Series tractors

Series tractors

charentes type (Series 50-62-70-201)

Following the directives of the Central Administration, Mr. Esbelin, who had already made the prototype Crochat n° 11, had a locomotive 130 type Charente transformed from the private domain of the Company, for use on the section of local interest from Matha to Angoulême. This realization was followed by a second one, this time for the network of General Interest, using the chassis of a 130 type I.G.

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Esbelin having retired, this machine was finished by Mr. Petolon, who had, as for him, made the prototype n° 204 in Toulon-sur-Arroux. A third tractor was also built two years later, following the directives of the new Chief of Depot, which gave it a different silhouette, avoiding long sheet metal work for the cabin roof.

In this type, it is also necessary to classify the tractor of the Vendée, made by Mr Brègerie, also a former team leader in Toulon- sur-Arroux, from a 030 locomotive of the Tramways de la Vendée. If for the first three machines it had been necessary to shorten the chassis, for the latter this operation was not necessary.

Description of Charente type tractor (50-62-70-201 series)

These four tractors were based on the same principles as those used for the 13-15 series. However, their appearance differed slightly by the shape of the cab with a more enveloping roof for the n° 50 and 62 and overflowing for the two others. The bays were all rectangular in shape with rounded corners for the Charentais, the Vendéen resuming the model in use on the Indre-et-Loire. The doors were sliding inside the cabin, except for the 201. The radiator grille of the engine bonnet was in the shape of a rectangle and the nose of the bonnet was slightly protruding. The guardrails for the engine inspection platforms were straight without any research to improve their shape. They were non-existent on the 201, which had a more massive engine cowling with the base of the nose slightly tilted forward.

Plan of the 50 and 62 series tractors. (Scale 1/43.5°)
Plan of the 50 and 62 series tractors. (Scale 1/43.5°)

Tractor 201 was the only tractor with a protective skirt.

These four units were ballasted by means of cast iron cranes placed under the front deck.

Their livery was dark green with a black border. The front and rear crossmembers were painted vermilion red with yellow markings for initials and vehicle number. Plates from the machines had been attached to the cab:

  • oval plate for n° 50
  • rectangular plate for No. 62
  • numbers painted yellow for the 70 and
  • 201.

Charente type tractor delivery and assignments (50-62-70-201 series)

TRACTOR 50 (Private property of the Company)

Tractor n° 50, when rented to the Vendée network (Photo P. LAURENT)
Tractor n° 50, when rented to the Vendée network (Photo P. LAURENT)

Started on March 8, 1941, its construction was stopped during the war due to lack of raw materials. Its manufacture was resumed by the workshops of Saint-Jean-d'Angély at the end of the hostilities and it was operational on 20 December 1944. It was used to serve goods on the route from Saint-Jean-d'Angély to Angoulême. It made it possible to reduce the deficit of this interdepartmental local interest line.

For demonstration purposes, it was rented to the neighbouring network in the Vendée from 25 March 1946 to 23 June 1949. Returned to its assignment depot in July 1949, it was made commonplace and used on all the lines of the network until January 9, 1951, when it left for the Lozère line. Then on November 20, 1951, he was sold to the Chemin de Fer du Blanc in Argent.

Tractor type Charentes n° 50 elevation view (Photo J. MOREAU)
Tractor type Charentes n° 50 elevation view (Photo J. MOREAU)
Tractor no. 50 seen from the front, in front of the shed in Saint-Jean-d'angely. (Photo J. MOREAU)
Tractor no. 50 seen from the front, in front of the shed in Saint-Jean-d'angely. (Photo J. MOREAU)
Same tractor seen from the rear. (Cliché J. MOREAU)
Same tractor seen from the rear. (Cliché J. MOREAU)

TRACTOR 62 (State Property)

It began on January 2, 1946 and was completed on October 1 of the same year. He carried out the service assigned to tractor 50, which had been transferred since March. From 18 January 1949, it was made commonplace and used on all the lines of the network. After being unemployed, due to the closure of the Charente lines, he was transferred to the Lozère line on 23rd November 1953. This tractor served the line until its closure, then it was removed. Finally, it was put at the disposal of the Chemin de Fer Touristique du Haut-Vivarais.

Tractor n° 62 under the Florac shed (Photo M. RIFAULT)
Tractor n° 62 under the Florac shed (Photo M. RIFAULT)

TRACTOR 70 (State Property)

Tractor n° 70 in Florac station (Photo B. ROZE)
Tractor n° 70 in Florac station (Photo B. ROZE)

It was started on 8 February 1948 and entered regular service on 15 December 1948. Together with the two others, it ensured the flow of freight traffic on the entire network until its closure. Transferred on 6 April 1951, on the Lozère line, it had the same fate as tractor 62. It should be noted that during their stay in Florac, these two machines were sent in turn to Le Cheylard for their different R.G.'s.

Tractor No. 70 on the Saint-Jean-d'Angely freight bundle. (Photo D. PETOLON)
Tractor No. 70 on the Saint-Jean-d'Angely freight bundle. (Photo D. PETOLON)
Tractor n° 70 during a revision at the Cheylard workshops (Photo M. RIFAULT)
Tractor n° 70 during a revision at the Cheylard workshops (Photo M. RIFAULT)

TRACTOR 201 (Property of the Department of Vendée)

More powerful than the three Charentais, it had a 180 HP Willème engine, with a larger footprint, which explains the more hooded front shape. Started on November 4, 1947, it was delivered to the operations department on June 15, 1949. It provided little service to the network, which was shut down at the end of the same year. Parked at the Sables-d'OIonne depot, it was offered for sale by the Department. It was acquired on 18 October 1950 by the Chemin de Fer du Blanc à Argent.

Tractor n° 201 of the Vendée network, after its sale to the B.A. (Photo M. RIFAULT)
Tractor n° 201 of the Vendée network, after its sale to the B.A. (Photo M. RIFAULT)

source : MTVS 1989-1

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