Headquarters Gooische Stoomtram Maatschappij

Middenweg 65

The former headquarters of the Gooische steam tram company is located on Middenweg in Amsterdam Oost. The facade still bears the company’s name. The company was founded in 1880 in order to connect Amsterdam with the Gooi region, via Diemen. In 1881, the headquarters were built in the then municipality of Watergraafsmeer, which became part of Amsterdam in 1921. Today, tram 9 follows part of the steam tram’s original route and so passes this building, calling to mind its original function.

From 1880 until 1939, the tram ran from Amsterdam via Watergraafsmeer and Diemen to the Gooi, terminating at Hilversum. The starting point was Weesperpoort station, now Rhijnspoorplein, which was demolished in 1939 to make way for Amstel station. From here, the tram continued along Wibautstraat and turned left just before the railway line. On the corner with Linnaeusstraat it turned right, before continuing along Middenweg towards Diemen, Muiden, Muiderberg and further into the Gooi.

In the late nineteenth century, people were not yet used to the tram, which resulted in many accidents, some of which were fatal. The tram line soon acquired the nickname ‘Gooische moordenaar’ (Gooische murderer). A poem of 1924 recalls the tram’s notoriety: ‘When the Gooische steam tram comes: People! Watch out! See that thing approach with fear and trembling!’ By1947, when the tram made its final journey, a total of 117 people had lost their lives due to the Gooische murderer. The tram enabled people to escape the city into the countryside. They had to allow plenty of time for this: the tram journey from Amsterdam to Muiderberg took 65 minutes.

The headquarters on Middenweg was also the tram depot. The tram rails ran to the left of the building around the back, where the trams were housed. The repair and maintenance workshop was also located here. The building has three storeys and an attic and is built of natural stone and brick. The lower storey is entirely of natural stone, which ascends on either side. The third storey has classical elements such as pilasters and a pediment. As such, the building fits in with the neo-Classical style that was current at that time in the nineteenth century. (ARCAM/RB)