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185 years first train on the European mainland
185 лет первому поезду на материковой части Европы
Presented by
Royal Mint of Belgium
Nominal value
5 euro
14,60 g
30 mm
Silver 925°
5 000 pcs
Production quality
Proof, Multiview technique
Luc Luycx
Royal Dutch Mint
Description of obverse and reverse
Obverse: in the background, the design shows a steam cloud with the contours of Belgium showing the route of the first train between Brussels and Mechelen. Multiview technique has been used here: different images can be seen according to how the coin is tilted. Tilted to one side, the current Belgian train network is shown and to the other, the names of the three locomotives of the first ride (The Arrow, The Stephenson, The Elephant). On the foreground, it seems as if the steam locomotive “The Elephant” is leaving the coin. On the left the years 1835 and 2020 are inscribed. The whole is framed by a representation of rails and the inscription “First train on European mainland”. 

Reverse: the map of the European Union; the twelve stars; a trilingual indication of the country; the inscription 5 EURO; 2020; the Mint Master’s sign and the Mint mark; and the initials LL.
A brief annotation
The first Belgian train ride is of historical importance. On 1 May 1834, King Leopold I signed a law supporting the creation of the Belgian railway system. One year later, on 5 May 1835, the first Belgian railway line was opened. For the first time in history a train rode on the European mainland, between Brussels and Mechelen. Three steam locomotives, manufactured in Great Britain, rode in one line and transported 900 passengers in 30 carriages: 

La Flèche (“arrow”): seven open carriages with benches for people of good descent. 

Stephenson: seven open and covered carriages. 

L’Éléphant (“elephant”): sixteen open carriages with benches. 

The route, which started from Brussels Groendreef station, was 22 kilometres long and had only one stop in Vilvoorde. On arrival in Mechelen, all the wagons were coupled together, and on the way back to Brussels they were dragged by L’Éléphant. This route marked the beginning of the rich history of Belgian railways and was the driving force behind Belgium's industrial success in the 19th century.
New issue
№ 4(65) 2023
№ 4(65) 2023
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