Locomotives with a carrying axle at the front; Charente type

Locomotives with a carrying axle at the front; Charente type

Despite the use of a rear carrying axle on their machines, the C.F.D.'s found that there was a detrimental effect on both track and vehicle stability when approaching tight curves.

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They therefore decided to test two new models of locomotives built by the S.A.C.M. de Belfort:

  • mallet type with two articulated groups of two axles and using the compound operating system.
  • 3-axle coupled type with front carrying axle and using the single expansion operating system.

Belonging to the second model, after the supply of a prototype and a pre-series, the Charente type was the subject of two complementary orders, one from Maison Cail and the other from Saint-Léonard (Belgium), because of the congestion of the factories of the French builders. We took the opportunity to improve it in order to increase its performance.

Charente prototype locomotive no. 49, when it was assigned to the Ligueil depot. Here, in Louans station
Charente prototype locomotive no. 49, when it was assigned to the Ligueil depot. Here, in Louans station

Description of the locomotive type Charente

This new model of machine corresponded to the manufacturer's type 89 and its general characteristics were close to those of the Yonne type locomotives. They differed only by the position of the radial box carrying axle replaced by a bissel and placed at the front allowing it to absorb shocks at the entrance of the curves, as well as by a slightly longer boiler giving it a slightly higher heating surface. The other elements were almost identical (Walschaert distribution, power take-off on the 3rd axle, balance valves, etc.), but the smoke box door was round and gave this model a more modern look.

The shelter, closed on all four sides, had two rectangular portholes on its front and rear sides and a wide opening on its sides.

The decoration was identical to that of the previous series (olive green and red nets) but the marking was materialized by the affixing of an oval plate, as on the Yonne series, in the middle of the water boxes. The oval plate of the manufacturer was fixed on the same water boxes in plumb with the front face of the shelter. The front and rear crossmembers were marked in yellow on a red background, on the left was the C.F.D. sign and on the right was the engine registration number. A yellow edging bordered these cross members.

Locomotive type Charente 65-67. Here the no. 67 when it left the factory
Locomotive type Charente 65-67. Here the no. 67 when it left the factory

The locomotives in the second control (manufacturer's type 101) had a virtually identical boiler and the piston stroke and wheel diameter were simply increased slightly to increase the speed. The capacity of the water tanks had been almost doubled at the expense of the fuel bunker capacity

These machines were painted black and their number was on a plate fixed on the base and on each side of the chimney. As soon as they were delivered, the company had the yellow paint with a red overcoat, its logo and the registration number affixed to the water tanks. The front and rear crossbeams received the same marking as the previous series.

Those in the third series (manufacturer's type 6 GT) had a boiler of the same dimensions, but their number of tubes was only 104 instead of 113 on previous deliveries, slightly reducing their vaporization power. The direct-charge valves had been transferred to the furnace. The diameter of their wheels had been increased to 0.920 m, favouring speed at the expense of tractive effort. Their weight was increased from 17.2 t to 19 t unladen.

Charente type locomotive, class 65-67, double traction in Angoulême station, France.
Charente type locomotive, class 65-67, double traction in Angoulême station, France.

This series had received a very dark green livery and the markings were as follows:

  • oval plate bearing the company name and registration of the machine attached to the water tanks and the oval plate of the manufacturer.
  • on the front and rear crossmembers, the registration on either side of the central stamp for machines 85 and 86; the CFD logo on the left and the registration on the right for the 84, in order to harmonise the markings on each network, (white inscriptions on a red background).

This was the reason why machine 49 received, when it was assigned to Ligueil, the mention "N°" on the left of the central stamp and the registration on the right.

