Class D6A 4-Cylinder Compound Mixed Traffic Locomotive
Designed by Karel Belčamin
Built in 1919 by Beyer, Peacock & Co, Manchester, England

The ignominy of the D6 4-8-0s haunted Karel Belčamin almost to the end of his days. The resurrection of the twelve-wheeler no less than fifteen years later was thus all the more amazing. Moreover, the new D6A was as much a success as the D6 had been a failure. The key to this new development was the D5A 2-8-0, which was a 2-cylinder simple rebuild of the D5 of 1892 with the excellent E1 boiler. Benefitting from this experience, Belčamin was able to set the same boiler on a modernised version of the D6 chassis. The larger driving wheels gave the engines a fair turn of speed and the leading bogie made for nice steady riding. Belčamin had also learned well from Churchward about valve gear design, making the engines excellent runners. Whether on goods or passenger trains, fast or slow, crossing the plains or climbing the mountain valleys, the D6As could always be relied upon to keep time. The last of these immensely popular engines was withdrawn in 1967, one fortunately being saved for the Bevice Museum of Science and Technology.

Text and graphics © Norman Clubb 2012