L'Eléphant – 1835
The locomotive L’Eléphant was part of the first order of steam locomotives that the Belgian government ordered from Robert Stephenson. On 5th May 1835, the first Belgian railway line was inaugurated between Brussels and Malines. L’Eléphant was one of three locomotives in this first convoy, and the most powerful of the three. On its own, it hauled 16 wagons, transporting guests including George Stephenson, Robert’s father and the British engineer who invented the modern railway.
Pays de Waes - 1844
The locomotive Pays de Waes travelled on the line between Ghent and Antwerp, one of the first lines licensed by the State to a private company. It was one of nine to come out of the Brussels-based workshops of Belgian engineer Gustave De Ridder (1795-1862), between 1844 and 1846. De Ridder was one of two engineers in charge of studying the installation of a railway in Belgium. He designed the Pays de Waes as a light and economic vehicle able to run on inexpensive tracks with a narrower gauge (1,145 mm), well suited to low-density lines. In some ways, they were the precursor to the Belgian local railways.