DIESEL-ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE OVERHAUL AND REPAIR
(from 1972 to 1995)
The diesel electric locomotives
of diesel-electric locomotives revised to Q.M.
The politics of maintenance
Rules of maintenance
The diesel-electric locomotives
Why to have given this name to a locomotive? We
are going to try to develop most simply possible in this chapter, the principle
of functioning of this type of locomotive who rests in fact on two elementary
and specific notions.
The diesel engine
Everybody knows the principle of functioning of an internal combustion engine
which consists in transforming the linear movement of a piston into rotary
There are two types of this engine. In the first, the gasoline engine, we
introduce in the cylinder a mixture dosed of air and gasoline which, during the
following race of the piston, is compressed, before being inflamed.
In the second, the diesel engine, It is of pure air which is allowed in the
cylinder, then compressed. The fuel is injected in the cylinder at the precise
moment when we wish that begins the combustion of the mixture constituted by
this fuel and by the air beforehand compressed.
12 LVA24 , equipping AIA AIA 68000
The overeating of the diesel engine is used for a
long time in the S.N.C.F.. His purpose is to increase the power of engines
without increasing their dimensions and to allow so to accommodate in a limited
volume the most powerful possible engine. His principle rests on two basic
notions. It is necessary 15g of air to burn 1g of fuel and the weight of air
contained in a volume " V " is a function of its pressure. If we admit of the
air under pressure in an engine of given capacity, it will thus be possible to
burn a superior quantity of fuel. Gold, the fuel represents the energy thus the
power. To obtain this result, exhaust gases, which keep a residual energy, are
directed towards the wheel of the turbocompressor which they entail. This
turbine, propped up on a tree of connection, entails a compressor itself propped
up on this tree. The compressor, of centrifugal type, aspires the air to the
atmospheric pressure and sends it under pressure towards the collector of
admission of air of the engine.
The diesel engine cannot, as the steam engine or the electric
engine, start in load. It is necessary, to provoke the starting up, to make it
turn artificially until he turns over a minimal regime which we call " the slow
motion ". In slow motion, the couple is extremely low, and it is only in the
nearby speed of its speed of regime that it develops a useful couple. It is thus
necessary to connect the engine with axles through a transmission with variable
reduction, which allows to make turn the engine in a speed of regime (1500 tr /
mn, if this engine is conceived for this nominal speed), whatever is the speed
in which the vehicle rolls. It is the transmission which assures the functions
which we have just defined.
In the case of an electrical transmission, such as that used on high-horsepower
locomotives revised four-Mares, the diesel engine is mated to an electric
generator (continuous or alternate).
The current produced by this generator feeds,
with a variable tension, engines of traction attacking the axles directly. The
MT being fed in D.C. current, it is necessary to use a rectifying block when the
generator is an alternator.The Diesel-electric locomotive is, in a way, a
producing power plant of current attached to an electric locomotive with direct
The return, although a little lower than a
mechanical transmission, remain nevertheless about 80 for 100. The Electrical
transmission has the advantage of allowing to have the full power of the diesel
engine over a very wide range of speed range. This transmission system leaves
great potential in terms of installation and weight distribution, since the
connection between the generator and motors is via cables.
The use of locomotives in multiple units, that is to say the use
of multiple locomotives coupled and driven by a single agent, is a particularly
simple solution in this case of transmission.
bogie of CC 72000
If, instead of the return on the diesel engine, that we shall not
develop here, we consider the return in the hook of drive of a diesel
locomotive, we notice that that of a diesel locomotive with electric
transmission is approximately 4 times upper to that of the steam locomotive.
The diesel drive thus presents, from the energy point of view,
certain interest. Furthermore with regard to the steam engine, the machine of
present diesel drive the advantage to escape all the subjections of preparation,
as well as the necessity of a periodic provisioning in the course of route. The
taken reserve of fuel allows an autonomy about one thousand kilometers.
of diesel-electric locomotives revised to Q.M.
