Golden Jubilee – Arno Logman, Head of Shunting Department

Arno has honed and developed his skills at Bemo Rail for the past 33 years. He is one of the most loyal employees a company could desire, and an expert in his field.

He started as a trainee at Bemo Rail in 1986. During his internship, he helped build the first locomotive in our Waarland workshop. Arno became a full employee at Bemo Rail in 1987, when he started as a mechanic. In 1992, he was asked by Mr. Ter Mors to pick up the shunting preparation in the office. Over the years, Arno has grown into his current position as manager of the Shunting department.

Arno: “I would describe my time at Bemo as very diverse and dynamic: from the 24-year-old mechanic who once started at Bemo, I have come a long way to where I am now. I am very proud of that and the position Bemo Rail has created for itself in the current market! We deliver our product with great success to the petrochemical sector, heavy industry and railways worldwide, and we serve a large group of appealing companies with our service and after sales. People sometimes say: ‘You’ve been there for so long!’ The reason is simple: new opportunities and challenges have always come up and I’ve been in a position to seize them.”

Locomotives
Arno: “The locomotives that we build today are no longer comparable to the locomotives of the past. The main changes are the ergonomic and environmental aspects. Basically, the locomotive is still a locomotive that is mostly driven by a diesel engine and pushes wagons back and forth. Only now you see that they are better accessible, due to a better, more modern and functional structure. The locomotives are many times tidier, more efficient and better structured than in the beginning. In addition, the locomotives are now equipped with a PLC control system, of course, which is a big difference compared to the early days. The structure of the machines is also quite different nowadays, due to changes to the welding and assembly processes, which are much more efficient than before. As a company, we are continuously innovating to make our locomotives and lorries as good, efficient, sustainable, and environmentally friendly as possible. We always strive to build the best machine possible.”

“A lot has happened over the years. The “designs” were sold to Stork RMO in 1993. Stork RMO was responsible for sales and Bemo Rail took care of the assembly. In addition, the focus for Bemo Rail was mainly on renting and selling used locomotives and maintaining them. The collaboration with Stork RMO was only of short duration. For a period of time, no locomotives were made at Bemo Rail. The construction of our Bemo locomotives started again in around 2005. The first “second generation” Bemo locomotives were made for Vopak, a Dutch multinational company located in Vlissingen, that stores and handles oil, chemicals and natural gas-related products. After 2005, the production was gradually expanded. Maintenance is still a very important activity; most locomotives are leased by our customers and the lease includes the maintenance of the machines. Right now, we are fully engaged in the production of a series of locomotives for Tata Steel, consisting of the rebuild of GE locomotives and four quench locomotives for an extinguishing track.”

Bemo Rail Shunting team in the workshop with the GE locomotive for Tata Steel

Early 90s Suriname
Arno Logman: “We did a special project in the 1990s in the jungle of Suriname. It was a development project commissioned by the Dutch government. We had to install a korjaal transfer installation for the village of Diitabiki (Drietabbetje). A korjaal is a Surinamese boat, which resembles a canoe. We flew there with a former drug plane (as the story goes).” Diitabiki is a Ndyuka village in the Sipaliwini District of Suriname. Diitabiki is the home of the Gaanman of the Ndyuka people. (Source: Wikipedia.)

Arno Logman: “We installed a lorry there that was winched into the water, so that the korjaal can sail on it. This was needed to circumvent the rapids and provide the villages beyond the rapids with goods such as food and fuel. In practice, the goods were unloaded from the korjaal onto the truck and it was then lifted up the hill. On the other side of the river, the goods could then be loaded into another korjaal and form there be transported further.”

Project for the Sultan of Brunei, 1996
Arno: “In 1996, we received an order for a project from the Sultan of Brunei (Brunei Shell LNG), a country in Southeast Asia. The project involved two phases. First, the extension of a jetty with a 500m track construction for which we supplied the rail parts; they laid the rails themselves. The second phase was the delivery of tailor-made, battery-driven electric Bemo passenger cars, to ride on rail (ATEX version). The cars transport the maintenance people from the factory on shore to the ship and vice versa. LNG is loaded into the ship over the jetty of now 4.5 km long, out into the sea. Later on, two extra lorries were shipped to Brunei.”