Delivery and assignment of the locomotive type Charente

The first series of Charente type locomotives

The first series, composed of 4 units including :

  • 1 prototype n° 49
  • 3 units of pre-series no. 50 to 53 were delivered as follows:
  • the prototype was sent to Egreville for testing. It was towed by a convoy of 45 t at a speed of 30 km/h in level. After several tests, a higher speed could not be reached with the same train. In normal operation, it was common practice to tow a 401 load at a speed of 20 km/h at a 30°/°° ramp. The Company, which had placed its hopes on this type of machine to reduce journey times, had to completely revise its equipment programme. A study, drawn from the lessons learned during these trials, led to the definition of a new model called type 200.
Locomotive 130 type Charente n° 65 at the head of a passenger train in Pernay station, on the line from Fondettes to Rilé-Hommes during its detachment on the North network of Indre-et-Loire
Locomotive 130 type Charente n° 65 at the head of a passenger train in Pernay station, on the line from Fondettes to Rilé-Hommes during its detachment on the North network of Indre-et-Loire

The 49 was transferred to the Angoulême depot to complete the fleet of the Charente line, after the departure of the 4-5 machines to Corsica. On 4th July 1907, it was detached to the Ligueil depot for the opening of the section from Montrésor to Ecueillé, the traction equipment that had been planned having not yet been received. In fact, the locomotive intended for this line having been assigned to Mortcerf, the 49 remained definitively attached to Ligueil. It was in service there until 1939, when it was put into deferred repair. It was overhauled in 1949 and sold to the Société de Construction des Batignolles, which shipped it to Cameroon to assist in the work on the port of Douala.

  • Machines 50 to 52 were assigned to the Angoulême depot where they serviced the Rouillac line, then the Matha line until its closure, except for the 50, which was converted into a diesel locomotive by the Ateliers de Saint-Jean-d'Angély in 1941.
Locomotive 130 Saint-Léonard No. 84 at the Mortcerf depot
Locomotive 130 Saint-Léonard No. 84 at the Mortcerf depot

The second series of the Charente type locomotives

The Cail locomotives of the second series, numbered from 65 to 67 were also attached to the line from Matha to Angoulême and used in pool with the 50-52. Four units were assigned to the Angoulême depot and two to the Matha annex.

Machine 65 was detached to the Rillé-Hommes depot from July 4, 1907 to January 7, 1911, to ensure the traffic of the section from Rillé-Hommes to Fondettes, under the same conditions as 49. It towed the train for the inauguration of this line on August 1, 1907.

These locomotives remained in service until the closure of the line in March 1950.

The third series of Charente type locomotives

The machines of the third series, of Saint-Léonard construction, registered from 84 to 86, had been ordered to equip the two lines of Rillé-Hommes at Fondettes (2 units) and Montrésor at Ecueillé (1 unit). Finding no French builders to carry out this order and obliged to go abroad, the C.F.D. could not supply these units in time for the opening of the lines and we have seen above that they transferred two units from the Angoulême depot to be able to cope with the service. When the planned machines were finally available, other needs were felt and two locomotives actually joined the Rillé-Hommes depot: the 85 and 86, thus freeing the 65.

These two units were billeted on the Rillé-Hommes section at Fondettes, because of their high weight. They were parked in 1932 (n° 86) and 1922 (n° 85) due to insufficient traffic and only resumed service from 1941, until the closure of the network eight years later.

The third (No. 84) was finally assigned to the Mortcerf depot to reinforce the park of the Lagny line and the 49 remained in Indre-et-Loire.

No. 84 remained in service on the Lagny line until it was closed in 1934, then was handed over to Mortcerf awaiting sale. The sale did not take place until 19 January 1944: it was acquired by Mr Grimault, a car dealer in Evreux, who had it shipped to his Parisian depot.

{d}Con. {d}Tractor 50{d}04.10.10{d}10.11.10{d}04.10.10{d}04.10.10
DELIVERY TABLE FOR CHARENTE TYPE LOCOMOTIVES
No. C.F.D. BuilderYear Built Delivery dateCommissioning dateObservations
494084SACM Belfort188902.07.8912.08.89Sold 1949
504085188907.10.8931.10.89
514086188907.10.8931.10.89Reform 1951
524087188907.10.8931.10.89Reform 1951
652460CAIL Denain189527.08.9608.02.97Reform 1951
662461189527.08.9608.02.97Reform 1951
672462189527.08.9608.02.97Reform 1951
841645Saint-Léonard1910Sold 1944
851646191021.11.10Reform 1951
861647191021.11.10Reform 1951

source : MTVS 1988-4

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