La Brugeoise et Nivelles

Last updated
La Brugeoise et Nivelles
IndustryRail vehicles
PredecessorLa Brugeoise, Nicaise et Delcuve, Les Ateliers Métallurgiques de Nivelles
Successorafter 1977 BN Constructions Ferroviaires et Métalliques
after 1988 Bombardier Transportation Belgium

La Brugeoise et Nivelles SA, later BN Constructions Ferroviaires et Métalliques (abbrev. BN), was a Belgian manufacturer of railway locomotives and other rolling stock; it was formed by a merger of two companies: La Brugeoise et Nicaise et Delcuve and Les Ateliers Métallurgiques de Nivelles .


The company was acquired by Bombardier Inc. in 1988, plants in Nivelles and Manage closed in 1989 and 2000; as of 2011, the plant located in Bruges operated as Bombardier Transportation Belgium S.A..


"La Brugeoise" advert circa 1930 La Brugeoise adv.jpg
"La Brugeoise" advert circa 1930
Interior of a Brugeoise underground car at the Polvorin Workshop. Refurbishedbrugeoise.jpg
Interior of a Brugeoise underground car at the Polvorín Workshop.

In 1851, Joseph De Jaegher founded a hardware store in the Burg in Bruges; in 1855, this expanded with a steel workshop on the Raamstraat, named Ateliers J. Jaegher; in 1891, this merged with another steel making company in the nearby Gieterijstraat, the Usines Ferdinand Feldhaus, to form the Ateliers de Construction Forges et Aceries de Bruges. By 1900, the company was a major Belgian metal engineering company. In 1905, the company moved its plant and offices to a larger site with good railway connections close to the Ghent Ostend canal at Sint-Michiels in Bruges. Until 1913, the company operated as the Société Anonyme La Brugeoise, [1] [2] abbreviated as "La Brugeoise". [3]

In 1913, the company La Brugeoise et Nicaise et Delcuve was formed by the merger of the Bruges-based companies La Brugeoise and Nicaise et Delcuve during a re-organisation of the interests of the holding company Trust Métallurgique Belge-Français, [4] and capitalised at 10 million francs; the new company included a modern steel works, forge and mills at Sint-Michiels. [4]

During World War I, the facilities were occupied by German forces, and at the end of the war had been substantially damaged, [1] however post war construction also required the organisation products. In 1919, control of the company was taken by the Société Générale de Belgique . [1] [5]

In 1956, this merged with Les Ateliers Métallurgiques de Nivelles to form La Brugeoise et Nivelles. In 1977, the company merged with Constructions Ferroviaries du Centre (CFC) (in Familleureux, Hainaut, Belgium) to form BN Constructions Ferroviaries et Métalliques (BN). [6]

In 1986, Bombardier took at 45% share in BN, which was increased to 90.6% in 1988. [7] The plants at Bruges and Manage became the BN division of Bombardier Eurorail in 1991. [8] [9]

The factory in Nivelles closed and was demolished in 1989/90. [10]

In 2000, Bombardier announced it was to close the subsidiary plant BN Manage based in Manage, Belgium; the action attracted criticism from both trade unions and the Belgian government; perception was that Bombardier had used the 'jobs card' to win a Belgian double deck train contract worth 8.5 billion Belgian francs. The closure announcement came as a complete volte-face from Bombardier's previous statements which included optimistic statements about the Manage plant's future. [11] Train-making ended at the site which was re-purposed by Duferco for steel plate processing. [12]

As of 2011, the factory in Bruges was part of Bombardier Transportation as Bombardier Transportation Belgium S.A.. [13]


In 1875, the Manage plant produced its first rail vehicles; in 1885, the Bruges plant produced its first tram. [3] Much of the early output prior to that was freight wagons. [1] In addition to railway rolling stock, the company also manufactured bridges, locks and sluice gates, cranes, and vessels for the chemical and sugar industries. [1]

In 1961, the company acquired a license (from Anglo-Franco-Belge) to manufacture GM-EMD locomotives for the European market. [14] [note 1] In 1973, factories in Bruges and Familleureux produced the company's first underground trains, for the STIB. [3]

BN produced 26 veículos Leves sobre trilhos (VLT) light rail cars for use on Line 2 of the Rio de Janeiro Metro, which were later converted to full metro cars. Eight cars (delivered 1979) were built in Belgium and the remaining 18 (delivered 1980 and 1982) by Cobrasma SA in their plant in São Paulo. [15] Some of the ones built by Cobrasma were briefly used by the Campinas Light Rail system.

