaming copper. She also received a new coal wagon as a 100th birthday present.
Aagje facts & figures
- Constructed in 1911
- In service at Efteling for 43 years
- Distance covered at Efteling: 1,000,000 km. (23,250 km. per year)
- Revisions to Aagje: 2,500 hours’ work for two engineers and two mechanics, painters, electricians and external staff
- Number of separate parts: hundreds
- Total track length: approx. 3.5 kilometres (including sidings)
- Track gauge: .
- At least one train rides daily, two on busy days
- A team of seven engineers
- Two stations (Marerijk and Ruigrijk)
The steam locomotive Aagje took her first ride on Efteling’s track in 1969. Before that time (until 1968) she was in service at the brick factory ‘IJsseloord’, in Arnhem. She was built by Orenstein & Koppel in Berlin. The six wagons that transport Efteling visitors were built in-house to an Anton Pieck design and he also made adaptations to Aagje herself. Of the current four locomotives (Aagje, Moortje, Trijntje and Neefje), Aagje has covered the most kilometres at Efteling. Neefje is no longer in service but is on display in the garden alongside Station Marerijk. The locomotives are all coal-fired, which is unusual because the few remaining steam trains in the Netherlands are mostly powered by oil or gas.
In 1969 Efteling established the Efteling Steam Train Company (Efteling Stoomtrein Maatschappij) and built a track through and around the park with two stations.
Aagje at Soestdijk
During her time at Efteling, Aagje was chosen to ride in the gardens of the Soestdijk Palace. This was on the occasion of the final Queen’s Day for the Dutch Queen Juliana, in 1980. Efteling engineers laid a track in the palace garden and the entire royal family was taken for a ride by Aagje.