Peel Ports rail construction on ballast bed – phase 2 completed

Bemo Rail completed fase 2 in Liverpool last week. After the successful completion of fase 1 in 2016, also fase 2 is completed to the full satisfaction of Peel Ports and McLaughlin & Harvey Ltd.

For the deep-water container terminal Liverpool2 of Peel Ports Group (UK) we installed cranes rails with concrete sleepers on ballast bed. Our own engineering department designed the solutions for the jacking- and anchoring points of the Bemo Rail ballast system and we produced them in our in-house workshop together with the buffers.

The CRMG cranes move on the 1386 meter runway rail construction in different stack fields. With 50 years of experience worldwide, Bemo Rail is an expert in the field of crane tracks for CRMG, STS, Gantry Cranes and ballast bed constructions.

The use of a ballast bed provides stability, dampens vibrations and drains excess rainwater. When the construction is completely filled, the sleepers can be aligned in height. With a hydraulic jack the rail is levelled in the correct position. With the specially designed by Bemo Rail tamping machine/ ballast tamper the ballast is packed under each sleeper.

Bemo Rail has its own concrete sleeper for crane-rail constructions with heavy wheel loads. The rail is mounted onto a sleeper with a strong spring clip and an elastic sole plate. The sleeper can be installed very precisely in a ballast- or gravel bed, on sand-cement stabilization, or in repak.

More information


Golden Jubilee – Alex Boonstra, Welding Expert

Alex has been working at Bemo Rail for 25 years now, since October 1994. Alex has grown into one of our welding experts. “There is no weld that Alex cannot make, except maybe a thermite welding, as this is mainly done by the field staff,” explains Teun Druijf (director).

Alex: “At the time, Bemo Rail was still quite small. In the workshop, you did whatever work was needed, from drilling strips to milling and assembly. When I started, Bemo Rail had approximately 16 employees: eight people worked in the office and the other eight in the field and workshop. We built rails and winch installations. In addition, we did maintenance work on locomotives. We had a 5 tonne crane in the workshop (now we have two 50 tonne cranes), so the possibilities were a little more limited.

When we started to grow as a company, I also specialised more. First, I worked on the CNC machine (on the drilling line) for a while and later I started welding.”


Different Times
Alex: “When we were located in Waarland, we were situated between agricultural companies and the building became too small very quickly. We had a small drilling street of 3 metres. But we sometimes had to drill rails of 12 metres on that street, which of course didn’t fit. To solve the problem, we made two holes in the building, with hatches so that the rails could pass through. Our neighbour Arie sometimes came into the workshop (he was a farmer) with the question: “Can you move those rails? I have to get my tractor past!” The lack of space caused some occasional problems. Someone once parked his car in front of one of the hatches; the machine pushed the rails out and straight through the car. You can imagine the look on his face when he saw a rail plate sticking through the front of his car….

“We experienced some silly things over the years in Waarland. One day, I was working in the workshop and when I turned around there was a horse behind me. The neighbours from across the field had horses and the beast had jumped over the fence and walked straight into our workshop. Horses, sheep, goats, pigeons – that’s the kind of visitors we got sometimes. They were really different times; nowadays that’s longer possible.

Proud of our locomotives!
“I feel proud of the locomotives that we build here. We make the locomotives ourselves from scratch, which allows us to design and create a unique product with a great quality. The materials are specially ordered and arrive in the workshop as strips and plates and we ensure that everything is drilled, milled, welded and assembled. When we test-drive, it’s still very special to see every single time. We start with a design and before you know it, the locomotive is built and running. That is beautiful!

“In the 25 years that I have been working here, things have changed a lot. We used to have an old saw and a welding machine; now, we are a fully equipped and professional workplace. There are also more rules. Everything we do is categorised and we work with manufacturing books, so that we can trace every step.

Bemo Rail is a company that is very flexible and can respond fast to the needs of our clients. That is without a doubt one of the greatest strengths of the company!”

Golden Jubilee – Bemo Rail Shunters

We have been selling shunting locomotives, also known as rail shunters, at Bemo for 50 years now. Rail shunters, are typically used by companies that have their own on-site rail logistics systems.

We design and manufacture bespoke shunters from scratch at our workshop in the Netherlands, combining and tailoring standard components to customer-specific needs and requirements. This modular approach to construction makes it possible to deliver any combination of capacities, speeds, and pulling forces. Our shunters are used predominantly in heavy industry, on storage and transhipment sites and at rail and metro depots and workshops.