The original "Type 1" cars for Portland, Oregon's MAX Light Rail system, ordered in 1981, were built by BN in association with Bombardier Inc.. They were assembled in North America using bodyshells sourced in La Pocatiere, Canada. [16] [17]

In 1989, a consortium of BN, ANF Industrie and Bombardier won the order for the construction of the passenger Eurotunnel Shuttle wagons, [18] valued at 36 billion francs, of which BN's contribution was valued at 8 billion. [19]

In 1994, the company, in association with INKA and Holec, built commuter trains for the KRL Jabotabek system.[ citation needed ]

In 1998, after takeover by Bombardier, the company obtained an order with a total value of 22.2 billion Belgian francs to produce 78 Bombardier Voyager class trains for the railways in the United Kingdom at the Bruges and Manage plants; BN's value share of the contract was estimated at 8 to 10 billion Belgian francs. [20] Deliveries took place in the early 2000s. [21] [6] Also as part of Bombardier, the company also produced Flexity Outlook and Flexity Swift vehicles for Brussels and Rotterdam respectively, the bodyshells of the Autorail à grande capacité for the SNCF, and B09 vehicles for the Docklands Light Railway. [6] Finally, the company continues to supply the Belgian Railways (NMBS/SNCB) with passenger rail vehicles. [6]

See also


  1. These included the SNCB class 55, class 62 and CFL 1800.

Related Research Articles

Transport in Belgium

Transport in Belgium is facilitated with well-developed road, air, rail and water networks. The rail network has 2,950 km (1,830 mi) of electrified tracks. There are 118,414 km (73,579 mi) of roads, among which there are 1,747 km (1,086 mi) of motorways, 13,892 km (8,632 mi) of main roads and 102,775 km (63,861 mi) of other paved roads. There is also a well-developed urban rail network in Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Charleroi. The ports of Antwerp and Bruges-Zeebrugge are two of the biggest seaports in Europe. Brussels Airport is Belgium's biggest airport.

BN, Bn or bn may refer to:

The National Railway Company of Belgium is the national railway company of Belgium. The company formally styles itself using the Dutch and French abbreviations NMBS/SNCB. The corporate logo designed in 1936 by Henry van de Velde consists of the linguistically neutral letter B in a horizontal oval.

Sint-Michiels Deelgemeente in West Flanders, Belgium

Sint-Michiels (French:Saint-Michel-lez-Bruges) is a suburb of Bruges, in the province of West Flanders, Belgium.

Ateliers de Construction du Nord de la France was a French locomotive manufacturer, based at Crespin in the Arrondissement of Valenciennes, northern France. Later known as ANF Industrie or ANF the company was acquired by Bombardier Transportation in 1989 and is now part of Bombardier Transport France S.A.S.

Eagle Bus

The Eagle was a make of motor coach with a long and interesting history. During a period of over four decades, some 8,000 Eagle coaches were built in four countries on two continents. The coaches were a common sight on American highways and were strongly associated with Continental Trailways for over three decades.

Belgian Railways Class 15 class of 12 Belgian tri-volage electric locomotives

Class 15 is a type of electric locomotive operated by SNCB/NMBS. The locomotives were originally used for cross-border services TEE services between France, Belgium and the Netherlands, and like the class 16 they become surplus after the introduction of Thalys and Class 11s. They earned their keep in their last years of service by pulling commuter "P" trains in the Liège area.

Belgian Railways Class 13 class of 60 Belgian electric locomotives

The Class 13 are a type of mixed use 200 km/h multivoltage electric locomotive of type Tractis designed by Alstom in the late 1990s for the Belgian and Luxembourgish railways.

Belgian Railways Class 77 class of diesel hydraulic locomotive

The NMBS/SNCB Class 77 is a class of 4 axle B'B' road switcher diesel hydraulic locomotive designed for shunting and freight work manufactured at the beginning of the 2000s by Siemens Schienenfahrzeugtechnik and later by Vossloh at the Maschinenbau Kiel plant in Kiel, Germany for the National Railway Company of Belgium (SNCB/NMBS).

Ateliers de Constructions Electriques de Charleroi company

SA Ateliers de Constructions Electriques de Charleroi was a Belgian manufacturer of electrical generation, transmission, transport, lighting and industrial equipment, with origins dating to the late 19th century as a successor to the Société Électricité et Hydraulique founded by Julien Dulait.

Belgian Railways Class 18 (Siemens) class of 120 Belgian electric locomotives, built by Siemens 2008–2011

The SNCB/NMBS HLE 18 are a series of four axle Bo′Bo′ multivoltage electric Siemens EuroSprinter locomotives ordered in two batches of sixty in 2006 and 2008.

The Société Franco-Belge was a Franco-Belgian engineering firm that specialised in the construction of railway vehicles and their components and accessories. The company originated in 1859 as the Belgian firm Compagnie Belge pour la Construction de Machines et de Matériels de Chemins de Fer, founded by Charles Evrard. The company expanded its share capital in 1881 forming a new firm Société Anonyme Franco-Belge pour la Construction de Machines et de Matériel de Chemins de Fer and constructed a factory in Raismes (Valenciennes) in the Département Nord in France.

NMBS/SNCB I11 coach class of 163 Belgian passenger cars

The I11 is a type of passenger car used since 1995 in the network of the Belgian railway company NMBS/SNCB for long distance (InterCity) trains.

Brussels Regional Express Network suburban rail system in Brussels

The Brussels S-train, also known as the Brussels Regional Express Network ; is a suburban rail system in the Brussels Capital Region. It will offer fast connections and increased frequency within a 30 km radius of the city, covering a territory inhabited by 2.5 million people.

