Paul Mathias Zens

Creation of the Company

The Departmental Railways Company was created on 4 August 1881 by Paul Mathias Zens with bankers, particularly Belgian bankers, and private railway companies as shareholders.

Port-Boulet Station

Obtaining a concession in Port Boulet Chateaurenaud

It is in Indre-Et-Loire that the first concession of the Company was obtained between Port-Boulet and Château-Renault for a period of 74 years.

The "Easter Killer"

Obtaining the Valognes and Montebourg concession in Barfleur

The Company obtains the State's approval for the purchase and implementation of the Valognes concession at Barfleur. This is a normal track network that CFD undertakes to build and for which it very quickly orders three three-axle locomotives coupled to the Le Creusot company at a price of 45,500 francs each.

Locomotive 030 T St Léonard

Concessions in the Yonne, Seine et Marne, Indre-et-Loire and Corsica / Opening of the line

Start of operation of the first CFD line between Port-Boulet and Château-Renault, whose trains will be pulled by three-axle steam locomotives manufactured in Liege.

Poster of the Vivarais (the original painting of J. Alesi can be found at the CFD headquarters).

Vivarais network concessions

Signing of the concession for the Vivarais network for a line of approximately 100 kilometres, which will then be extended to 200 kilometres.

Chablis train station

Opening of the La-Roche-Migennes line at L'isle-sur-Serein

The operation of the line from La-Roche-Migennes to L'Isle-Sur-Serein began on 15 October 1887 with 6 locomotive-tenders bought from the St Léonard establishments at the price of 26500 francs per machine .

Opening Corsican lines

The Corsican railway network was opened to operation on 1 February 1888 on the Bastia-Corte section

Mostaganem Station

signing of the contract for the construction of the Tiaret line in Mostaganem

The Franco-Algerian Company entrusted the CFD Company with the task of building the Tiaret Mostaganem line for which it had the concession.

Bridge under construction at Collet de Deze

Concession of St. Cecilia d'Andorge in Florac

Signing of the concessiion of the network of Sainte-Cécile-d'Andorge in Florac

Egreville station

Resumption of the Chemins-de-Fer-de-l'Yonne operation

CFD is appointed as the new dealer of the Sens line in Egreville

Takeover of the Dordogne Railways operation

The Dordogne network from which CFD had bought the concession is transformed into a leaseholding system

The railway station

Opening of the Ghisonaccia line to Solenzara

Opening of the Ghisonaccia to Solenzara line on the Corsican network.

Installation of diesel railcars at Autun

Farming Dijon in Epinac and Maison-Dieu in Dracy-st-Loup and operation of trams in the Vendee region

CFD signs a leasing contract for the Morvan line for its rail operation

SODEC locotractor at its exit at Montmirail

Creation of the Montmirail workshops

One of the first locotractors manufactured in Montmirail for the company SODEC.

Illustration of the patent filed in the United States

Asynchro box patent

Patenting of the Asynchro box by Michel Honnoré and Pierre Zens

The BB 60001 at Montmirail

Commissioning of the BB 60001

The BB 60001 will be leased to the SNCF and will then be used to order the BB 71000 series

Locotractor Y 7401

Asynchro Boxes for Y7400

Delivery of the first series of 120 Asynchro boxes for the SNCF Y7400 locotractors. The final delivery will be 490 units.

BB 71000 bogie

BB 71000

Realization of the design and studies of the BB 71000 SNCF which will be manufactured by Fives-Lille with an Asynchro CFD box

Locomotive BB 71001

Asynchro boxes for BB 71000

Delivery of the Asynchro gearboxes designed by CFD to equip the BB 71000 of the SNCF (French national railway company)

CC 80001 "Belphégor" on the Autun network.

CC 80001 Belphégor

The mythical CC80001 locomotive is born and develops 3000 horsepower with its two Asynchro gearboxes.

Autorail SY des Chemins de Fer de Provence

Autorails Provence

First generation of railcars manufactured by the Company with Asynchro boxes and bogie pendulum suspension.

The first two locomotives for Speno

BB 600 Speno

Delivery of the first series of BB 600 locomotives for the Speno company

Autorail X 1200

Delivery of the X2000 railcar in Corsica

New generation of railcars manufactured for the Corsican network with Asynchro boxes and bogie pendulum suspension.

Autorails X2000 in Provence

Delivery autorails X 2000 in Provence

Delivery in Provence of railcars identical to the X 2000 supplied to the Corsican network.

BB locomotives for the Société des Travaux du Sud-Ouest (South-West France)

BB 1500H TSO

Realization of BB twin-engine locomotives of 1400 horsepower for the TSO company.

BB 800 H locomotives on the EDF Cordemais site.

BB 800 Cordemais

Manufacture of type BB 800 H locomotives for the EDF Cordemais power station.

Vintage steam locomotive

Centenary of the Cie

On the occasion of its centenary, the Company is organising an exhibition of railway equipment on Avenue de Friedland, in front of its head office.

Locotractor Transfesa

locotractor Transfesa

Delivery to the Transfesa company of 3 locotractors equipped with variable gauge axles for manoeuvring at the French-Spanish border.