We employ a highly skilled workforce and integrate only the best quality materials and components. Right from the very first pencil stroke for a new design to the delivery of a brand new locomotive, safety, ergonomics and the environment are top of mind. Boasting a spacious workshop and an industry-savvy engineering department, anything is possible at Bemo Rail.

Back to the beginning…
Since 1970, Bemo Rail represented locomotive brands such as Vollert, MaK, Hunslet and Allen from England and Germany. In 1983, the Bemo business model changed. To meet our customers’ needs, we started engineering our own locomotives. First using parts that were in available in the European market; later using parts machined in our own workshop.

First Bemo locomotive 1983, assembled by Steemeijer.

Co-founder Berkhout: “The first Bemo locomotive was a diesel locomotive for the Dutch Railways. We received a one-million-guilder (approximately 453,780 euro) subsidy from the Ministry of Economic Affairs to build the locomotive. The Dutch Railways ordered a second locomotive right away, an electric one with a conductor line. That second locomotive was finished before the ‘first’. At that time, we engineered the locomotives and had them assembled by Steemeijer in Hoogwoud.”

  • 1970 – 1982 Representation of locomotives as a commercial product from England and Germany from Vollert, MaK, Hunslet and Allan.
  • 1983 Started engineering our own locomotives; assembly by Steemeijer in Hoogwoud, NL.
  • 1986 Shunter with an electric with cable, range of 1000 meters. This was used to wash the passenger trains and went to a customer in Maastricht.
  • 1987 Started with the assembly of locomotives in our workshop in Waarland. The ‘first’ Bemo locomotive made in Waarland was electrically powered, the loc went to a customer in Switzerland.
  • 1987 The second locomotive built in our workshop in Waarland was used for the Hanover stock exchange and featured during the opening of our new premises in Waarland: the locomotive burst through a banner with the world on it to emphasize the international character of Bemo Rail.
  • 1989 An old locomotive was converted into a float for the local carnival in Waarland.
  • 1993 We sold our engineering drawings of locomotives to Stork RMO.
  • 1996 First product with CE quality label, a lateral chain system with lorries, to transport steel rolls at Tata Steel. We installed both the rails and the lateral chain system with lorries.
  • 2005 New, 2nd generation of Bemo Rail locomotives. The first two machines were made for Vopak, the Dutch oil and petrochemical storing and handling company located in Vlissingen.
  • 2006 Bemo Rail develops its own train traversers.
  • 2018 Rebuilt series of Quench locomotives for Tata Steel.

Read more about the Bemo Rail Shunters.

1987 In-house assembly in the Bemo workshop in Waarland.

Series of GE Quench Locomotives for Tata Steel

Bemo Rail Train Traverse

Quench locomotive 104 delivered to Tata Steel

The fourth quench locomotive 104 has been delivered to Tata Steel this week. On site, our engineer repositioned the cabin, connected the mechanics, electrics and the quench loc is ready for testing.

Where does Tata use the quench locomotive for?
The quench locomotive is used by Tata to transport a quench wagon with cokes. Cokes is a raw material that is used as a reducing agent in the production of steel.

For the “quenching” of the cokes a quench wagon is used, which is shunted by our quench locomotive. The cokes is poured from an oven into the wagon and then quenching with water at the quenching tower, after which the coke is poured onto a conveyor belt through a dumping ramp and then transported to the oven. For this process, the quench locomotive is used to move the quench wagon along the ovens, fire tower and dump ramp.

Technical requirements
Because of this process and the surrounding conditions, specific requirements are necessary on the quench locomotive. For example, there is an extremely low friction coefficient, between wheel and rail and the cabin driver is placed high to have a view of the open top of the quench wagon. The environment is extremely polluting and aggressive, the design is therefore aimed at keeping the contamination outside the machine and engine compartment and supplying the required air in a filtered manner.

At Bemo Rail we make many types of shunting vehicles. All locomotives are engineered and produced in-house in our Bemo workshop in Warmenhuizen, NL.

More info


Golden Jubilee – Jieles de Visser In-house engineering

Since 1983, Bemo Rail has had its own engineering department (drawing office). All the designs and calculations for our locomotives, trucks, winch installations and rail track constructions are made in the drawing office. All our rail and shunting products are designed and produced in-house using first-class components.

