Bulldog noses in Belgium

Class 52, 53 and 54

Click on a picture to enlarge

TSP 202.020 in Raeren on 23 May 1999

TSP 202.020 in Balgerhoek on 30 April 2000

TSP 202.020 in Raeren on 2 December 2000

TSP 202.020 (ex-CFL 1602) + waggon transport 16105 (Antwerpen Noord - Ronet) at Kontich (B), February 2002

TSP 202.020 (ex-CFL 1602) + waggon transport 16105 (Antwerpen Noord - Ronet) at Gemloux (B), February 2002

The Belgium state railway company Nationale Maatschappij der Belgische Spoorwegen (NMBS)/Societé Nationale des Chemins de Fer Belgique (SNCB) had three GM Bulldog nose classes built by Anglo-Franco Belge (AFB) in license, totalling 40 locomotives:

  • class 202 (later class 52) numbered NMBS 202.001 - 202.013 (later 5201 - 5213) for local passenger trains built in 1955 (120 km/h; 1,700 hp);
  • class 203 (later class 53) numbered NMBS 203.001 - 203.019 (later 5301 - 5319) for heavy freight trains built in 1955 (120 km/h; 1,700 hp);
  • class 204 (later class 54) numbered NMBS 204.001 - 204.008 (later 5401 - 5408) for international passenger trains (140 km/h till 1980; 1,835 hp) built in 1957.

    All locomotives had the Co'Co' bogie/axle configuration and were equiped with an GM 16-567C engine.

    Most of the class 52, 53 and 54 locomotives became new, less round 'comfort cabs'. The regular NMBS usage of these classes ended on 13 December 2003, but thereafter a few engines could be spotted in NMBS freight train service around Stockem. Since June 2004 all the locomotives were out of service with NMBS. 5201 was sold by TSP to MAV Nostalgia in the beginning of 2015.

    The 5215 and 5217 (for spares) went to the TSP society mid 2012. The 5205 followed in 2014 (refurbished in 2015 to do service on the TSP Bocq railway line) and will replace the 5215 which was in a worser state. However, in February 2016 the now Somei owned 5215 (in CFL red/yellow livery and numbered CFB 1605) and 5217 (in NMBS light blue/yellow livery, numbered P 5217) were transfered to Nîmes in France to serve as shunting locomotives at an LGV construction base. 5209 is parked at Schaarbeek depot out of service. All of the Class 53 and 54 locos share the same fate at Stockem, however the 5301 and 5306 were scrapped in July 2012. 5216 was scrapped in 2012 and 5211, 5307, 5312, 5320, 5403 and 5407 in 2013. Unfortunately, 5202, 5302, 5303, 5305, 5307, 5309, 5313, 5316 and 5401 were scrapped in March 2016.

    The 5213 lingers at the scrap yard in Ronet.

  • The Toeristisch Spoorweg Patrimonium (TSP/PFT) owns the operational 202.020 (ex-CFL 1602) in the classical green NMBS livery since 1998.
  • The 204.004 (5404) is the NMBS museum loco, in operational condition at Brugge with its original round nose cabines and its classical NMBS green livery. It is rarely used by NMBS for special passenger trains.
  • Early 2005 the 202.004 (ex-NMBS 5204) with its original roundnose cabines was sold by the Toeristisch Spoorweg Patrimonium (TSP/PFT) to the ASBL "Chemin de fer de la Molignée" for display in the "Usines de Haut-le-Wastia" near Anhée. This locomotive in its classical NMBS green livery, but without engine is stored at the shed in Ronet (B) until delivery not before 2008. In the end of 2019 it was announced that (parts of) the locomotive would be put at a roundabout in Schaarbeek to promote the Train World Museum in Brussels.

    If there is any train haulage done by one of the museum locomotives, then it is mentioned in the calendar section. However, it now seems impossible to operate museum equipment in Belgium for the time being.