Class B12 4-4-0

Class B12 4-Cylinder Passenger Locomotive
Designed by Karel Belčamin
Built in 1894 by August Borsig, Berlin, Germany

Marek Luršimonš retired in 1891 and was succeeded almost unnoticeably by his assistant and heir-apparent, Karel Belčamin. Even three years later, not much had changed, as this little 4-4-0 clearly shows. The only innovation was the four-cylinder simple drive, which arose from Belčamin's striving for better balancing at high speed. In the event, speed was not the B12's forte. The location of the steam chests below the cylinders necessitated some quite convoluted steam passages, which throttled the engine severely. But the B12s were not all bad. Better balancing was achieved, making the engines ride quite comfortably, and their good steaming made them generally very popular with their crews. Belčamin had long been an admirer of British railways and their influence can be seen in many of his designs. The B12, for example, sported a brass chimney cap, cylinder covers and other brightwork.

Text and graphics © Norman Clubb 2012