Photo Jieles de Visser

Jieles de Visser, Senior Design Engineer
After completing the HTS and gaining practical experience, Jieles started working at Bemo Rail as a design engineer 25 years ago.

Jieles has played an important role in many projects over that time.

Jieles: “Unique at Bemo is that we do everything in-house, from drawing composition, detail and work drawings to assembly and installation on site. That is one of the reasons I enjoy working here so much.”

Technical drawings made by Bemo Rail

Back in the Days
Jieles: “I have wonderfully beautiful and very special memories. When I started working at Bemo Rail, we still used a drawing board. We’d first make a calque drawing and when the design was finished, we would cross it with ink pen. The drawings were then printed with a special engineering printing machine, which used ammonia to print. In 1996, we received our first CAD computer, which made the work a lot more practical.

Technical drawing for Nedstaal made in 1988 by Bemo Rail

Old photo Jieles de Visser (on the right) in the drawing office.

“As an employee in a relatively small organisation, you help wherever necessary. We once installed a winch installation around Christmastime at DSM in IJmuiden, a Dutch port town on the west coast. It was freezing 10 degrees that day and the anchor glue froze before we had a chance to mix it. To defrost the anchor glue, we had to turn on the car heating; the buckets were all on the dashboard. But we succeeded!

We always come up with creative solutions to problems at Bemo Rail!

Crossing Field in Stralsund, Germany, 1996
One of our first international projects was for a crossing field in Stralsund. This was a special project because it was part of a European project to revive former East Germany. We started work just shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. We were the only international company working on this project alongside the Germans. A large number of Bemo Rail employees worked and lived in Stralsund for a longer period of time. We rented a large house for everyone, and the wife of one of the guys went along, too, who took care of the household like she would a family. The project took about two years to complete.

“I also remember the project in LA very well. A colleague left the site to buy some extra mortar. He didn’t realise he was not safe on the streets. When he came back, a local worker told him, he was lucky he hadn’t been shot; walking around in that neighbourhood as a foreigner was not safe. It was scary and luckily nothing happened. But we can’t say we’ve had no special experiences over the years!

“Of course, there have been changes in my field. In the engineering department, we are constantly innovating and improving. In designs, but also by choosing sustainable materials for our machines. In addition, safety standards and regulations in the industry have increased phenomenally. From the first design phase of our machines, a lot of attention is paid to safety, ergonomics and environmental aspects. To be honest, though, my work hasn’t changed much with the new regulations and standards. Safety has always been my biggest concern.

“I really enjoy working at Bemo Rail. Besides hard work, there is always time for a party and to socialise with colleagues. I think this very important to maintaining a good working environment and atmosphere.”

Golden Jubilee Bemo – Dutch Shunting Locomotive

Dutch Financial Telegraph 7 december 1985: “For the first time in years, the Netherlands has a say in the construction of locomotives.

Bemo a company from Alkmaar has developed a technically advanced shunting locomotive, which was immediately bought by the Dutch Railways. There is also a lot of interest from abroad. The locomotive can be seen on Sunday in the television program “Brandpunt in de Markt”. The last Dutch rolling stock was off the production line at Werkspoor Diesel in 1971.”

Short video with English subtitles.

Full version of the broadcast.

Golden Jubilee – Gerben Fidder Project Manager Rail Technology

Gerben Fidder started working at Bemo Rail in 2018. He is one of the newer colleagues and likes to share his experience at Bemo Rail.

Gerben: “Bemo Rail is a dynamic company, we do not give up easily and we like challenges. No project is too crazy. Whether it is in Sweden, French Guiana, Curacao, or in the Netherlands working on an extinguishing track, Bemo will get the job done. That is really something to be proud of. Bemo is unique and that is partly because we have both rail and shunting technology in-house. Thanks to this combination and our 50 years of experience, we can handle anything in the field of rail technology.”

Gerben (on the right) with collegues at Tata Steel working on a extinguishing track.

The switch to Bemo Rail
Gerben: “Before I made the switch to Bemo, I worked for seventeen years for an engineering company that specialises in construction and civil and mechanical engineering. The experience I gained there was mostly in the field of project and construction management. I started out as a supervisor and grew into a position as project coordinator. During that time, I coordinated several crane track renovation projects. Later, I became a construction manager. In this role, due to my experience with crane tracks, I was asked by a steel plant to manage the 40 to 500 ton crane tracks.

