ⓘ Nord 3.1101 and 3.1102 were a class of two express passenger 4-6-4 tender locomotives designed by Gaston du Bousquet for the Chemins de Fer du Nord, and built i ..


ⓘ Nord 3.1101 and 3.1102

Nord 3.1101 and 3.1102 were a class of two express passenger 4-6-4 tender locomotives designed by Gaston du Bousquet for the Chemins de Fer du Nord, and built in the companys La Chapelle Workshops.


1. Origins

The Nord needed more powerful locomotives to haul with increasingly heavier passenger train loads. The companys existing 4-4-2 Atlantic type – the 2.641 to 2.675 series later SNCF 2-221.A – could no longer cope; and so in 1909 the Nords chief mechanical engineer Gaston Du Bousquet produced a design for a locomotive that had six driving wheels with four-wheel leading and trailing bogies. This was the first application of the 4-6-4 Baltic wheel arrangement anywhere in the world. Two prototype were built and numbered 3.1101 et 3.1102.


2. Description

The locomotives were built by the Nords workshops at La Chapelle, in April and July 1911, and were placed in service the same year. Fixed to the long wheel splasher were three cast brass plates: two carried the companys name and the locomotives number, while the third, in the centre, carried a star – one of the symbols of the Rothschild family. The two locomotives differed in one respect: the type of boiler fitted – 3.1101 had a conventional fire-tube boiler, while 3.1102 had a water-tube boiler. The Nord had already tested a water-tube boiler on the 1907-built prototype 2.741 built as a 4-4-2 Atlantic, later rebuilt as a 4-4-4 Jubilee. Unfortunately Gaston du Bousquet died in 1910 before the locomotives were finished. His successor, Georges Asselin, replaced 3.1102s boiler in 1913 with a convention fire-tube boiler. The same thing happened to 2.741 when it was rebuilt as a 4-6-0 and renumbered 3.999.


3. Tenders

The locomotives were coupled to bogie tenders with a water capacity of 26.000 litres 5.700 imp gal; 6.900 US gal and 7 tonnes 6.9 long tons; 7.7 short tons of coal. The bogies used on the tenders were identical in design to those used on the locomotives.


4. Service history

The 3.1101 and 3.1102 were allocated to La Chapelle depot. After being set aside, notably during World War I, the two Baltics were converted to oil-firing, but remained little-used. In November 1936, 3.1102 was withdrawn and then sectioned to be an exhibit at the 1937 Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in Paris. It is now in the Cite du train. The remaining locomotive, 3.1101, was withdrawn from Calais depot in 1939 and scrapped in December the same year.

Finally, the Nords Baltics had a similar fate as the prototype 4-6-2 Pacific locomotives 2901 and 2902 of the Compagnie des chemins de fer de lOuest.


5. Preservation

The 3.1102 is preserved at the Cite du Train in Mulhouse without its tender, and still sectioned, as it was for the Exposition Internationale in 1937. It is presented with a conventional fire-tube boiler; and to illustrate how it functions, various parts are traversed by luminous fibres.

Its restoration, entrusted by the SNCF in 1972 to Thouars Workshops required 12.000 man-hours of work.

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