Atelier Loco d’Ougree
THE ABANDONED TRAIN WORKSHOP IN BELGIUM
‘Atelier Loco d’Ougree’ are the rail repair workshops of the ‘Cockerill-Ougrée’ factories. A big steel plant in the Liege region.
In 1809 the ‘Fabrique de Fer d’Ougrée’ was founded. A new company named ‘Ougrée-Marihaye’ was formed in 1835, after the merge with the coal mines in Marihaye. Eventually, the company merged with the ‘Société anonyme John Cockerill’ in 1955 to form ‘Cockerill-Ougrée’.
The first industrial activities on this site begins around 1854 when a zinc oxide plant was built here. The site was purchased by Cockerill-Ougrée, at the time a flourishing steel company. As a result, the zinc plant was partly demolished to build these huge industrial halls. For maintenance on the locomotives and carriages, they opened this ‘Atelier Loco’ in 1990.
The railroad that crosses the site is in fact used for the transport of cast iron between the blast furnaces and the steelworks. The workshops are built conveniently halfway on the line together with the Ateliers Centraux.
After 2000, maintenance activities are discontinued and the site is eventually abandoned. It was a victim of the crisis and was closed down just after both blast furnaces, HF6 and HFB, were shut down. The photos of ‘Atelier Loco d’Ougree’ were taken during my visits in 2016 and 2017.