“I was a manager there for 8 years and I learned a lot about management and the maintenance of crane tracks in a production environment. After this, I was made construction and project manager at the engineering office. It was during that period that I came into contact with Bemo Rail while working on an extinguishing track project at Kooksfabriek 1 at Tata Steel. The work on the fire extinguishing track entailed a lot of effort, but it was very rewarding and a great pleasure.

“I remember well that it was hard to find a company that dared to do this challenging job, due to its technical complexity and associated coordination. But Bemo dared to take on the challenge. In that period, I collaborated intensively with Bemo. The project was a huge challenge, throwing up many complicated obstacles. We had a daily three-hour working window, after which regular production at the plant had to continue again. I thought it was great that Bemo had the flexibility, also in conversation, to solve technical obstacles and bring the job to a successful finish. It told people a lot about Bemo, about how working together went so smoothly, even when things were against us – Bemo Rail always came up with solutions.

I remember thinking to myself: “I want to be a part of that.

“After completing the project, I decided it was time for me to find a new challenge. It was by pure coincidence that George Nieuwland told me that Bemo Rail was looking for a Project Manager Rail Technology. I went for an interview and the job drew my immediate enthusiasm.  It was a position in which my experience in rail technology could be further specialised and developed. The switch from the role of client to contractor was completely new to me. It felt like a fresh start and a great opportunity for the further course of my career. Once hired, Bemo felt like a warm blanket and I still really enjoy working at Bemo. Thanks in no small part also, incidentally, to great colleagues and solidarity.

“We offer the complete rail-technology package. We make, sell, assemble and install different types of rails and related products such as sole plates, sleepers, buffers and rail clips.

“Bemo Rail projects are often long-term projects that start with capturing the interest of the customer, followed by an on-site visit and a customised offer. When the order is approved, the internal process starts: from purchase to work preparation. I ensure all the right parts, materials, planning and people are put in place. After that, it is important to ensure that the foreman and the on-site team know what’s what. I am always present at the kick-off, I think that’s important. We do the job together, as a team, and I am very happy and proud of the great results that our team has achieved!

Gerben with Teun Druijf (director) at a project in Sweden.

“The Tronox project is an example of a great, but also challenging project. Tronox produces titanium dioxide pigment and they asked us a rather complex question. It concerned a large and heavy oven that was set up on six parallel rails in a gutter with a length of 45 metres. The rails and wheels of the oven needed to be replaced, but the oven was coated with refractory brickwork on the inside. Refractory bricks are not glued in, but locked in place by an expansion process. The major concern was that the refractory brickwork would be damaged when jacking up the oven and the oven had to be jacked up in order to be able to replace the rail construction and wheels underneath.

“At Bemo, we rose to the challenge with great success! It went so well that shortly after the first oven, we were commissioned to perform the renovation work on the second, then the third and now the final oven this year.”

The future of Bemo Rail
“Within the organisation, we recently changed the way we work to a more project-based approach. We now work together on projects with all the Bemo departments and facets of the company, in specially assigned teams. This ensures that we can deliver even better results. As a company, we are constantly improving and developing in order to be more efficient, do better and meet or go beyond our customers’ demands. We help each other with our various expertises to make each project a success and to operate together at a high level, all with the ultimate aim to satisfy the customer.

“Our engineering and rail department constantly work together on innovation. We investigate options for new materials that are better for the climate, for instance, without compromising on quality. Bemo Rail is ready for the future.

“My experience after a year and a half: Bemo is a fun and diverse company where you are challenged as a person. Because of that challenge, you learn a lot in a short period of time. And at Bemo, there is also plenty of room for the personal: it is wonderful to work in an environment where people are willing to help each other.”


Golden Jubilee Bemo Rail – Behind the Scenes

The Ladies at Admin

Marijke, Alesia and Jolande form the admin of Bemo Rail. They ensure that everything runs smoothly behind the scenes. Jolande has worked at Bemo Rail since 1977, Marijke joined in 1988 and 11 years ago also Alesia joined the team.

Marijke, Alesia and Jolande at the office in Warmenhuizen.

Jolande Vergaaij, Bemo Rail Accounting

Jolande started working for Bemo Rail in 1977, straight after high school. Jolande: “Back then, the office was in the basement of co-founder Ter Mors, where five of us worked in all. I started out answering the phone, typing letters and operating the *Telex. I found it all very exciting, because we had only just got a telephone at my parents’ home. I was very young, only 17 years old, and telephoning was not at all common at that time. Mrs. IJpelaan was our bookkeeper. When Mrs. IJpelaan retired years later, I took over the bookkeeping and payroll administration and I still do that today, together with my colleagues Marijke and Alesia.”

