The International Steam Pages

The Narrow Gauge Railway at Stoomcentrum Maldegem

Thomas Kautzor reports:

The 600mm gauge railway at Maldegem operates over a distance of 1.5 km on the trackbed of the former standard gauge line to the west of Maldegem station. There are currently no steam locos in operation, but SCM recently decided that a steam loco should be restored. There are five steam locos here:

Little 0-4-0T (Haine-Sa-Pierre 3T. 416/1891) is the oldest loco in the collection, and sadly due to lack of space in the shed it is stored outside. It was formerly in use at a brickworks. Although its boiler is in good condition, there are no current plans to restore it:

Ex-Société Belge des Bétons 0-4-0T No. 8 MARIE (OK 50 PS 4854/1911) was in use at SCM from 1986 and 2000. Its restoration was started in 2003, but never completed. According to the SCM website it is to be restored cosmetically for display:

4-6-2 ADOLPHE (Tubize 2177/1934) was one of an order of six locos built for the Brussels World Expo of 1935. They were miniature copies of the NMBS/SNCB Pacific Type 1 express train loco. After an exhibition in Liege in 1939, all six were bought by Mr. Frateur and stored at his company site in Boom. During WWII the other five were seized by the German occupying forces and taken away (one ended up in Poland, were it is preserved at the Wenecja narrow gauge open air museum), but ADOLPHE was left behind as it was dismantled at the time. Various attempts from SCM to acquire the loco from Mr. Frateur failed, until his death in 2010. The loco was then acquired at auction by an anonymous bidder. SCM had however been able to get the loco listed as a national treasure by the Flemish Ministry of Culture, the first time for any sort of vehicle, so when it turned out that the bidder was from Germany, his bid was cancelled and SCM was offered the loco for sale as the second-highest bidder. SCM intends to restore the loco in its as-built condition with a scale cab with funding from the Flemish Government and private donations. The loco is in very good condition as the has only run about 2000km since new and the boiler hes been stored dry without tubes. Matching coaches are also to be rebuilt to go with it:

0-4-0T No. 4 YVONNE (Hanomag 4618/1906) is the latest addition to the collection, it was obtained from Mr. Jans in Kuringen in July 2013. Formerly, it was owned by Charles Focquet of Vilvoorde (dealer), and was new to Stevens & Co., Bruxelles-Montagnies. The second picture is by Kevin Hoggett and shows the locomotive being delivered.

0-6-0T No. 21 (Chrzanow Las 3297/1954) was acquired from Mr. Jans in 1989 and comes from Curkrownia Dobrzelin in Poland (as the loco at De Bakkersmolen). Restoration work started on it, but was later abandoned and the stripped loco has been stored outside in the past few years.

There are four narrow gauge Diesels, the three Moës are operational, while the DIEMA (DS30/1 Nr. 2860/1966) is a recent arrival. The green Moës with the 'steam outline' dates from the 1920s.

A self-made closed bogie coach as well as three open bogie coaches based on Cravens frames are available for passenger trains. A WWI WDLR open bogie wagon was obtained together with the new Hanomag steam loco.

Rob Dickinson