POMA 2000 vehicles in Laon

POMA 2000 /

Delivery of the POMA 2000 vehicles that will ensure the service between the upper and lower city of Laon

Autorail X 242

Delivery railcar X240 white-silver

Delivery of CFD X240 railcars to the Silver-white metric network

BB 1500 in Java

BB 1500 Indonesia

Realization of BB metric track locomotives with 1500 horsepower and 120 km/h top speed.

rainbow Funicular

Rainbow Funicular

Delivery of the trains of the funicular linking Bourg-St-Maurice to Les Arcs station

B350 Asmidal

asmidal locotractors

Realization of the B350 locotractors for the company Asmidal in Annaba, Algeria.

Renault site in Douai

Transformation of Riverain by operating industrial railway sidings

After abandoning its road transport activities, Riverain, a subsidiary of CFD, began operating industrial sites by rail.

RENFE road-rail

Renfe Hi-Rail

Realization of 6 rail-roads for catenary inspections for the Spanish railways.

Locomotives manufactured by Ferrovial

BB Ferrovial

Contract with the Algerian company Ferrovial for the manufacture in Algeria of locomotives under CFD licence.

Snowdrop Funicular

Funicular railway of Tignes

Realization of the vehicles of the funicular of Tignes

Bagnères-de-Bigorre plant

Creation of CFD Bagnères

Takeover by CFD of the former SOULE plant for the manufacture of railway rolling stock.

Val Fréjus resort

Creation of Transmontagne

CFD participates in the creation of Transmontagne as the first shareholder.

Revised locomotive for Benin

Revision BB Guinea and Benin

Reconstruction of Alstom locomotives from Portugal to Guinea and Benin.

Han Cave Train

Han Caves / Ferrovial 2nd series /

Realization of walking machines for the tourist network of the Han Caves.

BB Scheuchzer at the Ateliers de Montmirail

Scheuchzer Grizzly / Holderbank

Construction of the BB "Grizzly" locomotive for the Scheuchzer company

in Bagnères on the way to Corsica

corsica railcar type Soulé / Loc Ethiopia

Manufacture of railcars X 97050 for Corsica according to the model already made by SOULE

Rail-road Oslo

B350 diesel electric Evian / Road-rail Oslo

Delivery of a track maintenance hi-rail for the Oslo metro.

Locotractor in Gabès

GCT / 2nd Grizzly Scheuchzer series / Creation of 3DRD /

Manufacture of metric track locotractors for the Tunisian Chemical Group.

The railcar on the ferry at the Bagnères plant

railcar white-silver

Delivery of the new generation of railcars for the Blanc-Argent network.

Loading the TME at Bagnères

Delivery of RATP locomotives

Manufacture of TME locomotives for RATP

Bison locomotive


Realization of a 100 horsepower BB locomotive for the Scheuchzer company.

Locomotive on its way to the Euskotren network

signature contract Euskotren + scheuchzer series 3

Launch of hybrid locomotive manufacturing for the Euskotren company.

aMG in Corsica

Delivery Corsica railcars

Delivery of AMG railcars to the Corsican Railways.

The AMT at the start

Railcar delivery Tunisia

Delivery of AMT railcars to the Tunisian Railways

on the CFD Bagnères ferry

Control of CP railcars

The Chemins de Fer de Provence orders railcars of a model identical to the AMP and AMT.

Company logos

INFFLUX and Rouxel takeover

The group develops an IT sector by taking control of INFFLUX and Rouxel Informatique

Locotractor at the Campina plant

somiphos locotractor

Design and manufacturing of the B2D33 locotractor by 3DRD for the Somiphos company in Algeria.

Our history since 1881: Always undertake

The growth of the rail network

For 70 years until the Second World War, the Company built and operated new railway lines. Its success was based on its ability to set up the financing of the projects, to control their implementation and management.

The growth of the rail network

The development of the construction of railway equipment

After the nationalization of the majority of railway lines, the Company has developed for 50 years an activity of construction of railway rolling stock. The first successes were due firstly to the technical innovation of the Asynchro gearbox, then to the implementation of management tools for industrial units, which enabled it to turn around the various units it took over.

The development of the construction of railway equipment

Diversification of the CFD Group

For more than 25 years, the Company has diversified its activities to areas other than the railway sector, first as a reference shareholder in the operation of ski resorts, and then for more than 10 years in the field of information technology and technical equipment for industry.

Diversification of the CFD Group

Giving sustainability to projects

The Soulé railway equipment factory was bankrupt when CFD took it over with a workforce reduced to around twenty people. It was developed under the name CFD Bagnères by delegating responsibility to the former Soulé managers but with CFD methods, which allowed for profitable growth and the workforce grew to over 200 people. In order to give CFD Bagnères even better sustainability and development, CFD sought a high-quality industrial partner and gradually transferred this unit to the Spanish group CAF.

Giving sustainability to projects

A taste for entrepreneurship

CFD's entrepreneurial spirit is always based on the same principles: mastery of management, adaptation to change, delegation of responsibility, keeping in mind that the success of the whole must be achieved by opting for the best solution for each unit.

A taste for entrepreneurship
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