No 3759 – NS 3700 class

Portrayed as she was in her ‘original’ state, before her shimmering copper and brass decorations were taken away, and brakes were added to the pilot wheels (as well as other alterations were made) during the second world war. The 3700s were express passenger locomotives, nicknamed ‘jumbos’ for their relatively large size and strength – even if they pale in comparison to big German engines, and have a very civilian speed compared to English express engines. Five went through a brief stint of streamlining; I guess their new nicknames of ‘sperm whale’ and ‘bathtub’ say just about enough. Without streamlined coaches it wasn’t much of a success, and the streamlined plating was soon removed.

Although the 3700s were Dutch engines, they were produced by five different companies in three different countries over the course of 18 years. Which meant that many batches – even coming from the same company – showed subtle differences between them. Most notably the English-made engines, which had a rather distinctly different smokebox. 3759 was built in the Netherlands, as part of the third batch. Along with her sisters, they roamed the Dutch railways for almost 50 years. Only one of this class (and in fact, a sole survivor of all large 4-6-0 express engines) has been preserved: 3737, which was the first Dutch-built 3700, and also the last steam engine to ever operate in the Netherlands. She’s currently maintained in the Dutch railway museum, lovingly nicknamed ‘the Old Lady’.

– Graphite pencil and fineliner 21 x 29,7 cm