Arno Logman, Teun Druijf and client in Brunei.

Golden Jubilee – Interview Berkhout

Mr Berkhout – co-founder Bemo Rail

It is Wednesday, 1 July 1970 – a cool, summer day, with light rainfall, and only 13.3 degrees Celsius on the thermometer. Today, President Nixon urges the North Vietnamese government to negotiate peace before more blood is shed in Indo-China. Mr. W. Aantjes from the Dutch Chamber of Representatives proposes to postpone the national construction industry holiday until the winter so that more work can be done during summer, and Paul McCartney announces the breakup of The Beatles. (source history Dutch newspaper: Leidsch Dagblad 1 July 1970)

It seems to be a normal Wednesday, perhaps like every other Wednesday at that time, but it is a special day for Bemo Rail! On 1 July 1970, Bemo Rail was officially established by its founders Berkhout and Ter Mors.

Berkhout: “Before July 1970, Ter Mors and I worked together at Spoorijzer, a Dutch company located in Delft. I started working there immediately after obtaining my degree at the HTS (Higher Technical School). Together with Ter Mors, I was involved in the development of a railroad-bound locomotive, called a ‘towing mobile’. It was the start of a long and pleasant partnership,” says Berkhout with a smile.

Mr. Berkhout, Mr. Ter Mors and Jolande Vergaaij at a Rail Fair.

“By the end of 1969, as a result of post-war developments in transport, Spoorijzer was suffering. This was the moment for us to follow our own path and the start of Bemo Rail. We started out as a small trading company, selling rails, rail chairs and locomotives from the home of Mr. Ter Mors, on the Bilderdijkstraat in Alkmaar. Mr. Ter Mors was responsible for the finances and represented the locomotives. I was responsible for the technical designs and the sale of our rail products, including crane tracks.

Bemo Rail at the fair

Berkhout: “We bought the locs in England, France and Germany and sold them in the Netherlands and Belgium. The first few years, our trade region was mainly in and around the Netherlands. Bemo Rail grew rapidly and so did our international clientele. Between 1978 and 1985, I visited Saudi Arabia a number of times to sell rails and rail chairs. Together with Archirodon, a Greek contractor, we installed crane tracks in Jeddah, Gysan and Damman. We even sold rails and rail chairs to the militarily organised North Korean construction company Dong Ah. Due to the growing trade, we were able to hire more staff and move into an office building on Phoenixstraat in Alkmaar. The first employees of Bemo Rail were Mrs. Ypelaan (accounting), Piet Nijhuis (commerce), Hans Overing (technical drawings), Jolande Vergaaij (telephone operator and typist) and Teun Druijf (technical employee).

Mr Berkhout and Teun Druijf in the office

“I look back with pride on the past 50 years. The highlights for me were the international projects and the moment we started producing our own rail and shunting products. The broadcast of ‘Brandpunt in de Markt’, a Dutch television programme in 1985, was also special: we drove into the studio – on rails – with our first self-built Bemo locomotive. It was a quite a challenge, because the total weight of the locomotive was more than 45 tons! Also, Dutch Queen Beatrix was a guest at the Hannover Fair in 1990, which was very memorable for me. I officially retired in 2006, but I still enjoy being regularly involved in the daily activities of Bemo Rail.”

The first orders of Bemo Rail

Rail Chairs
In 1970, we received an order for rail chairs from concrete factory De Liesbosch in Houten, this was one of our very first orders. Grain handling company Bunge, located in the Benelux harbour Rotterdam Europoort, also ordered rail chairs that year: 558 of them for the sum of 37,888 guilders (approximately 17,192 euros). Nowadays, instead of rail chairs, we use rail clips placed on discontinuous sole plates to fix the rails.

Locomotives
Immediately after foundation, Bemo Rail started selling locomotives from, among others, England and Germany, representing brands like Vollert, MaK, Stephenson, Hunslet and Allan. Since 1983, Bemo Rail started manufacturing its own locomotives; at first production was outsourced to another company, later we started manufacturing in-house.

