Mail transport by train

In the 19th century there were several companies that operated railway connections in the Netherlands. Later these were merged into the N.V. Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS).

The Hollandsche IJzeren Spoorweg-Maatschappij (HIJSM) was the first company to establish a train connection in the Netherlands. On 20 September 1839 the first train, with the steam locomotive "De Arend", ran from Amsterdam to Haarlem. The route was then extended to Rotterdam.
The Nederlandsche Rhijnspoorweg-Maatschappij (NRS) followed on 18 December 1843 with the Amsterdam-Utrecht section, which was then extended to Arnhem and to the German border near Emmerich. This company also provided a connection between Utrecht and Rotterdam.

This was followed by, among others, the Nederlandsche Centraal-Spoorweg-Maatschappij (NCS). This company constructed the line Utrecht - Amersfoort - Zwolle - Kampen. The Utrecht - Hattem section was opened on 19 July 1863. Hattem - Zwolle had to be done by bus at that time, because the railway bridge over the river IJssel was not yet ready. This connection was established on 6 June 1864. In 1865 the line was extended to Kampen.

In Zwolle, the NCS first used a temporary station building because the construction of a large new station was planned. This was completed in 1866 and had to be used together with the Maatschappij tot Exploitatie van Staatsspoorwegen (SS, a private company founded in 1863), which operated the train connection between Arnhem and Leeuwarden.


The first timetable of the NCS. Advertisement in the newspaper Zwolsche Courant, 1863.


A travelling post office (TPO) was installed on the train, where the mail that had been returned at the stops could be sorted and stamped. On 24 February 1872, the TPO was sent a dot or number handstamp 141 (officially called nommerstempel) to cancel the postage stamps starting 1 March. A cds UTR : - ZWOLLE was provided as a date stamp.


Dot handstamp 141.

At the stops, mail could be handed in to the TPO. To indicate where this happened, train stop handstamps (haltestempels) were used in the carriage. These were name handstamps in a frame and were not allowed to be used for cancellation of postage stamps, for that purpose the dot handstamp was intended.

2½ cent postcard sent by NCS from Zwolle to Amsterdam, 3 August 1874 with train stop handstamp ZWOLLE in frame and cds UTR: - ZWOLLE / C.
Dot handstamps were not allowed to be used on postcards.


Train station Zwolle with the horse tram.

Laatst bijgewerkt op 27.09.2023 21:05-> uur.

Copyright © 2019 - G.L. van Welie FRPSL
Secretaris van de Nederlandse Academie voor Filatelie
Representative of the Royal Philatelic Society London for the Netherlands

Niets uit deze website mag worden gekopieerd, verspreid en/of gepubliceerd zonder schriftelijke toestemming van de auteur.

Heeft u aanvullingen of opmerkingen?