Nijkerk – Hertog Reijnout Steam Pumping Station
I17
Nijkerk
1883

Nijkerk – Hertog Reijnout Steam Pumping Station

Nijkerk – Hertog Reijnout Steam Pumping Station
Nijkerk – Hertog Reijnout Steam Pumping Station
Nijkerk – Hertog Reijnout Steam Pumping Station
Nijkerk – Hertog Reijnout Steam Pumping Station
Nijkerk – Hertog Reijnout Steam Pumping Station
Nijkerk – Hertog Reijnout Steam Pumping Station

The Arkemheense polder is one of the oldest polders in the Netherlands, and for one hundred years, the Hertog Reijnout Steam Pumping Station was responsible for draining it. Even now, the coal-powered steam pumping station is called on to help out when water levels are extreme. The pumping station is open to the public and there is a visitors’ centre in the old coal shed.

Rising sea levels
In 1356, Duke Reinoud III of Guelders granted the inhabitants living in the Arkemheense polder the right to build dikes. This was no extravagance, because the rising sea levels were having an increasing effect on the Arkemheense polder. In 1825, the coast along the Zuiderzee from Amersfoort to Friesland was plagued by breached dikes and flooding.It was not until the large dike, the Afsluitdijk, was built and the Zuiderzee was turned into the IJsselmeer Lake so that the danger of serious flooding subsided.

Pumping
For centuries, the water level in the polder was controlled using floodgates that were closed when the Zuiderzee was at high tide. Excess water was drained off through a sluice. This old water drainage system was in urgent need of improvement. There was already talk, in 1820, about using a windmill for drainage, but it took until 1863 for the mill to be built. It was named Hertog Reijnout after the duke who issued the right to build dikes here in the 14th century.

Steam engine
Twenty years later, in 1883, the windmill was replaced by a steam pumping engine. The old windmill was converted into a home for the pumping station´s operator. The steam engine came from the company Backer &amp Rueb in Breda.
The pumping engine has two scoop wheels and can drain an area of 3000 hectares. It was in proud service for exactly one hundred years. Then, in 1983, drainage was taken over by an electric pumping engine. Since its restoration, the steam pumping engine has been on view for the public and is stoked about 12 times every year, occasionally helping out when the electric pumping engine cannot handle the capacity on its own.

Nijkerk – Hertog Reijnout Steam Pumping Station
Nijkerk – Hertog Reijnout Steam Pumping Station
Nijkerk – Hertog Reijnout Steam Pumping Station
Nijkerk – Hertog Reijnout Steam Pumping Station
Nijkerk – Hertog Reijnout Steam Pumping Station
Nijkerk – Hertog Reijnout Steam Pumping Station