RAILWAYS - LE BELGEID92910052
€14.00 (Taxes not incl.)
As the current year of 2021 is the European Year of Rail and also marks the 80th anniversary of Renfe, we wish to dedicate the collection to the history of the railway so as to draw our customers closer to the evolution of one of mankind’s most important modes of transport.
The collection consists of 20 coins: 15 issued in 2021 and the other five, in 2022.
On the obverse, an image in colour of a replica of the steam locomotive, Le Belge, now at the central workshop in the Belgian city of Mechelen. On top of the central image, the legend LE BELGE. Outside the image, devices reminiscent of different rails.
On the reverse of all the coins, inside a central circle, the legend HISTORIA DEL FERROCARRIL (HISTORY OF THE RAILWAY). Underneath, the value of the coin: €1.5 EURO. Outside the central circle, an image of a railway track.
|Series||History of Railways|
|Face Value (Euro)||1.5|
|Maximum Mintage (units)||7,000|
Maker: Société Anonyme John Cockerill
Year of production: 1835
Transport: Passengers and freight
Top speed: 60 km/h
Diameter of the driving wheels: 1,524 mm
Working pressure: 4 kg/cm2
Power: 50 hp
Cylinders: 2 (280 x 458 mm)
Belgium was the first country on the European continent to have a railway. Its first line, running from Brussels to the nearby town of Mechelen, was inaugurated on 5th. May 5 1835. At the solemn ceremony, three convoys were set in motion, hauled respectively by the locomotives La Flèche, Le Stephenson and l'Élephant. The event was attended by George Stephenson himself.
Although Belgium’s first five steam locomotives were supplied by Robert Stephenson & Co., the sixth, known as Le Belge, was made that same year by the Société Anonyme John Cockerill, thus becoming the first Belgian locomotive and also the first to be made on the continent of Europe.
Of Scottish ancestry and residing in Lièges since 1807, John Cockerill founded his factory in 1817 to make textile machinery, branching into the production of steamboats and gunboats in 1820 and locomotives and rails in 1835. The haste with which Belgium undertook the production of locomotives is reflected in the fact that, by1839, 66 percent of the units running on its networks had been made by Belgian companies.
Le Belge, which left the Seraing factory on 30th December 1835, not long after the inauguration of the Brussels-Mechelen line. It was the first in a series of eight units and was characterised by having a single driving axle with a wheel 1,524 mm in diameter. Clearly influenced by British designs, it is also worth noting that its two cylinders were located internally in a horizontal position, beneath the smokebox. The chimney was topped with a fender in the shape of an inverted basket so as to prevent incandescent ashes from escaping. Its working pressure was 4 kg/cm2 and the maximum power was 50 hp.