Prototype tractor No. 4 from Indre-et-Loire

Prototype tractor No. 4 from Indre-et-Loire

Conversion to diesel traction

Encouraged by the results of the tests of tractor 204 from Saône-et-Loire, the C.F.D. Company decided to convert little by little its networks to diesel traction for the service of goods. In order to limit the work, the C.F.D. turned to the conversion of type 030 locomotives that did not require the shortening of the chassis.

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The C.F.D. Company, wishing to generalise diesel traction on all its networks, decided to set up a workshop in Neuillé-Pont-Pierre specialising in the construction of locotractors. Indeed, the tools and the vast premises of this depot seemed to be suitable for the production of mass-produced equipment. On the other hand, the fleet of the Nord d'Indre-et-Loire network included several type 030 locomotives that were in the process of being overhauled and which the Department wished to dispose of. As this type of machine did not require shortening of the chassis, the transformation could only be facilitated.

Having negotiated the purchase of three machines with the Department, the C.F.D. had them transformed for their own account by a team composed of personnel who had participated in the development of tractor 204 and led by Mr. Costes, Head of the Neuillé-Pont-Pierre depot.

Description of the prototype tractor No. 4 from Indre-et-Loire

This tractor, with a reinforced chassis, similar in appearance to the 204, had, however, received some minor modifications:

  • the driver's cab had sliding doors and only these had a window. At the rear, a central window replaced the three existing openings on the 204.
  • the engine hood and its bulky nose were more rounded in shape, and the grille was cut into a trapezoidal shape with its large base downwards.
  • access to the engine inspection platforms was in front of the cab. The guardrails extended to the front of the engine hood, where they framed the nose with a V-shape.
  • two sandboxes had been placed at the front, on either side of the engine.
Plan of the prototype tractor n° 204 of Saône-et-Loire. (Scale 1/43,5°)
Plan of the prototype tractor n° 204 of Saône-et-Loire. (Scale 1/43,5°)

The transmission was by means of chains and the 75 HP CLM engine was a LC 35 type. This innovation did not give the expected results and penalized this machine afterwards. In fact, this transmission, which was mainly aimed at financial savings compared to the MINERVA system, caused great concern to the various heads of depots during its various assignments.

Plan of the prototype tractor n° 4 from Indre-et-Loire. (Scale 1/43,5°)
Plan of the prototype tractor n° 4 from Indre-et-Loire. (Scale 1/43,5°)

Its livery was identical to the 204, but it was marked differently by having the company initials and number embossed on the cab using characters cut out of sheet metal. The front and rear cross members were painted bright red and the company logo and number were painted yellow with black.

Delivery and assignment of the prototype tractor n° 4 from Indre-et-Loire

Begun on October 1, 1939, tractor No. 4 left the Neuillé-Pont-Pierre workshops on January 2, 1940. Tested on the section from Neuillé-Pont-Pierre to Château-La-Vallière, it towed a 50-tonne oar at a speed of 30 km/h on a 15°/°° ramp. Used to pull freight convoys on the North Indre-et-Loire network, in order to run in, it underwent numerous adjustments, in particular to the tension of the transmission chains, then its engine was replaced by an 8-cylinder Willème 316 with 150 HP to increase its power, with a view to transferring it to the Yonne line from Laroche-Migennes to Isle-Angely, where a large tonnage had to be transported.

Received at Chablis on February 2, 1940, it was tested and developed for service on the line, but due to lack of fuel, it was parked the following month.

Started up again in November 1945, it was shipped to Montmirail on 1 May 1946 to provide freight service for the La Ferté-sous-Jouarre line. Not much appreciated (it was found there by the former Chablis Depot Manager who had received it and had done everything possible to get rid of it), it was returned to Chablis on 28 April 1947 for revision.

Prototype n° 4 of the C.F.D in Chablis station (collection J.C. RIFFAUD))
Prototype n° 4 of the C.F.D in Chablis station (collection J.C. RIFFAUD))

Refurbished at the Chablis workshops, it was returned to service on 2 July 1947. Attached to the traction tender at Laroche-Migennes, it carried out manoeuvres, servicing the water station and the reserve. Very often stopped for transmission breakdowns, he was successively taken off an axle, then his engine and a few parts in order to repair the other tractors assigned to the line.

Its frequent unavailability (September 1947 to April 1948, 3 June 1948 to 2 December 1948, February 1949 to August 1949, October 1949 to January 1950, 10 August 1951 to 8 October 1951) did not allow it to carry out a regular service. Re-equipped by a Pan-hard 4 HL 80 HP engine in 1949, it was also subject to a reinforcement of connecting rods in November 1950.

It was parked on 31 December 1951 at Laroche-Migennes, then took part in the removal of the line. Finally, the C.F.D. sold it to the Mines de Carmaux on November 24, 1952, where it was used to operate and sort the AIbi Pelissier line.

DELIVERY TABLE FOR PROTOTYPE TRACTORS
No. C.F.D. No. Loco Builder Year of Construction Delivery Date Date of Commissioning Observations
1643St Léonard188321.08.8319.11.84Tracteur 15
TH 1-Thomson-Houston192513.12.2504.02.26Muté en 1928
PE 5-Petolat193009.07.3012.08.30Muté C.F.V.
11Ae 51St Jean d'Angely193505.07.3608.07.36 Reformed 1944
204204Toulon s/Arroux193930.12.3913.05.40Vendu en 1954
44Neuillé193902.01.4010.01.40Vendu en 1952

source : MTVS 1989-1

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