Cockerill’s 0-4-0 Shunting Locos
Although commonly described as a ‘tram’ engine, No. 2525 is actually a representative of the small locos which were once used for shunting industrial lines and sidings on the Continent. Its short wheelbase enables it to negotiate sharp curves, while small wheels (only 70 cm in diameter) allow it to pull heavy loads, albeit rather slowly!
The Cockerill company built over 890 locomotives of this type, to 5 different designs: the first was built in 1868 and the last one was delivered in 1949. The locomotive at Brockford is a representative of Type IV, of which 352 were built between 1883 and 1949. Other builders also produced their own versions of this type, but in much smaller numbers. They were all distinguished from more conventional locos by their vertical boilers and well tanks.
These engines could be found in most European countries, from Spain to Russia and Sweden to Italy, and even in the French North African colonies. The great majority though worked in Belgium and France. Most of these engines were owned by companies which had their own private sidings or small railway networks. Typical users included cement works, mines and sugar factories. A small number were also owned by main-line railways in France.