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 Post subject: FW: Belgian Steam Locomotives Scrapped.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2002 6:14 pm 

Despite International efforts by steam enthusiasts, Belgian State Railways
have wilfully scrapped two historic steam locomotives which were preserved
as part of the national collection.
Belgium (a European 3rd. world country) is the only european country
without a decent national railway museum (discounting the small museum at
Brussels Nord station which houses one loco). It does, however, posses an
excellent collection which is at present housed in the old steam loco
depot at Leuven.
The basis of this collection (the steam locos) was started by one man (Mr
Roelands) when steam was being scrapped in the 1960's. He was divisional
engineer at Hasselt, and managed to save engines by red-carding them in
trains to the scrap yard and then "hiding" them from officialdom until the
anti steam feeling had died down. The official line was that all steam
locos would be scrapped. We owe this man a great debt.
The depot at Leuven is to be sold for development (this is also a disaster,
since it is a time capsule, a full surviving steam depot with all
facilities including wheel drop, wheel lathe, turntable, etc.). This is
despite the fact that Leuven council would like to keep the depot and
develop it as a full railway museum. The new development would be a car
park.
The two locomotives which have been cut up this week were both later
additions to the collection and had not been restored. They had survived in
service as stationary boilers.
The first engine cut up was a class 29 2-8-0 no. 29.279 built in Montreal,
Canada, in 1946.
This loco was saved by the person who was responsible for the collection
previously, Mr Page, His idea was to keep it for a spare boiler for sister
loco 29.013 which was kept for special trains. Its boiler was said to be
sound. 29.013 is at present in Meiningen, Germany, being fitted with a
new boiler built at the expense of the Belgian tax-payer to a design based
on a German class 44 2-10-0. (the Germans have seen the idiots from sncb
coming!) Not only is such a boiler likely to consume vast quantities of
coal (the barrel will have to be shortened), it is also desicrating the
authenticity of 29.013 since the Germans plan to use their own standard
fittings instead of the original North American ones. (It would not
surprise me if they would paint it black with red wheels as well!).
The second loco which has been cut up is a much greater loss. This was a
class 44 0-6-0 goods engine, no. 44.021 built by Tubize (Belgium) in 1906
to a design by the famous Scottish designer MacIntosh who worked for
Belgian Railways at the time. The 44 was a superheated version of the class
41 which was a copy of the Caledonian Railway's Jumbo. One of these locos
survives in the depot at Monceau, having been removed from a plinth in
Charleroi because of its deteriorating condition. This loco's future is far
from secure.
News of the plans to scrap the two locos reached the ears of enthusiasts in
Belgium some weeks ago. Despite requests from societies and individuals to
be able to purchase the locos, Belgian Railways insisted that they may only
be sold for scrap saying that they were in too poor condition, and that
selling them would be "bad for their image" (where have we heard this
rubbish before?).
Normally the locos would have been sold in a lot of scrap recently, but a
steam fan on the inside managed to block this due to a procedure fault.
This was subsequently corrected, and the sale was due in some weeks.
Meanwhile, pressure was being built up via politics, the press, national
preservation bodies and Fedecrail. This culminated in coverage of the
loco's plights on the Belgian national tv news tonight, but this was too
late, having heard of the mounting pressure, Mr. Geert Maenhout, the man
responsible for this fiasco, sold the locos to a scrapman for a symbolic
sum on condition that he cut them up immediately. All the tv could show
were poignant scenes of the dismembered parts of the locos reminiscent of
places like Cashmores or Drapers in the 1960's. Belgian Railways stated to
the tv that the locos were in too poor condition to restore (they were no
worse than any which came from Barry) and that no-one was interested - this
was a pure lie
These are not the first historic artifacts which have been scrapped by
order of Mr Maenhout and his boss Mr Johan Thys. Several items of historic
coaching stock, wagons, and a British built steam breakdown crane have all
been sold to a scrapman at knock-down prices in recent years. The sad fact
is that one of Europe's finest collections of railway rolling stock is in
the hands of the same species of dinosaur that used to inhabit places like
222 Marylebone Road
In the dark years of the 1960's. It has been heard that Maenhout is proud
of what he has done in having the courage to get rid of this "old junk".
This man should be shot.
I feel that all pressure possible should now be used to get this collection
taken from Belgian Railways and put into the hands of a body such as the
Ministery of Culture which would at least have some respect for the items
in it and would also possibly be more cooperative with the private
preservation sector in finding a solution to preserve it for the future.

Yours in mourning,

Kevin M Hoggett



Surviving World Steam Locomotives
james1@pernet.net


  
 
 Post subject: Wow!!!! What year is this??? *NM* *PIC*
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2002 8:31 pm 

Image
sales@gregschollvideo.com


  
 
 Post subject: Sorry
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2002 8:33 pm 

I didn't know the image was going to be reposted again, as it was there from the last time and I didn't scroll down there since I didn't need to sign my name on the above No Message....ARGGH!
Greg Scholl

sales@gregschollvideo.com


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sorry
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2002 7:37 am 

It is upsetting and hard to believe. Belgium is supposed to be a civilized country. I hadn't heard the Taliban took over.

Dave

irondave@bellsouth.net


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sorry
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2002 11:17 am 

> It is upsetting and hard to believe. Belgium
> is supposed to be a civilized country. I
> hadn't heard the Taliban took over.

> Dave

Good one...

this sounds like something that would have happened under Nazi occupation not 2002!!! Oh wait the Germans would have probably USED the engine instead of scrapping it!!!

Greg


sales@gregschollvideo.com


  
 
 Post subject: Belgian Vandalism
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2002 2:48 pm 

Let's just hope that these two individuals (I shall not call them gentlemen) can be reassigned or preferably fired before they can commit another act of vandalism. The comparison to the Taliban's destruction of the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan is apt indeed.

You can at least forgive the actions of Al Perlman, Stuart Saunders and their ilk for their attitudes towards steam in the 1950's. They were men of their times when history was not appreciated.

These two Neanderthals do not have that excuse. Hopefully they can be prosecuted for undervaluing their sale as scrap and defraudinig the Belgian taxpayers.



kevin.r.gillespie@verizon.net


  
 
 Post subject: Re: FW: Belgian Steam Locomotives Scrapped.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2002 6:50 pm 

As bad as the Belgian story seems, I think most nations have at least one horror story about historical railway equipment or property being destroyed which should have been preserved.
Personally, I think in the United States we do it the slow way by the way some of our railroad museums take care of their collections. Give us 10 or 20 years and you'll see more horror stories right here at home.


  
 
 Post subject: Photos of scrappings and Leuven depot?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2002 11:42 am 

If photos are available, I think we'd all like to see these.

ryarger@rypn.org


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sorry *PIC*
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 9:47 am 

> Good one...

> this sounds like something that would have
> happened under Nazi occupation not 2002!!!
> Oh wait the Germans would have probably USED
> the engine instead of scrapping it!!!

> Greg

Oh I don't know, I can think of a certain former
Orient-Express Pullman that the Nazis destroyed out of spite (The "Versailles Treaty" car).

TJG


Port Huron Museum
Image
tjgaffney@phmuseum.org


  
 
 Post subject: OH WELL
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 11:03 am 

Sounds like you would have to work through the scrap dealer? (His Brother-in-law ???)


lamontdc@adelphia.net


  
 
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