The park of diesel-electric locomotives, whose the Workshops of Quatre-Mares
have in responsibility the revisions, represents in 1995 a staff about 785
QM is designated as a first step, Guiding
Workshop of the " AIAAIA 68000 and 68500 ", " BB 69000 " and the " DC 70000 " to
which will be added quickly the " BB 67300 and 400 " as well as " CC72000 " and
" CC65000 " then, in the 1980s, the " BB 63000 ". The appointment of "Director
Workshop" in fact makes the establishment responsible for everything that is
related to the series that have been awarded by the "Directorate of the material"
of the SNCF. So, besides the revision of these locomotives, all which touches
closely or remotely these series, such the filing of drawings, the elaboration
of documents necessary for the revisions and the maintenance of the various
essential parts, are the prerogative of its services. However, he is not the holder of these locomotives. It is the deposits for
reasons of traffics, infrastructure or geographical situation that receive them
These locomotives are named to the SNCF by a
number composed of a series of letters and numbers. The letters which precede
the number in the series determine the number of driving axles by bogie (so that
A=1, B=2, C=3). As machine rests on bogies two these letters are doubled. If a
figure is inserted between two letters, it is the case in particular A1A-A1A
68000 and 68500, he represents then the number of carrier axles.
As we noted in the preceding
chapter, it is in 1965 that the first A1A-A1A 68000, enters in revision with Q.M.
This series, constructed between May 1963 and July 1968, is the fruit of studies
which had been conducted since 1960 by the SNCF and which related to the
construction of a type of locomotive of 2600 CV. The first 4 machines (there
will be of them finally 80) will be equipped, of origin, of engine Sulzer V12
LVA 24. However, contrary to its
counterpart, the fifth will be been endowed of an engine A.G.O.V12. D SHR. It
will receive the n° 68501 and will give birth to the series “68500” (29
machines). Of the type"A.1.A-A.1.A", his weight
is distributed between axles in the 18 ton quantity by driving axle, to assure a
good adhesion, and of 16 tons by axle porter. A device, removed in 1967,
allow to lighten from the porter axle up to 20 tons per driving axle in order to
increase the adherent weight where necessary.
They are conjugable between them, as with the
locomotives BB 67000 which we will see further, i.e. who it is possible to twin
them while preserving only one control desk and to thus allow control with only
After having marked the beginning of the
transition from the “Vapor” to “Thermics” on trains of line, these machines have
ensured of the very diverse services. To assure the heating of passenger trains, they
will be equipped with origin with a boiler " VAPOR " fed by a reserve of 4700
liter water. The disappearance of the material towed with heating vapor, and the
delivery of thermal locomotives with alternator allowing the electric heating of
trains will entail on one hand the disappearance of the series at the head of
travelers trains and on the other hand, the removal of boilers.
At the end of 90 years, their number will decrease.
Their scheduled destruction will take place gradually. At first they will be
used to haul the train freight and the trains to works on the proposed new line.
AIA AIA 68001
In the months that followed the arrival of the 68000 first , QM
receives the charge of two new series. It
acts, in fact, of 2 prototypes built in double specimen in 1964 at the request
of the S.N.C.F. These prototypes had answered the program that the S.N.C.F had
fixed in collaboration with the S.F.A.C (Company of the Forging mills and
Workshops of Creusot) for the BB 69000 and Alsthom for the CC 70000.
The firsts, built in two numbered specimens 69001 and 69002, are
put in service respectively 02-04-1964 and 18-04-1964. The principal
characteristic of these engines is to receive in their bogies, of hydraulic
boxes V0ITH to replace the electrical motors. They have, thus, two
diesel-hydrauliques groups developing a total power of 4080 CV to 1500 rpm.
The role of these prototypes, for the SNCF, will be to test this
kind of transmission and to explore them limits . The machines will eliminated
the 23-01-1984, after having rolled 1,367,298 km for the first and 1,561,034 km
for the second.
Constructed, too, in duplicate, The CC 70000 contain an
alternator "birotor" coupled on two engines, opposite with face. Acting the
other way around on every rotor, the electric power so produced will be, for a
rotation speed of the engines of 1500 t / mn, of 4800 CV.
