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Lot 456: C.D.F. D'ANVERS A GAND, PAR SAINT-NICOLAS ET LOKEREN, CIE. DU
29 October 2016
Brussels, BelgiumLive Auction
Description: 1845 BRUXELLES. Action de F500. black, buff. #9400. No 8573. Central fold. This is the first passenger railway built in Belgium by an individual, and then converted into a company. The early Belgian state network was the work of two engineers, de Ridder and Simons. When de Ridder was dismissed, he determined to show that railways could be built more cheaply than the State was building them. He chose the concession for a line Gent to the left bank of the Scheldt opposite Antwerp, and bid for it successfully at a public auction. He chose this line because the land was flat, and only one bridge was needed. He used a narrower gauge that the State system, and introduced improvements to locomotives. He built the St.Niklaas-Antwerp section with his own money, and this opened to traffic in 1844. At the beginning of 1845 he formed this company to acquire the concession and built the line St.Niklaas-Gent. He was a director and a major shareholder. The capital, at only Fr4.7 million was very low for a railway company. However, the economical construction caused problems. The lack of a Scheldt rail crossing was often a problem, especially in winter, and the single line between stations brought operational problems. Nevertheless, the technical skills of de Ridder ensured a profitable operation, and dividends for shareholders increased steadily. 1853 brought a financial restructuring, leading to the long-term success of the company.
Condition Report: VF