Locomotive Roster: NS Koploper; Minitrix 12749 and 12865

UPDATE: Please read this newer post which updates some of the info in this review!

Taking a small break from reviews of my French fleet of trains, we'll now turn our sites to the northeast of France to the Netherlands!  In particular, Minitrix's model of the Nederlandse Spoorswegen "Koploper" Electric Multiple Units!  Actually, I believe the official designation of these trains is ICM (for Intercity Materieel), but I think most people refer to them as "Koplopers".

If you've seen any of my videos or photos on this blog, then you will have seen these trains appear quite a few times.  I have two versions, the 12749 in the traditional blue and yellow of the NS from 2004:
I also have a slightly older model from somewhere between 1994 and 1999 in the light blue KLM advertising livery which is also packaged in the older Minitrix boxes before the Marklin acquisition:
Despite the fact that both models were produced between 5 and 10 years apart, they both appear to be identical except for their paint schemes and the packaging.

What surprised me was that the KLM model (when it was produced is not quite clear to me, but the packaging very clearly makes it certain that it was pre-Marklin acquisition in 1997) has an NEM 651 interface.  This seems amazing as we're talking about mid-1990's production with a plug and play socket for a decoder! If that's true, then this must have been one of the very first models to be so equipped!
I suspect, though can't confirm, that the recently released (and still available) version of this train in the Olympic livery (model 12184) is basically the same as well.
Despite being an older production model, in some ways it lives up to contemporary standards.  The details and printing are crisp and clean, the models feature white and red lights for both directions and, of course, the NEM 651 interface for easy (usually) conversion to DCC.

What's not so good is that these units appear to use an older type of can motor (although it does have a flywheel) that seems quite noisy compared to more modern production.  Additionally, only two axles are powered.  While these are provided as 3 car sets, you may not need too much traction or power, but I expect that on a significant grade, these might struggle a bit (I have 3% grades on my layout and have not noticed any problems yet).
 There is more detail and additional information on these two sets in the video above.  Thanks for reading!


  1. On the 6th pictures, you have an EMU I don't know about (far left). Can I ask what it is?

  2. Ahhh, yes...its a Graham Farish Class 150! My first British DMU!

  3. The minitrix KLM NS Koploper is a 1986 model.Could it be that the NEM 651 interface was added by a previous owner?

    That aside, the standard of Minitrix, Fleischmann and Arnold construction back in the 80's was very high.

    Ross S
    North Berwick

  4. this has nothing to do with the review but,
    could you make a new overview of your layout with all the new trains ?
    oh, and by the way nice review :)

  5. @ Ross - I think it might be possible that someone retrofitted it with the circuit board from a newer version of the Koploper...seems like a lot of extra work though, but it makes sense. If this train was produced in 1986 then I think you are right...impossible for it to have a NEM 651 interface! (note that the instructions make no mention of the decoder as well). A real mystery!

  6. @ Anonymous...Haver you seen this video? It has a lot of my new (and old!) trains (except for the ICE and TGV)


  7. Thanks for showing me the video. You really showed your various trains. Up to now i didn't even know you had a youtube channel !!
    But can i ask you what tram you used in the video, because it looks like the trams i saw in paris on my vacation last year, and they looked very nice !

    Thanks in advance,
    Mark F

  8. @ Mark - Hi Mark...I think the Tram you are referring to is the Kato Portram... and your right, they do look similar to the new trams in Paris!

    Kato now produces these in a lot of different colors, and they are excellent runners! I highly recomend!

    Here's a link to Hobbysearch Japan

  9. Mark,

    In your comment about trams in Paris : there're some model from "Siku".

    This link should show it :

    The scale is rather TT, roughly (at least between H0 and N scale). No motor. More for a diecast, but good looking.
    Thank you very much Jerry for sharing your pics, videos, that's nice to view :-) and read.


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  11. Hello Jerry,

    These EMUs are officially called Koploper by the NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen or Dutch Railways). The newer Olympia Koploper is technically quite different from the older versions, especially the second, non-motorised front unit. To avoid the need for a function decoder to switch from yellow front to red rear light, they entered some sort of gizmo that detects de driving direction between the axles. The disadvantage of this is that the light does not function while the unit is stationary (in digital mode). The main print in the motorised front unit differs from the older ones, but it still has a NEM 651 connector. The first class coach has the right interior, with a salon and coupé section.


    Gerjan van Oosten, Netherlands