Their bogies had only a single engine of drive completely suspended attacking
their three axles by a train of gearing with double reduction.
The 70002 had, moreover, the possibility of changing reduction
into walk. Their existence will be short since the CC 70002 will be erased a
little more than six years after its commissioning, the 20-11-1973 having
traversed 613,145 kilometers. Its binocular, the 14-11-1983 with, the meter,
1,224,531 kilometers. The CC 70002 will be presented to the international
exhibition of transport of Munich from July to September 1968.
On the technical plan, these machines constitute
remarkable realizations. However the problems bound to the supply of certain
parts and to their complexity,oblige the S.N.C.F. at give up these prototypes
which on the functional plan have giving any satisfactions.
Jointly in the conception of 68000/500, the studies and the
technical progress in the field of the diesel engine will give birth to another
type of locomotive of 2000 ch, the BB 67000.The Nevers workshops are designated
as "workshop-director" of the series built between 1963 and 1968. These
locomotives are equipped with engine Pielstick to 16-cylinder V.
Of type BB, their bogies presents a new arrangement in diesel drive. Both axles
of the same bogie are moved by the same electric engine. Originally, he contained two reports of reduction, corresponding the one at the
speed of 85 kph, the other one to that of 130 kph. This possibility will
disappear in 1983. The obligation not to exceed a 20 ton weight by axle does not
allow to install on this machine a boiler as on 68000/500 or CC 65000.
The heating of trains will be provided by a van-boiler. The BB
67036, renumbered 67291 , will serve as a prototype for the series of BB 67300,
and will take afterward the number 67390. The BB 67201-67246, are born of the
transformation of BB 67000 in the walls of workshops Nevers from 1979 to 1989.
They will be equipped with "cab signaling" to be assigned to rescue trains TGV
19 others 67000 will then be transformed into 67300. It is
difficult for an uninitiated to differentiate the BB 67000 of the BB 67300.
Indeed, if these last ones, built between 1968 and 1979, have kept an outside
shape identical, they benefited from some modifications in their principle of
functioning and in their technical characteristics. So the main generator
producing the electrical energy was replaced by an alternator bringing him,
besides a considerable gain of power, the heating electric of trains.
The workshops of QM assure of 1972 to 1980 the revisions of the
BB 67300 and the BB 67400. The first BB 67400 is put in circulation in July
1969. Derived from the BB 67300, they are, like these last, intended for the
trailer of the trains of all natures. Its principal differences with the BB
67300 consist in a model different of bogie, and an increase in the delivered
power. The burden-sharing between QM and Nevers brings the change of site of
revision of the BB 67300 to the profit of Nevers at the end of 1980.
Quatre-Mares keeps the maintenance of the series of the BB 67400 and leaving at
Nevers the load of the BB 67000.67200 and 67300.
Gradually, the orientations in electric diesel revision of
locomotives, will evolve.
the closing of the workshops of Bordeaux are decided, QM recovers, after a new
burden-sharing, the 67300 of Nevers. The direction of QM calls on a cabinet
private council, with for objective an increase in the productivity or fall in
the cost of repair in the engines in 20%. This in order to deal with the totality of the park of the
Pielstick engines 16 PA 4 of series
67000/200/300 and 400.
This decision is badly perceived by the staff of the
establishment, which sees of an evil eye that one calls into question his
professionalism, and causes at the time some
disorders. Ultimately the results will lead to the
designation of the
workshops "Quatre-Mares" like
workshop-director of all the series of Diesel
locomotives of great powers (more than 2000 Cv).
In 1968, born series CC 72000. This locomotive develops 3600 Cv.
Like the electric locomotive CC 6500, she is equipped with a system of reduction
by gears which as well allows him the trailer of the express trains to 160 km/h,
that of the goods trains to 85 km/h.
Decomposed into two subsets, the 72001 to 72020 and 72021 to 72092, they are
intended to tow heavy trains of all kinds and can be used alone.
Although they are both equipped with the same type of bogies, the
first series sees its speed limited to 140 km / h, at except of the "72017" that,
after a fire, will be transformed and integrated into the second round, limited
to 160 km / h.
