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Event : "Terug Naar Toen" - ( Back in history )

Apeldoorn - The Netherlands

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POI - Points Of Interest
Please download my POI-kmz-file ( Google Earth kmz-file ) for The Netherlands with many interesting photo-spots, locations and things to see.
Latest version: 2014-01

My personal diary, with many photos, from the Terug Naar Toen - 2012.

My personal diary, with many photos, from the Terug Naar Toen - 2014.

My personal diary, with many photos, from the Terug Naar Toen - 2016.

My comments on public transport in Amsterdam.


On this page :
  • Where - When - What
  • YouTube videos
  • What to expect ?
  • Special "treats"
  • Which locomotives will run at the event ?
  • Guest-locomotives
  • The "Train-schedule" and the "Lok-schedule"
  • What NOT to expect ?
  • Hotels - Motels - Camping
  • Food - restaurants
  • Final thoughts and information
  • Other things to see around Apeldoorn


Where ?

Europe - The Netherlands - Gelderland - Apeldoorn.
Please note that the name of the country is "The Netherlands".
"Holland" is in fact the name of 2 provinces in "The Netherlands"; "North-Holland" and "South-Holland".

When ?

Every year during the first full weekend in September.
The first "Terug Naar Toen" took place in 1978.

What ?

2-day steam train event ( Saturday - Sunday ) arranged by Veluwsche Stoomtrein Maatschappij - [ VSM ]
The VSM was created in 1975.

Steam-trains, and diesel-trains, running all weekend on the tracks between Apeldoorn and Dieren.

Apeldoorn and Dieren are also NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen - Dutch Railroads) stations with plenty of ordinary traffic.

Official flyers / brochures :
2014 pdf
2016 pdf

YOUTUBE videos

I have several playlists on my Youtube Channel with videos from the "Terug Naar Toen" event and the VSM in general from the 1970'ties till today :

What to expect ?

At least 6-8 different steam locomotives ( could be as many as 10-12 ), some diesel locomotives and a variety of different passenger cars and freight cars.

The railroad between Apeldoorn and Dieren is only served by the VSM. There are 5 stations:
  • Apeldoorn
  • Beekbergen-Lieren ( aka Beekbergen )
  • Loenen
  • Eerbeek
  • Dieren
There actually is a 6th station ( defining station as a place where there are turnouts ), but that is only for freight trains : Apeldoorn VAM.

There also is a small stop at "Immenbergweg" between Beekbergen and Loenen, which is only used at special occasions.

During the weekend trains will run on the whole stretch, but at each station cars and locomotives will be exchanged, so at any given spot on the railroad you'll be able to see a variety of combinations between locomotives and cars.

There will also be plenty of shunting taking place at each station.


Beekbergen-Lieren is the "head-quarters" and where the only turn-table is. There will be plenty of action on the turntable and the general servicing of the locomotives.

Loenen is the "night-quarter" because the good people of Beekbergen-Lieren, although interested in having VSM as a tourist magnet, were not interested in having the noise and the smell of coal during the evening and the night.

At Loenen there will also be a lot of side-show activities; typically ride-along miniature-trains, various things driven by steam-power and the usual play-things for children. There should also be some sellers of second-hand model-railroad items, railroad clubs have promotional stands etc.

Friday late afternoon / evening all loks will be transported from Beekbergen-Lieren to Loenen coupled together.

Saturday afternoon there will typically also be some locomotive-transfer from Beekbergen to Loenen.

Sunday evening, all loks will go back from Loenen to Beekbergen-Lieren again coupled together.


As the number of spectators have in fact almost reached the limit, safety becomes an important issue, and the "specials" from previous years have been cut from the program.

As I understand it, it is the conditions at the stations, where so many spectators stand so close to the trains, that worries the safety-personel - and rightly so.

In fact - when you look at videos on i.e. youtube ( see links above ) from the previous events, you'll notice that in fx. Beekbergen-Lieren station, there are a lot more metal fences now than there used to be in i.e. 2005.

