"Duke of Brabant”, the construction  of a GCR- “Immingham”-class replica with inside cylinders in The Netherlands.


In 1908 Beyer Peacock built six 4-6-0 express engines for the North- Brabant German Railway (N.B.D.S.), the smallest pre-grouping railway company in The Netherlands.

The design of these engines was based on the Great Central Railway “Immingham” Class, designed by J. Robinson. In spite of the  GCR-“Imminghams” these engines were equipped with inside cylinders and valve motion.

Two others of this class were built by Hohenzollern of Dusseldorf in Germany and matched with a four-axle tender and equipped with superheated boilers instead of the saturated examples built by Beyer Peacock . While serving in the  N.B.D.S.-era  all eight engines were painted in Nassau blue and therefore called the “Blue Brabants”


On the occasion of the 150-anniverary of Machinefabriek “Breda” voorheen  Backer & Rueb

(“Breda”-engine works formerly Backer & Rueb), a renown steam locomotive builder at Breda in The Netherlands and now an engineering consultancy for railway vehicles during spring 2012 it will be announced that a replica for an inside cylinder “N.B.D.S. “Immingham” will be build.

Locomotives of this class hauled famous express trains, like the "mailtrains" from Gremany to Flushing before the First World War. Between the two World Wars they hauled the "Etoile du Nord" between Amsterdam and Roosendaal at the Belgian border.


 The engine will be build by a team of professional locomotive designers, who were already involved in restoration or building replicas of ex- LNER-engines. If possible the engine will be designed according to modern principles in steam locomotive engineering like those of Porta, Chapelon and Whardale. Finally the locomotive will be intended for a maximum speed of 75 Mph.

A spin-off of the project is the development of the European EMTS- safety system for steam locomotives so the engine can run on most European tracks.

The outlook of the engine however will be that of the 1908 Beyer Peacock locomotives.


The funding of the project is very unique. The project is supported by the united Dutch metal construction and railway vehicle maintenance companies, who want this locomotive as a showcase for their apprentice training.

The various components of the locomotive will be built by “Breda” Special Products, the construction company of the former “Breda”- engine-works and the construction of the locomotive will take about five years and the estimated cost of the project is 3.500.000 Euro.

After three years it will be clear if a second locomotive can be built. That will possible be another blue N.B.D.S.-locomotive but this time of a 2-8-0 Hohenzollern design.

Assembling the locomotive will be made visible for the public at its unique building location.

The locomotive will be named “Duke of Brabant” and if the Province of Noth Brabant gets the bid for European Cultural Capital in 2018 it will haul a pre- Great War "mailtrain" as it used to run from Germany to Flushing carrying the imperial and royal families of Queen Victoria to Flushing for the North Sea crossing to Queenboro.

















BCH 2018