To assure the heating of passenger trains, these machines are
equipped for the heating electric as the BB 67300 and 67400. In 1975, this series assures Fast and express passenger trains at the speed of 140 kph for the
deposits of Vénissieux and Chalindrey and 160 kph for that of the Rennes. The
Routes in 160 kph have increased, in 1980, with the arrival of cars "Corail" on
lines Paris Nantes, Paris Basel, Nantes Lyon and Paris Clermont.
These uses go puting the series in hard test. They will ask the
question of the intense use at the the maximum regime. In October, 1982, the CC
72046 is crossed off, following a collision with a third party ( road machine).
The electrification of the Paris Nantes in 1985,
will lead to no longer use the 72000 of Rennes to 160, but to 140 km / h,
resulting in a change in the maintenance rule.
The electrification of Nevers Paris, in 1988, will lower the
average mileage of locomotives Vénissieux, which will lose its fleet in 1989.
That of Grenoble Lyon has the same effect in 1989.
The introduction of the TGV "A", will drop the mileage of 72000
Overall, the 72000 will make passenger trains 140 and 160 km / h
and heavy mail trains. In 5 years the average mileage will drop by 20%. The
72000 of Rennes will transfer in 1992, leaving at Chalindrey and Nevers the
In February 1971, arrives for the first time in QM, a CC 65000.
This particular series,which was the first locomotive cabs-bi of great power,
recalls by its form the American models
In 1955, the study of the construction of a new
series of locomotives that meet the needs prevailed. This service could not be
provided by them BB 63000, that we will see a little further, because they did
not develop sufficient power. This study was to face various problems. Indeed,
for reasons of infrastructure, the axle load of the engine should not exceed 18
tons. In addition, for the trailer to passenger trains, it was necessary to add
the weight of a boiler and a water reserve. These requirements led to define the
need for a power of 1800 hp. Only at the time there was still no diesel engine
capable of providing such power and that has acceptable dimensions in order to
be installed in a locomotive.
The establishment of two engines of 925 hp, of type MGO, in the
same locomotive will be adopted and will give birth to the series CC 65000 (ex
DB 060). These engines, which the
revisions are made in the workshops of Nevers had a particular sound, which was
reminiscent, some say, that of an apple mill. Built between 1956 and 1958, their
bogies were equipped with six traction motors, namely one by axle, to reach
maximum speed of 130 km/h. Maintained initially by the workshops of Nevers,
Quatre Mares will ensure the revisions as a director workshop from 1972 to 1984.
Then, as he had done for steam locomotives, it will contribute to the museum in
Mulhouse, in 1994, by restoring the DC 65001.
In the early 1980 Four-Mares becomes director
workshop of BB 63000, succeeding at the workshops of Epernay who inherit at the
time of BB 12000 and 16500. For the record, it is in December 1950, that the
SNCF order at the company "Brissonneau & Lotz", a series of 19 diesel
locomotives for branch lines.
The 040-DE-1, future 63001, exited of the
Creil on February 1st,
Satisfying the service of secondary lines as well as the service of the
sorting and of the routing of
passenger trains on short routes, successive commands will be repeated until 1967.
The general revision of this series of machine will be carried
Quatre Mares, after a fast
formation of the agents of QM at the
Epernay. If its design diverts by its
followers of the
modernism, some will
appreciate it for the access, easy of outside, at its subsets.
Shortly after their arrival in QM, they will
exchange their painting "Green wagon" for a painting "Arzens" more visible.
Deemed "indestructible", multiple factors economic contribute Unfortunately,
since 1990, to accelerate they reform. Since, in many institutions (Chambery, La
Villette, Lens, etc. ..), a multitude of gear, awaiting demolition haunt the
ways of deposits while others will be parked in good condition until potential
The politics of maintenance
At the beginning of 1970s take place the reform of the organization of the
S.N.C.F. and the Material which will be called the "Regionalisation".
This reform allowed the implementation of the main structures of organization
which are even effective today. The Guiding workshops, the holders deposits ,
the Organisms, the Groups of Studies, the Technical Services, Agencies etc. are
entities which assure very precise functions.
