In 1880, plans were being drafted for the building of tramlines from Zwolle to Coevorden and from Avereest to Gramsbergen. The mayor of Hardenberg, Willem van Ittersum, offered subsidies if that last line went to Hardenberg instead of Gramsbergen. In 1886, the first sod was turned by the Dedemsvaartsche Stoomtramweg-Maatschappij (a Dutch steam tramway company). For financial reasons (no bridge needed), the company decided to let the line end in Heemse.
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