Marijke Zutt, admin
More than 31 years ago, 16-year-old Marijke Zutt started her first proper job at Bemo Rail: office clerk. Marijke: “At the time, Bemo Rail was much smaller and we all did whatever was necessary to keep the company running, from getting groceries for the boys when they went abroad for a longer period of time, to unloading a truck because there was no one else to do so. In all those years, I have experienced a lot at Bemo.”

Trading company
Jolande: “Bemo Rail was a founded as a trading company. But the company developed rapidly. Our suppliers could not – or did not always want to – meet the specific demands of our market. In 1983, we started engineering our own products, simply to satisfy the market’s needs. When we moved to new offices in Waarland – with a spacious workshop – in 1986, we built our first locomotive in-house. We were and still are extremely proud of that!

Back in the Days

Marijke: “When all my colleagues had left to work on a crane track overhaul at Hoogovens (now Tata Steel), I was left alone at the Bemo site. One day, I arrived at Bemo on my bicycle, and to my surprise I saw that there was a truck loaded with rails parked outside. There was nobody else, but the truck had to be unloaded. So, I put the chains of the overhead crane around the rails and unloaded the truck with the help of the driver. This did not go without significant swearing from each of us. Both in our own native language, of course, and it didn’t matter because we didn’t understand each other anyway. Later that day, another truck arrived, this one loaded with HE beams, and the exercise was repeated. Fortunately, this kind of thing didn’t happen often and everything always worked out well in the end.

I remember when I started at Bemo, one of the very first locomotives was built in our workshop. The development, seeing it get built from scratch right up to a running, fully functional locomotive, is a wonderful and exciting experience. Our locomotives are a unique product in the Netherlands. I still feel great pride each time a Bemo Rail locomotive leaves our workshop.”

The first computer
Jolande:“Bemo Rail moved a few years after I started, to an office building on the Phoenixstraat in Alkmaar. We were there for only four years, but I remember it well as the place I first used a computer.”

Teun Druijf director: “Our first computer cost 28,000 guilders (approximately 12,705 euro); the printer was included in the price. More technical developments followed rapidly. For faster communication, the fax was developed. Fax machines cost 7,450 guilders each. A few years later, we also bought our first network computer from the firm Selmers in Alkmaar. The machine had a hard disk of 20 MB, which was a big deal at the time! Selmers was later taken over by NC systems, who are our IT supplier to this day.”

Stralsund, Germany
Marijke: “In 1996, we had a major contract in Germany. In Stralsund, a shipyard was being renovated and a huge hall and lifting platform 270 meters long for the renovation and construction of container ships had to be built. Bemo Rail was hired to deliver and assemble crane tracks and crossing fields. The project lasted almost two years and for some of my colleagues who stayed in Germany for a longer period of time, I used to buy groceries like chocolate sprinkles and peanut butter and give them to one of the truck drivers or someone else heading to Germany. You see, lot of products were not available in the former East-German supermarkets, and our boys missed them. After this first big, international project, many others followed.”

Jolande: “We have come a long way since the time five of us were working in the basement at Ter Mors’ house. I still like it. Together, we make beautiful, high-quality and innovative products. Quality is the standard. I am extremely proud of what we do and make here!”

Marijke: “At Bemo, we worked hard, but we also liked a party. One annual party was the Waarlandse funfair, a local event that we would visit with the entire staff. We would have a beer at the fair, and we’d end the day with a nice BBQ at Bemo. I really like it that we can combine work and fun. It’s one of the things that makes Bemo a great place to work.”

Bemo Rail colleagues at the funfair in Waarland approximately 15 years ago.

*Telex was a way to send letters or messages electronically. Jolande: “You typed the text on a punched tape and then you entered the tape in the Telex machine and sent it to the recipient. It was a very large cupboard, with a roll of tape inside. It made lots of noise, but it did ensure that the message arrived on the other side of the world. We didn’t have fax or e-mail yet back then, so it was the fastest way to communicate.”

Telex Machine, bron foto: Wikipedia

Golden Jubilee Bemo Rail – Sebastiaan Bachet, Foreman Rail Technology

Sebastiaan started at Bemo Rail in 2005 after a technical education and additional specialised courses in metalworking. He first worked as a mechanic in the Bemo workshop, but soon he moved to fieldwork.

