Just What The Docteur Ordered.

Updated: 8 Dec 2008
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In 1881 the Belgian State railways took delivery of a 2-6-0 locomotive from Neilson & Co of Glasgow, Scotland. They were possibly unaware that this design had been tried out by the Great Eastern Railway of England in 1878, with disastrous results. According to my latest information, there were fifteen of them on the GER; they were designed by William Adams and Massey Bromley. (Former Motive Power Superintendent of the GER)
They had Stephenson valve gear inside the frames, outside cylinders & valvechests driven by rocking shafts. They suffered from bad steaming, condensation in the cylinders, heavy coal consumption, excess weight and poor guidance from the front truck.
The Belgian 2-6-0 was based at Jemelle and apparently worked no better than its cross-channel forerunners; at least they had only bought one of the things.

However, in 1894 it was given a new boiler, the brainchild of Docteur, chief engineer of the central workshop at Luttre. Its main feature was that the firebox was made of refractory brick and was not surrounded by water, but by the air used to supply the furnace. The Ramsbottom safety-valves were replaced with four Wilson types grouped just behind the steam reservoir on top of the boiler. A two-axle local tender replaced the original 3-axle English one.

The locomotive was numbered 512, but from its 2-6-0 wheel arrangement, it was generally known as "The Mogul".

Left: No 512 "The Mogul"

Note the enormous steam reservoir behind the chimney, connected to the boiler by two large tubes.

Two outside cylinders, 483 x 660 mm.

Left: Another view of No 512 "The Mogul"

I have not so far found any direct information on the performance of this experiment, but the fact that the Mogul was retired from service in 1906 and broken up at once seems to suggest it was not exactly a resounding success. Other brick fireboxes proved very vulnerable to the shock and vibration of locomotive service, and this design probably suffered too.

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