Le Transcorrezien 0-6-0 Locomotives in France

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class Dragonflies (Locobase 5738)

The Tulle-Ussel line lay south of Vichy, west of Lyon in the Correze region of France. It was a railway best characterized as having taken great pains to go nowhere in particular. Laid out on 20-kg (40-lb) rail through very tight curvature, crossing valleys and mountains alike, the 101-km (63-mile) railway had some impressive civil engineering, including a suspension bridge. But its general alignment twisted (291 of the curves had radii of 60 m (197 ft) or less), climbed, and dropped (55% of the line had ruling grades of 1% or greater).

Although opened with high ceremony on 1 August 1913 by French President Poincare himself, this "public utility" service was always short of patronage and funds. Average speed over the line was 15 km/h (9.3 mph).

The motive power was this set of six-coupled side tanks produced by a local builder. Sturdy and relatively robustly powered locomotives for their size, these engines came in two strengths: The 18,500-kg (tare) version shown in the specifications and the three lighter, 17,000-kg locomotives with the same boiler but putting one less metric ton on the drivers when fully loaded. That apparently made all the difference because 13,14, and 17 were little used on the Tulle-Ussel. Service speed was limited to a pokey 35 km/h (21.7 mph).

In addition to its own deficits, competition from buses, and later cars, posed an implacable threat to Le Transcorrizien. As Google translates author B. Teillauchet (transcorrezien.free.fr/cartes.html, visited 13 November 2003), the train "did not require that one throws this kind of banana skin under his wheels." As happened in many countries, however, wartime demands meant a stay in the steady decline with the line nearly making a profit in 1943. But the downturn resumed after World War II. The last steam run came on 31 December 1959, when the line closed.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID5738
RailroadLe Transcorrezien (Tulle-Ussel)
Number in Class10
Road Numbers3-9
Number Built10
BuilderEtablissment Piguet
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) 6.89 / 2.10
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m) 6.89 / 2.10
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase1
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)48,502 / 22,000
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)48,502 / 22,000
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)48,502 / 22,000
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)27 / 13.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)33.50 / 850
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)188.50 / 13
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)12.6" x 16.54" / 320x420
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)12,559 / 5696.67
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.86
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)
Grate Area (sq ft / m2) 8.18 / 0.76
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)565 / 52.50
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)565 / 52.50
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume236.70
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation1542
Same as above plus superheater percentage1542
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area
Power L1
Power MT

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