Untill about 2010 ALL participating loks would make an honorary run on Sunday late afternoon all the way from Apeldoorn to Beekbergen-Lieren, so you could see as many as 12 loks coupled together. Safety regulations stopped that.

So the event is kind of a victim of its own success. Hopefully the Friday and Sunday trains still remain with several loks coupled together.


On Saturday and Sunday at 14:00 there ususally is a "lok-parade" ( presentation ) at Beekbergen-Lieren.


Saturday and Sunday, early morning, a long freight train will run between Loenen and Apeldoorn. There will also be more, shorter, freight trains during the day, but they will run between Loenen-Eeerbek and Beekbergen-Lieren-Apeldoorn. Check the official Information-Flyer for 2014 and you'll see the pattern.

Se below at the "train-schedule" where the freight-trains are listed under "goederentreinen".

Special "treats"

1997 :
VSM had teamed up with some military reenactment clubs, so you could see a freight train with flat-cars loaded with military equipment, amongst that 2 Sherman Tanks from WW2.
Watch videos of the military freight train on YOU-TUBE

2010 :
VSM had teamed up with vintage VW Car Clubs,
so the flat-cars would be loaded with vintage VW cars :
During the later years these kind of "treats" have not, to my knowledge, taken place.

If you have any information about other "treats" - special freights; please contact me.

Which locomotives will run at the event ?

Which steam-locomotives that will participate varies from year to year. The locomotives that VSM owns will all participate if they are in working condition and i.e. not in the repair shop.

Well hidden on the VSM website is their list of their rolling stock "COLLECTIE" ➚ and information about the loks incl. whether they are "Bedrijfsvaardig" ( In active service ) or "Buiten dienst" ( Out of service ) :
  • Stoomlocomotieven
    Steam-locomotives
    • Baureihe 23
    • Baureihe 44
    • Baureihe 50
    • Baureihe 52
    • Baureihe 64
    • Baureihe 80
    • TKp 23 / TKp 5353
  • Diesellocomotieven
    Diesel-locomotives
    • Serie 100 / 200 / 300
    • Serie 500 / 600
    • Serie 2200 / 2300
    • Serie 2400 / 2530
    • MoSi (Moderne Sik)
  • Rijtuigen
    Carriages
    • Oostenrijkers
    • Mat'24
      (Blokkendozen)
    • Bolkoppen
    • Reihe 36
    • Wagon-Lits
    • Mitropa
Since the lok-schedule refers to the names on the list, i.e. "Oostenrijkers", it is well worth studying the list and the photos.

You can also see the VSM - rolling stock list ➚ at "nmld.locaalspoor.nl".

Guest-locomotives

Usually there will also be guest locomotives and coaches from other museum-railroads in the Netherlands, but that changes from year to year. To my disappointment it is not easy to gather information about which guest locomotives will attend the event.

But visiting locomotives gives you the opportunity to see these trains on the transfer-routes to and from Apeldoorn or Dieren.


Confirmed guest locomotives have been :

2012 :
"BR 65 018" and "BR 01 1075" from SSN - Stoom Stichting Nederland

2014 :
"BR 65 018" from SSN - Stoom Stichting Nederland
ZLSM - Zuid-Limburgse Stoomtrein Maatschappij ➚ that have several old Swedish steam locomotives, did not attend in 2014.

2016 :
"BR 65 018" from SSN - Stoom Stichting Nederland

Train-schedule - Lok-schedule

The "Train-schedule" is the ordinary time-table ( schedule ) for the trains.

The "Lok-schedule" ( "loc-omloop / dienstregeling grafiek" ) ALSO shows which locomotives that will be pulling / pushing the individual trains. You can get the lok-schedule for the current event from the VSM-offices in Beekbergen during the event; presumably from Friday evening.

You can download pdf-files :

Train-schedule for 2012 pdf
Train-schedule for 2014 pdf
Train-schedule for 2016 pdf

As you can see - the 2012, 2014 and 2016 train-schedules are EXACTLY the same.


You can download a pdf-file with the Lok-schedule for 2012 pdf


What NOT to expect ?