The Study Group of Quatre-Mares is loaded from
the start to establish the rules for maintenance of sets of locomotives under
his charge. The development of these rules was necessitated by the waves of
retirement that followed one another while the young recruits did not know the
work. There is an urgent need to extract the technical knowledge of the memory
of the former and avoid the vagaries of oral transmission of knowledge ....At
that time, the GE makes a lot of documents, many of which remain in a state of
local or regional projects. The creation of these summary documents the early
1970's is made with Agents of mastery, selected and transformed into
Between 1975 and 1978, a period when many
locomotives of QM have their first review these officers will report and note
what they observe in the workshop. A great demand for documents is created.
Their writings, although very fruitful quantitatively, will not all be validated,
although some are still used today. Some of these documents will serve as the
training of young recruits in the first months of activity at their workstation.
Duplication of work in the teams favor phasing out the use of regular repair
sheets except in areas where the technique is sharp or for the operations
performed on complex organs. La réalisation des documents
d’entretien répondait bien sûr à une logique. Above all it was necessary
to address the issues affecting the safety of traffic and the notions of
consistency of repair or visit. The collection of documents of maintenance, will
organized then around what it was advisable to call documents "hats". They are
the, I.T.R (inventory of works of revision) and the I.T.V (inventory of works of
visit). They are even today the referential of the necessary works to maintain
All work described in these documents should be
made to maintain the potential of a series of locomotives. Other documents
called Technical, Repair, or visits, if necessary, specify the work or
techniques to use. In the world of transportation, the
SNCF has a special status. It builds its own rules for maintenance, is changing
depending on the service provided, enforces and provides its own control.
To understand this, simply compare the situation of the SNCF to
that of an air carrier:
The manufacturer of a plane elaborates the rules of maintenances
which relate to it. The carrier must apply them or make them apply in
subcontracting in an approved center. The quality of the repair and the
conformity with regard to the repository are controlled by an approved body
(type A.P.A.V.E). If planes fly less, the carrier cannot modify easily the
consistency of the works nor his rules of maintenances.
The SNCF possesses by ministerial delegation the possibility of
creating its rules, of maintaining them up to date and to adapt them to the real
damages. The ministerial delegation is attributed to the Director of the
Material. She is concretely assumed by the president of the "working group" of
every series of locomotives (the director of the repair Workshop of the series).
Under its authority, the head of the Group of Studies of QM and the Organism of
Study is responsible for the quality and for the probity of rules in this frame.
For the SNCF the economic stake in this delegation is important. She procures a
flexibility of adaptation of the maintenance with regard to the assured service
and so loosens important savings.
Rules of maintenance
As far as possible, the SNCF does not wait, that its machines break down to give
them in state and to entirely revise them. The degree of safety and regularity
required cannot put up with of interventions after damages.
The workshops of Quatre-Mares are in charge of
giving to the Transport, in sufficient quantity, of the locomotives capable of
assuring the drive of trains in optimal conditions of security, reliability and
To this end, the agents realise on these machines
to operations which follow strict rules of maintenance. The popular
purpose is to eliminate the on-line incidents. It is what we call " the
preventive maintenance ".These operations are carried out on a particular cycle
on each locomotive and recorded in specific documents.
During their life, the diesel-electric locomotives receive in
their deposits of assignment for periodic visits. The visits follow at a
parameter "time". The Visits Limited (VL), the General Visits (VG), the Great
General Visits (GVG).
These visits is essentially testing, audits and controls that can
lead either to the settings or at the replacement of parts subject to wear and
The revisions on the other hand follow a parameter "km" and are
made in large workshops such as those of Quatre-Mares, Nevers or Epernay.
We distinguish two types of revision, the Limited Revisions ( RL)
and the General Revisions ( RG). These revisions are in fact important
operations of handing-over at level which apply to cash desks and to rechanges
parts. Their consistency allows to render to the material a potential
appreciably identical to that of the new material, so guaranteeing him a maximum
level of reliability and security to allow him to achieve without block the