Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 7 (November 1, 1929)

French Railway Improvements

page 56

French Railway Improvements

Early in July the French State railways ran a train from Paris to Cherbourg, a distance of 230 miles, in the remarkable time of three hours and 23 minutes, including a five-minute stop at Caen (writes the Paris correspondent of the London “Times”). The average speed of this train for the whole distance was 69.6 miles an hour, excluding the five minutes spent at Caen. I understand that this run furnished useful data on which a considerable acceleration of the express passenger services will eventually be based.

The primary object of the run was to test the condition of the permanent way with a view to running the heavy boat-trains at higher speeds. The test train consisted of two or three coaches only, making a load of about 100 tons. It was hauled by a standard compound Pacific locomotive (4—6—2), weighing, with tender, 120 tons. The train carried instruments which measured the oscillation of the coaches at high speeds. From all this a complete chart of the run was obtained which showed the places where the permanent way would have to be strengthened or altered to allow higher speeds. The instruments also yielded data for the design of the new rolling stock which will be used in the high-speed trains.

The State railways hope to inaugurate their accelerated services in about two years. Special rolling stock and special locomotives are being designed. The new coaches will be all-steel, with special provision for stability. The locomotives will be of the “Mountain” type (4—8—2), which is already in use on the Nord and P.L.M. systems. They will be designed to haul a full load at an average speed of 60 miles an hour on the difficult Paris-Cherbourg route, with a maximum speed (limited by law) of 75 miles an hour. These trains will make the journey in four and a half hours instead of the present five hours.

The State railways are also experimenting with high-pressure locomotives such as those which are at present being developed in Great Britain. They have now under test a comparatively small locomotive of 800 h.p., with a boiler pressure of 900lb. to the square inch. This machine is being tested in comparison with larger locomotives of similar horse-power.