History of rail transport in Belgium aspect of history

Belgium was heavily involved in the early development of railway transport. Belgium was the second country in Europe, after Great Britain, to open a railway and produce locomotives. The first line, between the cities of Brussels and Mechelen opened in 1835. Belgium was the first state in Europe to create a national railway network and the first to possess a nationalised railway system. The network expanded fast as Belgium industrialised, and by the early 20th century was increasingly under state-control. The nationalised railways, under the umbrella organisation National Railway Company of Belgium (NMBS/SNCB), retained their monopoly until liberalisation in the 2000s.

Nicaise et Delcuve was a Belgian metal engineering company based in La Louvière, Belgium.

SNCB Type 1 class of 15 Belgian four-cylinder 4-6-2 locomotives

The NMBS/SNCB Type 1 was a class of 4-6-2 steam locomotives built in 1935 and 1938 for working heavy express passenger trains operated by the National Railway Company of Belgium (NMBS/SNCB).

The Chemin de fer à vapeur des Trois Vallées is a heritage railway in southern Belgium, created in 1973.

SNCB Type 64

The NMBS/SNCB Type 64 was a class of 4-6-0 steam locomotives built as Prussian P 8s for German railways, delivered as war reparations to Belgium at the end of World War One. 168 locomotives of this type were delivered to Belgium, working mostly on light passenger trains operated by the National Railway Company of Belgium (NMBS/SNCB). The final locomotives of this type were withdrawn in 1967, marking the end of steam service in the country.

SNCB Class AM35 Electric multiple unit trains

NMBS/SNCB Class AM35 were electric multiple unit trains operated by the National Railway Company of Belgium (NMBS/SNCB). First used in service on May 5, 1935 along the first electric line between Brussels and Antwerp.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Sources
    "No. 16 : Vaartdijkstraat 5-7, BN (Bombardier-Eurorail), de electriciteitscentrale". Open Monumentendag Vlaanderen (PDF). (in Dutch). Stad Brugge. 1997. pp. 70–73 (37–8 in pdf).
    "No.22 : Vaartdijkstraat 5-7 : BN, Divisie van Bombardier-Eurorail". Open Monumentendag Vlaanderen (PDF). (in Dutch). Stad Brugge. 1994. pp. 55–57 (29–30 in pdf).
  2. "Staalconstructiebedrijf "La Brugeoise & Nivelles" (ID: 77882)". (in Dutch). Vlaams Instituut voor het Onroerend Erfgoed ( Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 Francoise Zonemberg; Marc Charlet; Philippe De Bock; Sylvain Piraux (31 March 2000). "Manage face à la mort de l'usine du groupe canadien SALE TEMPS POUR LES BOMBARDIER L'avenir fracassé des ouvriers de Manage confrontés au néant A la "BN" de Bruges, la vie continue (presque) comme avant La saga "Brugeoise et Nivelles"". Le Soir.
  4. 1 2 Marie-Thérèse Bitsch (1994). La Belgique entre la France et l'Allemagne, 1905-1914 (in French). Publications de la Sorbonne. pp. 232–3.
  5. Jo Cottenier; Patrick de Boosere; Thomas Gounet (1989). La Société générale: 1822-1992. Editions Aden. p. 83.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "Bombardier: Bruges, Belgium" (PDF). Bombardier Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 December 2010.
  7. "Bombardier Transportation - A Global Transportation Leader" (PDF). Japan Railway & Transport Review (42). December 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  8. Miville Tremblay (1994). Le sang jaune de Bombardier: la gestion de Laurent Beaudoin (in French). PUQ. p. 56.
  10. Jean Vandendries (5 October 1989). "LE DEMANTELEMENT DU SITE DE LA BN PREPARE LE NIVELLES DE L'AN 2000". (in French). Le Soir.
  11. Catherine Delbar; Jurgen Oste (28 April 2000). "Bombardier announces intention to close Manage plant". European Industrial Relations Observatory on-line.
  12. Claire Bortolin (15 February 2001). "Exit Bombardier, voici Manage Steel Center" (in French).
  13. "Bombardier Transportation in Belgium". Bombardier. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  14. Diesel railway traction, 15, Railway Gazette, 1961, p. 418
  16. Mass Transit, 8, 1981, p. 178
  17. Pacific Rail News, 1986, p. 135
  18. Peter Semmens; Yves Machefert-Tassin (1995). "13. Passenger-vehicle shuttle fleet". In Colin J. Kirkland (ed.). Engineering the Channel Tunnel. Taylor & Francis. p. 191.
  20. Francoise Zonemberg (10 December 1998). "Bruges et Manage fabriqueront les trains d'outre-Manche Commande de Virgin à Bombardier". (in French). Le Soir.
  21. Sources:
    Dave Coxon. "Class 221 testing and operations". Archived from the original on 17 May 2011.
    Dave Coxon. "Class 220 testing and operations". Archived from the original on 17 May 2011.