Article Financiële Telegraaf, Dutch Newspaper 7-12-1985

Golden Jubilee Bemo Rail – Interview Teun Druijf

Every week we share a unique “Bemo experience” from the past 50 years. This week the interview with director Teun Druijf.

In 2020, Bemo Rail is celebrating its 50th anniversary. From a modest trading company, Bemo Rail has grown into an expert in rail and shunting technology and enjoys a global reputation.

Director Teun Druijf: “You don’t become an expert overnight; as an organisation, we are constantly developing and innovating. We are proud to be considered experts in our field. In 2017 Bemo Rail was voted entrepreneur of the year. That was a great honour.

“The development and growth we went through would not have been possible without our loyal employees, some of whom have been with us for over 25 years. Their professional knowledge, expertise and hard-working, no-nonsense mentality, is the beating heart of Bemo Rail!

“As a company, we invest heavily in the knowledge and skills of our people. For projects abroad, we often work with a local workforce, and we train and educate those local workers ourselves. We invited a number of workers from Indonesia to come to our workshop in the Netherlands to give them a welding course, for instance, so that they could deliver high quality work back in Indonesia. Delivering high quality work is one of the reasons that Bemo Rail is considered an expert in its field and wherever in the world we work, and whomever we employ, high quality is what our customers know they’ll get.

“I want to thank our customers and suppliers for their loyalty and unconditional trust! This anniversary would not have been possible without them. Together, we have realised wonderful and exceptional projects over the years. We hope to be of service to you again in the future.”

2020 is one big jubilee for Teun Druijf!

In 2020, he has been employed by the company for 40 years, he has been its director for exactly 30 years, and at the same time, we’re all celebrating Bemo Rail’s Golden Jubilee with Teun!

In 1980, the year that Beatrix was crowned Queen of the Netherlands, Teun Druijf joined Bemo Rail as technical commercial assistant. He assisted Mr. Berkhout, who was the technical director back then.

Teun: “To start with, I was responsible for the technical calculations. Over the years, I started doing more projects and eventually I took over responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the company.”

Cyprus
Teun: “My first major overseas project was in Cyprus in 1985, where we were delivering a crane track. I was supervisor and a local contractor placed the crane track. I actually went there empty handed; all the required materials had already been shipped. I remember that we received way too many bolts. So, I went to the local hardware store on a scooter and sold the leftover bolts to them.”

Tata Steel
Teun: “One of my customers was the Hoogovens, a Dutch steel factory located in IJmuiden. I frequently visited them to sell rails and rail chairs. Today, the company is part of Tata Steel Europe and they are still a loyal customer. Over the years, Bemo Rail has received – and still receives – many, many orders. We don’t just sell them products nowadays, but we assemble and install the rails on site, too. We are currently working on the construction of the 4th 50-ton Bemo quench locomotive for Tata Steel at our Bemo workshop.”

Bemo Rail in Asia
Teun: “We have been involved in various rail projects in Indonesia since 1988, when we started our first project in Belawan for Pelindo 1. Since 2010, Indonesia has been a growing market and we have taken part in several projects in places that include Gilimas, Makassar, Cilegon and Kalimantan. To meet the growing far-away demand in Asia and elsewhere, we have opened various foreign offices: PT Bemo Rel in Indonesia, Bemo MMP LTD in Singapore and STE BEMORAIL SARL in Morocco. Moreover, our KRE15RCRV and KRE30RCRV locomotives for the Indian market are produced in India. Thanks to these expansions, our organisation is now more than ever able to flexibly, quickly and fully meet the needs of our customers all around the world!”

Teun Druijf at a project in Indonesia, 1988

Director of Bemo Rail
Teun: “I became director at the end of 1990. Bemo Rail was not in the best (financial) position, so I had some big challenges to overcome: change and innovation were urgently required. As director, I have always had clear goals in mind and those goals were always in line with the vision of Ter Mors, one of the company’s founders.

