What a noise! And dust! Since the seventies hundreds of corn trains for CHV compound feed factory were unloaded here. When the slides underneath the carriages were opened, the raw material fell into a pit underneath the railway line. Corn, cassava flour, wheat and barley: via an underground system it reached the adjacent silo tower. Unique: this was the only unloading point under a through railway line in the Netherlands.
French corn and flowers
During the first years, the unloading took place in the open air. After that a covered unloading point was built. Good for staff and neighbours! It made a great difference in noise and dust. Corn trains from France came via Roosendaal to Veghel. In later years, full carriages also came from Rotterdam to this place. In the high days two trains arrived daily. Together with the corn from foreign fields flower seeds came. Theysometimes came to rest next to the railway line where all kinds of things blossomed.
Just seventeen kilometres. That’s the distance between Boxtel and Veghel. The last part of the corn train’s journey wasn’t very long. But it took more than an hour to cover that distance. How that was possible? This railway track didn’t have a security system. Therefore the maximum speed was very low. At unguarded railway crossings a shunter from the train used to warn the crossing traffic with a red flag. If it was dark they used a lantern. At the railway bridge crossing the Zuid-Willem canal, the train stopped to make a telephone call. This way traffic control was informed that the corn train had arrived in Veghel or had left for Boxtel again.
Ship replaces train
At the end of the nineties more and more corn was transported by ship like before. The number of trains with corn drastically dropped. In 2001 the last fully loaded corn train came over the Duits Lijntje to Veghel. And that ended a period of nearly 150 years of railway transport on this track.