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Dredging pond for remnants WWII locomotive comes up empty

Future site for houseboats

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

DEVENTER And the mystery remains unsolved. The recent search for a German locomotive presumably derailed by the Dutch resistance during World War II did not produce any indication that such a behemoth actually is sitting at the bottom of a local pond. A developer, planning to use the large pond called Holterkolk to moor houseboats, hired divers to descend into the murky depths to eliminate any surprises while developing the body of water, in Dutch called a kolk.

Over the decades since, the story of the alleged WWII derailment has taken on a life of its own, without any corroboration however. Some local residents, who recently watched divers bring bicycles, vacuum cleaners, ironing boards, an air gun and evidence of a submerged VW Beetle to the surface, did not get deterred by the lack of evidence. None of them had first-hand knowledge of the derailed train.

When divers recovered an old railway lamp however, spirits soared among spectators and divers alike. In consecutive dives, nothing else suggesting the presence of a locomotive was brought to the surface, raising the question in the minds of some people if the search of the depth of the kolk was not a publicity stunt of the developer.

A kolk, also called a waal or wiel in other parts of the country, at the foot of a dike, points to the location of a breach in the dike during an excessive run-off or a heavy storm, which pushed river water back. They usually have a significant depth. The kolk in question lies at the foot of the IJssel river dike.