Stoomgemaal Halfweg: the oldest and largest paddle wheel steam pumping station

In Halfweg you will find a special monument: Stoomgemaal Halfweg. The pumping station was built in 1852 and is now part of Dutch industrial heritage. It has six huge paddle wheels. Until 1977, it pumped seepage and rainwater from 170 polders into the sea together with many other pumping stations in the western Netherlands.
View of steam pumping station Halfweg with water in front

History of the pumping station

After the reclamation of the Haarlemmermeer, the polder had to remain dry. A big job. The Haarlemmermeerpolder is located much lower than the surrounding land. It is located 4,5 to 7 meters lower than sea level. Seepage and rainwater was pumped to the sea using polder pumping stations and storage zones. The Stoomgemaal Halfweg is one of two pumping stations in the western Netherlands. It is now one of the two steam pumping stations that still run in an authentic manner. that happens 10 to 12 times a year and you can be there!  

Maintenance and improvements

The Steam Pumping Station was designed by the architects P. Kock and JA Beijerinck. The Halfweg pumping station was enlarged twice in the past 1,5 centuries. In 1888, the very first steam engine was replaced by two more powerful engines, a separate boiler house was added and the paddle wheels were enlarged. In 1923, the then two steam engines were replaced by an even more powerful machine. Now the paddle wheels can move 1,5 million liters per minute! 

European Route for Industrial Heritage 

There has been a new pumping station in the western port area of ​​Amsterdam since 1977. Although the pumping station has since been effectively redundant, it is an important industrial heritage. It has therefore been added to the European Route for Industrial Heritage. This is a project that preserves and spotlights Europe's industrial heritage. The museum is run by an enthusiastic group of about 40 volunteers and in 2020 the monument was voted Monument of the Year in Haarlemmermeer.

Volunteer at work at a steam engine
Boy and volunteer forging iron in the steam pumping station Halfweg
View of steam pumping station Halfweg
Top view Steam pumping station Halfweg

Visit the industrial heritage

Come take a look at the old building with its openwork boiler and various model steam engines. Of course, a visit to the engine room with the 500 hp steam engine and the six enormous paddle wheels is also part of the tour. You can take an audio tour of the museum yourself. Tip: bring your own headset. Don't you have that? Do not panic! The tour is also written out on paper. The museum is open one weekend a month from early April to early November. You can also visit it on special days, such as the Mill Days and Open Monument Day.

You can book a separate tour for groups of 15 people or more. During and after your visit you can go to the pumping station for coffee, tea, soft drinks and a filled cookie. In the adjacent Brasserie Het Gemaal you can enjoy a pastry, lunch or even dinner. 

Organize your event at Stoomgemaal Halfweg

Do you have something special to celebrate? Or are you looking for a cool location for a meeting, corporate event, birthday or party? Then you are in the right place. Het Stoomgemaal makes your event a unique experience! On request, the Steam Pumping Station can be fully operational during your visit and one of the guests can start the steam engine. Great! Did you know that you can even get married in the pumping station? It is an official wedding location in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer!

The old monument is accessible for wheelchairs. Only the access to the paddle wheel houses is not accessible by wheelchair.   


Museum Steam Pumping Station Halfweg
Haarlemmermeerstraat 4
1165 HJ Halfweg
The Netherlands