NAMUR. JARDINET-L.-WALCOURT. 1 Action Privilégiée de £10=F250. black on blue paper. #23000. No 3135. Trimmed left border. Plans to build a railway linking the mineral areas lying between the Sambre and the Maas (south of Charleroi) were taken up in 1845 by a group of English railway financiers, led by W.P.Richards and his group Richards & Co. Other groups looked at the obvious possibilities of a line in this region; even the great Stephenson himself examined it. However the concession was given in 1845 to Richards & Co, who created a company - the first of Belgium's 'English period'. The capital was 620.000 pounds in 31.000 shares of £20, and all shares were sold in England. The line started on the state railway at Marchienne-au-Pont, and followed the Sambre south to Walcourt and Mariembourg, later turning east to the Maas, and Vireux, just inside the French border, and on the main Namur-Charleville line into France. Several small branches led to iron-ore mines and blast-furnaces in nearby towns and villages. By the beginning of 1847 3000 workers were employed, but by 1848 when the capitalwas exhausted, the work was far from finished. Obligations were issued to raise the extra cash. The 104km line to Mariembourg opened in 1854. The first years earned only 1,5% on the capital. 1855 brought a capital increase, to extend the line, with theissue of 23.000 privileged shares of £10, of which this is one. 1862 brought the link to the Meuse and the French network, and the company started to be successful, although the £20 shares were still worth only £3. In 1863 the company merged with the Est-Belge and Antwerp-Rotterdam companies to form the Grand-Central. Text in French and English.
Date: 1 February 1855
Startprice: € 100