Series tractors

Series tractors

montmirail type (Series 851 to 852 and X to Y)

These four tractors were among the first achievements of the brand new Ateliers de Montmirail. The activities of this plant were managed by the design office of the Central Administration in Paris. The engineers had compiled the various files emanating from the depots where the first machines were built and had determined a unified model called "180 HP".

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Description of the Montmirail-type tractor (Series 851 to 852 and X to Y)

This model was a compromise of the Indre-et-Loire 13-15 series, from which it had received the cabin and the aft cowl, and the Vendée, from which it had inherited the forward cowl. However, ramps with a return to the front had been installed on the engine inspection platforms. Skirts with indentations towards the front and rear had been installed on each side of the chassis. The first axle had been moved slightly forward to improve stability and reduce the overhang aggravated by the increased weight of the new engine being used.

General view of the Ateliers du Montmirail, at the time of the construction of the first trenchers. Note the metric tracks preserved for the evolution and testing of equipment. (Collection C.F.D.)
General view of the Ateliers du Montmirail, at the time of the construction of the first trenchers. Note the metric tracks preserved for the evolution and testing of equipment. (Collection C.F.D.)

Tractor Y was built according to a different layout. The cab had been moved aft and a very long hood housed the engine, auxiliaries, and fuel tank. The skirts had been removed. The reason for this new design was the installation of a coupling system for the simultaneous control of two units. In this case, the two cabins would have been placed face to face to reduce the length of the connecting cables. In fact, this option, which was also available for the X tractor, was hardly used by the destination network, and only two examples built for the Têt mines used this possibility. However, this experimentation was at the origin of the realization of the machines of the type 400.

Tractor type Montmirail in Egreville station. Series 851-852 (Photo M. RIFAULT)
Tractor type Montmirail in Egreville station. Series 851-852 (Photo M. RIFAULT)

The tractors were uniformly painted dark green. The vermilion red front and rear crossmembers were yellow with the company logo and engine number for the Seine-et-Marne units, the letters X on either side of the central stamp for the third and Y for the fourth.

On the first three, a rectangular plate bearing the initials C.F.D. had been fixed on the skirts, in line with the shelter. On the Y, this plate had been attached to the sides of the cabin.

Tractor X in Cheylard station (Photo B. ROZE)
Tractor X in Cheylard station (Photo B. ROZE)

Delivery and assignments of the Montmirail type tractor (Series 851 to 852 and X to Y)

TRACTORS 851 and 852 (Property of the Department of Seine-et-Marne)

Ordered in 1947 by the Department of Seine-et-Marne, they were built from the chassis of the reformed locomotives n° 17 for the 851 and 18 for the 852. Immediately undertaken, they were delivered respectively on 16 February 1948 and 26 June 1948. However, the latter was sent to the Cheylard depot for demonstration purposes. It travelled 2,495 km there, before reaching its home depot on August 6, 1948. These tests enabled the company to draw lessons learned from the use of diesel traction on this network, before beginning the construction of the units intended to equip it.

Tractor Y in original delivery with skirts. Compare with the view below. (Photo C. WAGNER)
Tractor Y in original delivery with skirts. Compare with the view below. (Photo C. WAGNER)

These two tractors were used for the traction of goods and beet trains. As an accessory, they also carried out "passenger" walks during peak periods.

The 852 ended its career prematurely on November 4, 1955, in an accident on the Souppes ramp, as it was descending an empty set of cars from the Montuffé sugar factory.

Tractor Y at Lamastre station, shortly after its assignment to the C.F.V. (Photo G. PEREVE)
Tractor Y at Lamastre station, shortly after its assignment to the C.F.V. (Photo G. PEREVE)

He was repatriated to Montmirail a few months later, to collect the pieces that could still be recovered.

The 851 was sold to the Ouvré de Souppes sugar factory when the line was closed on September 1st 1959, to ensure the operations inside the factory.

X and Y TRACTORS (State-owned)

In order to build these two machines, the C.F.D. acquired the 031 Saint-Leonard locomotives Nos. 23 and 24 in the Yonne department in 1948 and had them transported to Montmirail. After shortening the chassis, the workshops equipped them and carried out tests on the track bundle kept at Montmirail C.F.D. station. After fine-tuning, they were sent for tests on the line from Laroche-Migennes to L'Isle-Angely:

  • on November 3, 1948 for the X where he contributed to the transport of convoys of stones from Massangis station to Laroche-Migennes.
  • on 20 March 1949 for the Y. He was employed there in coupling with the X until May 5, then continued his trials in line in the same service as the X.

These two tractors were shipped on Le Cheylard on May 8, 1949 for the X and June 15 of the same year for the Y.

Plan of Montmirail type tractors series 851-852 and X. (Scale 1/43,5°)
Plan of Montmirail type tractors series 851-852 and X. (Scale 1/43,5°)

Assigned to the service of the freight trains on the lines with easy profile, then in coupling on that of the mountainous part, they were relegated to the maneuvering and the reserve at the arrival of the tractor 003.

When the network was closed, they were assigned by the State to the Vivarais Tourist Railway, where they are still used for work trains.

Plan of the Montmirail Y series tractors. (Scale 1/43,5°)
Plan of the Montmirail Y series tractors. (Scale 1/43,5°)

source : MTVS 1989-1

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