Belgian State 2-4-2 Locomotives in Belgium

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class La trichaudiere (Locobase 5711)

Data from "Triple-Boiler Locomotive for the Belgian State Railway," American Engineer & Railroad Journal, Volume LXVIII, No 6 (June 1894),pp. 273-274 ; "The Belgian Triple Boiler Gallery" on Douglas Self's Unusual Locomotives site, last updated 13 May 2009 at [], last accessed 6 December 2022.

This was the unsuccessful competitor to the Type 12. (Tube diameter is an estimate, calculated from (total heating surface minus firebox heating surface) divided by (tube number times length)).

Designed by Flaman, the engine was in most respects like the Cockerill engine. Both had the unusual 2-4-2 arrangement and, unique to Belgian engines, a square-section stack. Valve motion was inside, spring hangers were outside.

A notable difference, however, was the triple boiler (, which was adopted to increase heating surface without having to raise the boiler's center of gravity. In addition to deploying 180 tubes in the central boiler, which measured 51" in diameter, the design put 48 tubes in each flanking, 27"-diameter side boiler. The side boilers resembled side tanks on a tank engine and met the Belpaire firebox at the same height as the central boiler.

AERJ noted that the stack taper flared at the bottom to accommodate the firebox gases passing through the side boilers. The writer was dubious about the efficiency of a square-section stack. Doug Self's website notes that the design was adopted after the failure of an inversely tapered, "garden urn" style stack.

Tests showed the two designs were competitive with the triple-boiler achieving 1,339 IHP at 59.4 mph pulling 150 tons up a 0.5% grade, but it must not have been difficult to choose the simpler, single-barrel layout of the Cockerill engine.

Douglas Self's "museum" of locomotive oddities [] (visited 8 November 2003) notes that the engine was unpopular with crews because of a lack of running board (also mentioned in AERJ). He adds that it steamed poorly because of the imbalance between the central and side boilers. 195's career ended at Ostend in 1902 when one of the side boilers burst. (Self's hilarious caption for a head-end view of 195: "Fear me, Earthling!". He says this engine has been described as one of the ugliest in locomotive history, but notes there is much strong competition for the title.)

Class Series 12 (Locobase 2568)

Data from Titre Exposition universelle internationale de 1889 a Paris. Rapports du jury internationale. Auteur - Volume France. Ministere du Commerce, de l'industrie. Picard, Alfred, ed. Volume Groupe VI - -Outillage et precedes des industries mecaniques. Electricite (5e partie) Classes 60 a 63. Rapport sur le materiel des chemins de fer. tables beginning on p. 183 ([] (accessed 1 September 2005). See also Gustav Reder (Michael Reynolds, trans), The world of steam locomotives (New York: Putnam, 1974).

Alfred Belpaire was faced with the requirement to move 150 tons of train up a 0.5% grade 3 miles long at 56 mph. Added to this was the insistence that his engine be able to burn the fine coal that fell through as a result of sieving a batch. Finally, the engine needed to have good riding qualities.

The peculiarities of the Series 12 engine were the result. It had the square corners of the well-known Belpaire firebox, but its rear half was considerably wider than the front and extended outside of the outside frame. The forward half, much narrower but deeper, fit between the last pair of drivers. This complex layout probably accounts for the heavy outside frame that ran from the front buffer beam to the rear and included outside bearings for both auxiliary axles.

At the other end, he erected a square stack (and thus affronted generations of locomotive writers). This design gentled the draft and reduced the amount of coal that would shoot up the stack unburned. In later engines he would replace the square chimney with an inverted-taper round one.

See AERJ June 1894 for a skeptical assessment of the square-section stack.

Reder says 109 were built between 1888-1897, Nock (RWC III, pl 105) says 114. Nock's color plate shows the front-heaviness of the design with boiler-top structures increasing in size as they advance from the safety-valve pedestal to the brass-covered sand dome, the taller brass steam dome and finally the square stack. In 1910, the railroad no longer burning fine coal and maintenance of the complicated firebox a headache, the engines were rebuilt with a longer, straight firebox. The last of these retired in 1931.

These locomotives earned the nickname "Souvenirs" from British soldiers based in Belgium in 1941-1918, according to the ca 1935 article on Belgian railways published on [] (visited 26 December 2004).

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

ClassLa trichaudiereSeries 12
Locobase ID5711 2568
RailroadBelgian StateBelgian State
Number in Class1114
Road Numbers195
Number Built1114
BuilderSA Saint LeonardCMI
Valve GearStephensonWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) / 2.16
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)21.52 / 6.56
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)79,807 / 36,200
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)125,222 / 56,800108,467 / 49,200
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)67 / 33.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)82.70 / 210182.70 / 2100
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)132 / 9.10145 / 10
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)19.7" x 23.6" / 500x59919.69" x 23.62" / 500x600
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)12,426 / 5636.3513,647 / 6190.18
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 5.85
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)276 - 1.78" / 45242 - 1.772" / 45
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)15 / 4.5712.63 / 3.85
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)121.60 / 11.30134.50 / 12.50
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)56 / 5.2051.86 / 4.82
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2053 / 190.801341 / 124.67
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2053 / 190.801341 / 124.67
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume246.59161.09
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation73927520
Same as above plus superheater percentage73927520
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area16,05119,503
Power L158154834
Power MT267.07

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