Class B15 4-4-0 (1907)

Class B15 4-Cylinder Compound Express Passenger Locomotive
Designed by Karel Belčamin
Built in 1907 by Beyer Peacock, Manchester, England

The second class of 4-4-0s to spring from Belčamin's travels was this elegant machine, which, like its cousin of the previous year, was built by Beyer Peacock. This time, however, Belčamin chose the von Borries layout, with inside high-pressure and outside low-pressure cylinders all in line and driving the first coupled axle. By making the high-pressure motion heavier than would normally be necessary, Belčamin was able to achieve almost perfect balancing of the reciprocating parts. Thus the engine was very smooth-running at high speed. These fine locomotives were excellent runners and soon earned a reputation for economy and punctuality. A record-breaking run (for Ruhnia) from Bevice to Magane in 1912, when a top speed of 137 km/h was recorded, fired the public imagination and these engines remained immensely popular for many years. They remained in service until the 1940s.

Text and graphics © Norman Clubb 2012