Sittard - Herzogenrath Railway
Originally the Railway was planned between Kohlscheid (near Herzogenrath ) and Maaseik in Belgium.
As there were no financiers found, Ir. Sarolea and the brothers Honigmann
came with a new plan, to also get access to the minefields in Eastern-Limburg
and to build a railway from Herzogenrath to Sittard. Mr.Sarolea, who already
built railways in inhospitable areas in the Dutch Indies, acquired the
railway-concession and became the first president of the "NZS - Nederlandsche
Zuider-Spoorwegmaatschappij"(Dutch Southern Railway Company). The brothers Honigmann,
who had invented a method to dig coal from under marshlands, obtained
the concession for building the "Oranje Nassau mine I
" in Heerlen.
For the railway-line the marshlands also played a role : at Hoensbroek
the railway could not be built along the centre of the town and a station
had to be built far outside. The
company was committed to build a road to the centre of Hoensbroek.
30, 1896 the line was officially opened with great festivities at Kerkrade-Rolduc
Station, offered by the the abbey of "Rolduc". It seemed as they
were very pleased with the fact that their students from the "faraway" Holland
did not have to travel by carriage anymore! On the first of May the
normal time-table began.
Takeover by the Staats-Spoorwegen
Already in 1899 the "SS" Staats-Spoorwegen took over the exploitation
and the NZS stopped to exist. In
Eygelshoven sidetracks were built to the coalmines "Julia" and
"Laura". In Heerlen-Oost a sidetrack was built to the coalmines "Oranje Nassau II"
and "Wilhelmina" .
The endstations Herzogenrath and Sittard already had a
station house when the line was built. The stations in between all were of
the type like in Landgraaf. The bigger ones had two sidewings as one can see
at the model of Kerkrade-Rolduc Station.