The Lost City: Thanks to Beijnes, many Haarlemmers had bread on the table

In a program the lost City We go to a different place in Haarlem each time to see how it has changed over time. This time a central Beijnes factory. Here, directly opposite the station in Haarlem, the train and tram sets were made. Until 1958, when he left Beijnes with all his stuff for the new location in Beverwijk.

The factory was next to the station, here on the left. There is now a completely different building. – New Hampshire

Haarlem became an industrial city in the nineteenth century. At that time, Beijnesfabriek had developed into an important employer. At its peak, about 500 people employed there. Add to this the supplying companies and then the factory put bread on the table for about 12 percent of Harlemers workers.


Beijnes succeeded in developing in a short period of time from a car maker into a manufacturer of train sets. Thanks to his insight, he moved the activities from the Riviervismarkt to Stationsplein. At that time there was only a line between Amsterdam and Haarlem, but Bejens predicted that the rail network would soon expand. And that’s exactly what happened.

In 1892, the then Princess Wilhelmina visited the factory. She and her mother, Emma, ​​took a cross-country trip. You will soon become queen. The fact that Beijnes was on the agenda indicates that the factory already had a solid reputation at that time. “Bijn had a prestige,” adds archivist de Bruijn from North Holland. “He also had a train set made especially for Wilhelmina.”

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Jan Beijnes talks about the factory – NH

the halls

“These were the halls,” Jan Begnes explains. He is a descendant of the famous family of train builders. “A piece was always added on, because it had to get bigger and bigger. The factory grew naturally. The halls were built on the side of my great-grandfather’s house. That’s how they always built factories in the past. The landlord always lived in the middle and built on either side as much as he could get.” Earth “.

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Founder JJ Beijnes

Third class wagon

To see Beijnes’ work with our own eyes, we visit the Railway Museum in Utrecht. Jeroen Fink of the museum guides us behind the trains. We start with the oldest third-class carriage. Built in 1874. “You can always tell about third class by the hard wood seats.”

“You built those trains so hard you didn’t get any follow-up orders.”

Jan Baines

It wasn’t comfortable, but according to Fink, the speed at which people could move made up for it. “Sixty kilometers an hour. It was unprecedented, one and a half times faster than the speed of a galloping horse. Although you were sitting on those hard wooden benches, you were dry. It wasn’t heated yet and lighting was also a problem. But so was the comfort of running.” Smooth on the track is fantastic.” The alternative was a cart, but even with a well-hung cart, you arrived at your destination wrecked. The roads were that bad. The alternative was the barge, but it went very slowly.

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Jeroen Fink in the oldest preserved train set

Not only were the Beijnes trains durable, they were. According to Jan Beijnes, these trains are perhaps a bit solid: “These trains are so solidly built that you never get follow-up orders. They don’t wear out. Better build something faster, then you can sell a little more. But you’re establishing a strong name. Beijnes, It was of very good quality.”

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Business was improving and so expansion was necessary. Curator Alexandre de Bruin shows us the factory’s expansion plans from the end of the 19th century.

De Bruyne: “Manufacturing is thriving because of the high quality and finish. Even in those days you had to submit a plan for this to the municipality. These are the construction drawings from the files. This is the proposal and this is the case also built.”

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Inside the factory hall

Jan Bejnis still remembers walking into the factory hall as a child and playing there. “It was so much fun, all those machines. All these people banging and cutting in there. All this noise. It was a big factory hall. You could see the trains being built in there in different stages. That was impressive.” In retrospect, the fact that he ran between them as a little guy wasn’t harmful. “People didn’t pay much attention to that at the time,” Begnes says with a big smile.


After the war, expansion was no longer possible. In 1950 part of the activities moved from Haarlem to Beverwijk. In 1958, it became too young in Haarlem and the Beijnes disappeared permanently from Stationsplein.

Beijnes: “At Beverwijk it was so beautifully arranged. They had their own little station. With the Uitgeeest-Beverwijk line. Twice a day the Beijnes train traveled there to take employees from Haarlem to the factory.”

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