SNCB Class 12

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Class 12
1212 2005031401 Machelentr.JPG
NMBS/SNCB Class 12 loco 1212 at Machelen.
Type and origin
Power typeElectric
Serial number1201-1212
Build date1986 - 1987
Total produced12
 • UICBo′Bo′
Gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Driver dia.1,250 mm (49 in)
Wheelbase9.00 m (29 ft 6 in)
Length18.65 m (61 ft 2 in)
Width2.91 m (9 ft 7 in)
Height4.22 m (13 ft 10 in)
Loco weight85 t
Electric system/s3000 V DC,
25 kV 50 Hz AC
Current pickup(s)Pantograph
Traction motorsLE622S, 4 off
Performance figures
Maximum speed160 km/h (99 mph)
Power output3,130 kW (4,197 hp)
Tractive effort234 kN (53,000 lbf)
DispositionSold to a Czech operator, awaiting asbestos removal and collection

SNCB's Class 12 locomotives were dual-voltage (25000 V, 50 Hz AC and 3000 V DC) electric lomotives built for cross-border service into France. They were based on the single-voltage Class 21 locomotives. They are part of the large 1980s family of 144 electric locomotives.

Locomotive family[edit]

The family was made up of Classes 11 (12), 12 (12), 21 (60) and 27 (60). Classes 11, 12 and 21 were nearly twice as powerful as Classes 22, 23 and 25. Class 27 was more than twice as powerful as the 1950s locomotives. This family was heavily influenced by the Class 20² from the mid-1970s. They were very reliable because of the trial and error development of their predecessor. This family came into service with M4 and M5 coaching stock and the AM 80 and AM 86 series of EMUs. This generation was a major modernization of the SNCB even if the older M2 coaching stock remained active for more than a decade before being replaced. The only real difference between a Class 12 and a Class 21 was the Class 12 had a transformer inside to allow working under both 3000 V DC in Belgium and 25000 V AC plus French signalling and train protection for working in France. Externally they were identical except for a few details.

Class 12[edit]

Class 12 was originally built to work freight and passenger services between Antwerp (via Gent) and Liège (via Namur) in Belgium on one hand and Lille in France on the other. Class 12 spent most of its early years pushing and pulling rakes of M4 stock across Belgium. Sometimes they ventured onto other domestic services where their 25000 V capability wasn't needed. The introduction of the SNCB Class AM96 electric multiple units displaced them from passenger duty by 1999 but they continued to be used in freight service for 13 more years. Later on they pulled freight between the port of Zeebrugge to Lille and beyond, going via Brugge and Mouscron. They were withdrawn from service in 2012 because Class 13 locomotives had by then lost most of their passenger workings and were available for freight. Class 13 was more powerful and also had the same dual voltage capability as Class 12. All Class 12s were stored inside at the dêpot of Stokkem, near Arlon, upon withdrawal.

During 2013, locomotive 1203 went to the Czech Republic for service trials. In mid-2014, loco 1203 was intensively tested at Velim in the Czech Republic under 25000 V overhead and did very well. It was then sold to open access operator XTR-System Development in the Czech Republic with an option to buy the entire class. The option was taken and the remaining Class 12 locomotives left Belgium in March 2016 en route to their new owner. The same operator also agreed to buy all 12 of the SNCB Class 11 locomotives at the same time but the deal never went through and all Class 11 locomotives have been sitting outside at Stockem ever since. Class 12 underwent asbestos removal before they departed for the Czech Republic. XTR-System Development has also expressed an interest in buying at least some of the SNCB Class 21 locomotives as they are retired.

At midnight on 06/3/2016 they arrived to Česká Třebová and next day continued to ČMŽO at Přerov for overhaul in order to run o SŽDC network. After rebuilding they will be able to run on whole electrified network of ČR with exception of Tábor-Bechyně and Znojmo-Retz railways.

As of July 2016 at least one of locomotives was painted in corporate livery of CZ Loko, was overhauled for cargo service, this means that its speed was decreased to 120kmph and train electrical heating was removed. The locomotive was also fitted with electrodynamic brake without recuperation.


  • Haydock, David; Fox, Peter; Garvin, Brian (2008). European Handbook No. 1 Benelux Railways Locomotives & Coaching Stock (Fifth ed.). Sheffield, UK: Platform 5 Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1-902336-64-0.
  • SPŽ: Belgický stroj řady 12 na návštěvě v Česku
  • Schenkel, Jean-Pierre; Delie, Max (1988). Locomotives Éléctriques. Brussels, Belgium: G. Blanchart & Cie. ISBN 2-87202-004-7.

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