Pays-Bas / Lieu d'intêret

Railway bridge Geldermalsen-Tricht




The railway bridge between Geldermalsen and Tricht forms the connection across the river Linge and is located on the Utrecht - Boxtel route. Until the winter of 1945, a railway bridge dating from 1868 was located here. It is a long bridge consisting of two times four arch bridges, forming the span across the river and river area of the Linge.

On 17 April 1945, when the war is already over, part of the Tricht population is summoned to leave their homes, the bridge will be blown up by the German occupiers. The signal box, locomotive shed and other important railway infrastructure were also destroyed that day. The violent explosions caused the windows of several houses in Tricht to be destroyed. Pieces of the railway bridge fly through the air like butterflies. At brewer Aalbers, who lives about 100 metres away from the bridge, a piece of a railway track lies in front of the door.

In June 1945, fairly soon after the liberation, a company of the British Engineers, the Royal Engineers, came to Geldermalsen to help clear debris and repair the Lingebrug.

A tent camp is set up by the British on a grassfield at the beginning of the Koppelsedijk. Local children regularly come to the entrance of the tent camp in those days. This is because the British soldiers have sweets: chewing gum and chocolate.

They work hard for 11 days. With two bulldozers and four scrapers, they realise a railway embankment in a short time. This long railway embankment will replace the three southern spans. In it, they also process the debris from the large locomotive shed. In these eleven days, members of the Royal Engineers moved over 9,000 m3 of sand and soil . They also built an emergency bridge over the Linge, and by September 1945 the first trains were able to run again.

The company of British Engineers, which was stationed in Geldermalsen, consisted of English and Scottish soldiers. Among the Scots were some drummers and bagpipers. The local Reformed minister Krop held a church service in English for this company one Sunday afternoon. In typical British fashion, the full company with tambourers and bagpipes marched down Church Street to the Reformed church.