Designed in 1970, this new type of vehicle deliberately went off the beaten track. Equipped with two MAN diesel engines placed under the floor and benefiting from a panoramic type beam body, this equipment was perfectly suitable for tourist lines.
This equipment had two motor bogies and a double control station placed at each end. These control stations, limited to one console, made it possible to remove the bulkheads from the driver's cabs, with the driver placed in the passenger compartment. The view of the passengers was then completely unobstructed, allowing them a panoramic observation worthy of the best coaches.
Their transmission of the ASYNCHRO hydromechanical type was substantially identical to that of the 414 HP type locotractors and employed the RL 200 freewheel system between the four-speed gearbox and the reverser, allowing synchronisation of the two engine assemblies.
This equipment was built for the Chemins de Fer de Provence, which took delivery of four units between 1971 and 1972.
The X 1200 series
Following on from the previous series, type 1200 railcars were built for the Corsican network operated by C.F.T.A., formerly Société Générale des Chemins de Fer Economiques (S.E.). This equipment, with the same mechanical design and characteristics very similar to the SY series, differs mainly by its external appearance. More modern in design, they are characterized by angular body ends and a gray and red paintwork of the happiest effect, reminiscent of the designs of the new S.N.C.F. 6500 series locomotives.
These gears are designed for coupled operation by means of cables at each end. Five units were assigned to Corsica in 1975-1976 and two others have just been put into service on the Chemins de Fer de Provence (line from Nice to Digne), but are registered in the SY series in order to follow the four units of this series.
The special feature of the "Corsican" railcars is their higher speed capacity and interior layout. Three units are mixed: 1 re-2nd class (1200 series) and two others are equipped with 2nd class only (2000 series). The "Provence" railcars are of the 2000 type. A central luggage compartment allows the storage of bulky packages that cannot fit in the luggage nets.
The somewhat cramped access doors are wallet-type with pneumatic controls within easy reach of the driver.
The maximum speed of this equipment varies from 85 km/h to 120 km/h depending on the torque of the bridges.
Finally, let us insist on the really high level of comfort of these vehicles, both in terms of the seats and the suspension. We personally drove one of them on the Ajaccio-Bastia route and we admire the ease with which the X 1205 swallowed 30%0 ramps in a curve of 100 m radius at 80 km/h.
These railcars have a good towing possibility, but on the rather severe profiles of the Corsican network this practice is hardly used. In order to overcome this disadvantage, the C.F.C. have had trailers of the same style built by the GARNERO Establishment, in Nice-Carros, from the chassis of old Billard railcars, type A210D. These trailers, equipped with a train line, are intended to be framed by two coupled railcars, allowing a capacity of 150 seats. In addition, these trailers have a 7 m luggage compartment designed to supplement the railcar holds.
The first trailer (R 104) was delivered to Bastia on 12 July 1977, the second (R 105) is scheduled for the end of the year.