Sebastiaan: “I have travelled all around the world on behalf of Bemo Rail. I have been in Laos, Thailand, Ghana, Hong Kong, Egypt, Morocco, Brazil, Peru, French Guiana, Aruba, Curacao, Finland, England, Germany and Belgium.”

Sebastiaan: “I started in Waarland, with a team of new mechanics. At the time, I was not the average Bemo employee and stood out with my diamond earrings, Nikes and Indonesian complexion. However, I quickly felt at home and have been working at Bemo for over 14 years now.

“The first three months, I spent drilling sleepers; then I was asked to join the field team. The colleagues were somewhat stiff and reserved at first. But then I got to know them and they got to know me and fortunately I found my place. We are a very close team, I wouldn’t call them family, but if you spend a long time together on a job on site, you get to know each other very well. We know we can count on each other.

“The first year and a half, I was assigned to do welding jobs. Together with colleague Wouter, we drove across the Netherlands for various jobs. Then the opportunity arose to become a foreman and I seized that opportunity.”

The Egypt Project: Installing 2,000 Metres of Rails on the Dock
Sebastiaan: “In 2008, Bemo needed someone for a project in Egypt. I didn’t know much about the country, but I was asked and I went; it was my first international project. The project site was located only three hours from Cairo and I was shocked when I arrived. I really hadn’t expected the difference in culture to be so significant! The project was led by a Chinese company and the working methods and conditions were different compared to what I was used to in the Netherlands. Communication was difficult at times.

Egypt installing 2,000 metres of Rails on the Dock

“The project involved installing 2,000 metres of rails on the dock. We had to install 250 metres in each phase; around 1,500 people worked on that same piece of 250 metres. Every time we finished 250 metres of rails, this was handed over to the terminal and a container crane was put on the rail immediately. It was a battlefield! Nowadays, this kind of practices do not exist anymore, and I have never experienced anything like it again. I certainly learned to stand up for myself! It was tough, but we made it work. We finished the job and I am proud of that!

“There were quite a few tensions in Egypt at the time. The locals warned me that it was not safe and that I might have to leave. I remember thinking ‘they are exaggerating’. But I was wrong, because in 2009 the war began in Egypt and I was still there. The hotel next to us was on fire, we heard guns, there had been an outbreak in prison and thousands of men were rioting in the streets. Our hotel was guarded by tanks and the cook made Molotov cocktails from beer bottles from the bar to protect us. We waited for a quiet moment to leave. Two days later, that moment arrived: it was a bit quieter and we left with all the foreigners present in a column of 3 cars. When we arrived in Cairo, we were surrounded by a crowd with shotguns and bats. They were locals protecting their properties. Fortunately, they saw we were foreigners, let us pass and we were able to get to the airport. Bemo managed to arrange a ticket for me and I have never been so happy to be home again in my life!”

Port Said Egypt

Hong Kong Cruise Terminal:
Sebastiaan: “The next project was in Hong Kong. The first time I went there for four and a half months; it was a project in a Cargo Terminal at the airport. We installed a unique earthquake-proof rail system on seven floors. Shortly after, in January, we had the chance to do a second project in Hong Kong, this time for a Cruise Terminal. We laid rails commissioned by a Spanish company. In addition to work, leisure time in Hong Kong was also unique. It is a diverse and international city and I had a fantastic time there! I remember going to a “Rugby 7” match with a group of colleagues and acquaintances; we were able to get cheap tickets at the door. We had seats right behind the goal and I caught a ball. It was broadcast on TV! It was such a unique experience and the atmosphere was great!”

Hong Kong Cruise Terminal

Sebastiaan: “I spent a year and a half in Tangier to oversee the construction of a port rail system. We helped build the largest container terminal in Africa there. This project was the icing on the cake. What Bemo does is very special, and the confidence Bemo has always placed in my abilities is also very special. Just like my colleagues, I am always ready and willing to take on any challenge. I went to Morocco with colleagues Mark and Marcel and it was great. Sometimes lonely, too, but the experience helped shape me. I am very proud of that project.

Sebastiaan in Tanger, Marocco.

Sebastiaan: “I think that in the coming years we will become even bigger and better than we already are. I want to continue to use my experience to take the projects on site to a higher level.”

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.”

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.