Originally I have written, that "... GENERALLY, you should NOT expect people at the event; be it spectators or officials, to speak any other language than Dutch. ...". This was based on my experiences from the event in 2012.

I am happy to change this. During the 2014 event I encountered many Dutch citizens, and they all spoke English. I asked them whether they preferred to speak English or German, and they all preferred English. A few, who lived close to the border to Germany were indifferent; they spoke English AND German.

Again in 2014 - ALL the Dutch people I talked with, no exception, were extremely friendly and helpfull.

The VSM-website is, as of September 2016 ONLY in Dutch. There are several online-translation services that will help you get the "bigger picture", but it is a shame that at least the "Terug Naar Toen" page is not, also, in English.

Visitors to the event will mainly be Dutch. I have encountered some Germans and a few Belgians, but that is about it. The "Terug Naar Toen" event seems to be presented, adverticed and completed as a local Dutch event.

Hotels - Motels - Camping

Since some of the interesting trains mostly run very early in the morning or late in the evening it makes sense to stay in the neighbourhood for the night.

You can check my .kmz-file ( see top of this page ) for The Netherlands / Holland for the hotels I've found.

Booking sites like hotels.com ➚ and booking.com ➚ will also give you plenty of offers.

Generally I won't recommend any particular hotel, but the Hotel de Stoppelberg ➚ is at least worth checking out; all depending on your personal requirements. I found it very friendly, quiet, good-value and less than 5 minutes by car to the VSM railroad.

There are several camp-sites in the neighbourhood. If the weather is fine in the beginning of September, ( and why shouldn't it be ? ), this is a good option, for those travelling by car or bicycle.

2 camping-sites are just next to the rail-line; "De Roseboom" in Beekbergen-Lieren and "De Bosrand" in Oosterhuizen.

Food - restaurants

In Beekbergen there is a "Albert Heijn"; a Dutch super-market chain. There is a McDonald 5 minutes north of Beekbergen-Lieren Station. Plenty of restaurants in Apeldoorn. And of course there are several country-side restaurants to explore.

At both Beekbergen-Lieren and Loenen stations you can buy the usual sausages and soft-drinks.

There are toilets at all stations, but most likely also a queue.

Final thoughts and information

The "Terug Naar Toen" event is VERY recommandable.

No-where else ( in the world IMHO ) will you see that many steam trains during so short a time.

Expect to see 3-4 steamtrains every hour on the stretch Beekbergen-Lieren-Loenen and at least 2 steam trains every hour on the other stretches.

Considering that the trains will run from 07:00 till 19:00 you'll be able to see a lot of trains under different conditions.


If you want to move from one photo-spot to another it pays to have some kind of transport - a car or a bicycle.

Most of the time you'll drive on smaller country roads - some not even paved.

The Dutch drive rather fast on these small and narrow roads - so slow down and don't take for granted that the shoulder (of the road) can be driven on.

Sometimes you want to stand at a crossing - it pays to wear a safety jacket - not because of the trains but because of the cars.

If you ride a bike : ALWAYS wear the safety jacket.


The "Eisenbahn-Romantik" - Folge 581 "Zurück nach Damals" - Dampfspektakel in den Niederlanden" - followed the "Terug Naar Toen" in 2005. The show can possibly still be seen on YouTube.

Eisenbahn-Romantik also did a special tour through the Netherlands in September 2009, where they visited the "Terug Naar Toen". As far as I know there is no special video from that tour.


There are several videos and photos on the internet from the recent "Terug Naar Toen" events, but here is a link to pictures from the 2 very first "Terug Naar Toen" events; in 1978 and in 1979 :
Pictures taken by Bart Grunewold


DVD toen en nu
In September 2013 a DVD appeared : "VSM - Toen en nu" ( VSM - Then and now ) - € 19,95.


Other things to see around Apeldoorn

Netherlands is a small country, so its very easy to find something more to see :







Copyright © Christian Vinaa
2014 -
"Märklin" and other brand names and product names and logo's
are ©, TM or registered trademarks of their respective owners,
and are used on this website for purely informational purposes.

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