In 1990, we already did a combination of trading and manufacturing. We made the technical designs ourselves, but still outsourced most of the production, assembly and installation. The goal was to expand our services with in-house production, assembly, installation and maintenance. We also shifted our main focus to service and we started looking for partnerships with larger parties. This strategy has been successful over the years, leading us to bigger national and international projects, such as Stralsund, Euromax, the Ceres Terminal, ECT and Frisian Shipyard.

In 2006 we moved to a new and larger building in Warmenhuizen, in the northwest of the Netherlands. The combination of modern offices, a well-equipped production facility and highly trained employees makes it possible to deliver high-quality products and services, efficiently and quickly, for great value for money. As an organisation, we constantly develop and innovate.

The big Bemo Rail shunting innovations include our GE locomotives for Tata Steel, our train traversers for Euromax and the Maintenance Platform we developed for the STS trolley rails. In addition, we manufacture electric and hybrid locomotives and as soon as engines that run on hydrogen become available, we will be looking to use them, too. As for rail innovations, we started out with rail chairs, but these would be replaced by rail clips, as the latter proved to be more efficient. Our core business expanded rapidly with rails, sole plates, sleepers, buffers, rubber noses, cross pieces and casting materials. These products are always subject to innovation, whereby we focus on ways of using new, sustainable and durable materials in our production processes.”

Roland Garros Stadion

Bemo Rail is proud to be part of the unique construction of the retractable roof at the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris. The roof construction moves over a rail when it is opend and closed, the rail, type A150, is supplied by Bemo Rail. The rail is also attached with rail clips supplied by Bemo Rail.

The Stade Roland-Garros is the center court during the annual Grand Slam tennis tournament in May and June. The 90-year-old stadium has been renovated for 80% to continue to meet the set requirements and to also be able to play during bad weather conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The animation video below gives an impression of the renovation:

 

Progress Tata Steel Quench loco 102 and 103

The construction of the 2 new quench loco’s is in progress and in a few months they will be ready for the factory purchase (FAT). The expectation is that these 2 locomotives will be ready for commissioning in the autumn. Bemo Rail has also received an order for the 4th quench loco (no. 104) from Tata Steel, we have started building the loc. This 104 is scheduled for delivery in the summer of 2020.

Bemo BRD50 loc for Lyondell

New Bemo Traverse TB100 LWR Maasvlakte

After a successful construction, a new Bemo TB100 Traverse was recently delivered to the newly built workshop of Locomotive Workshop Rotterdam BV on the Maasvlakte. The Siemens E-locs are maintained in this workshop, they are driving among others on Dutch tracks. In this workshop the traverse will move the locs from the arrival track, to the various workshop and parking tracks and vice versa.

The traverse serves the 2 arrival tracks, 6 workshop tracks and 8 parking tracks. By choosing the traverse a lot of space-consuming and expensive points of exchange street is saved. The traverse is equipped with all essential safety features and partly thanks to this and the semi-automatic operation, the operators can easily operate the traverse themselves. And the traverse is finished in beautiful Siemens gray.

BRDE80 progress for the Middle East

After the successful testing of the BRDR80 at the Steam Tram Museum in Hoorn, and the shipping of the 1st of the 2 locomotives, the 2nd BRDE80 is now also ready for transport. As soon as the two locomotives are at their destination, our technicians will further test them and put them into operation. They will take care of the shunting work at the depot, but if necessary also drive on the line. They can ride both solo and in double traction. The 2-axle locomotives are equipped with a diesel electric AC / AC drive and on the metro line itself they will be able to run at a speed of 50 km/ h.

2 more quench loco’s for Tata Steel

After a successful delivery of the Tata Quench loco 101, Bemo Rail has now also received the order for the 2nd and 3rd quench loco (no. 102 and 103) from Tata.
The frames are now ready for further assembly and the booths are already moving forward. The locomotives are expected to be ready for commissioning in the autumn.

 

Start project Boskalis Sweden

Next week we start a very nice project in Stockholm (Sweden) at Boskalis. It concerns 2 x 430 m new construction crane track type A120, on continuous plate cement-based grouting mortars. The work is carried out in cooperation with Stabirail.

Unloading cranes that will drive over the Bemo crane tracks will contribute to supplying Stockholm in particular. A city that grows annually with 45,000 people. A project to be proud of!