The reference for locomotives and railcars
French State Railway BB 63000
France | 1953 | 250 produced
BB 63149
BB 63149

The BB 63000, which was known as the 040 DE before it was redesignated in 1962, was created to replace medium-powered steam locomotives. They were four-axle diesel-electric locomotives with one driver's cab and asymmetrical hoods. A six-cylinder inline engine from Sulzer was used as the power plant, which delivered 600, 725 or 750 hp depending on the production batch. 250 examples of this series were built, but there were also almost identical locomotives in other railway administrations, which were either delivered from France or were manufactured under license. These were the class 850 in Luxembourg, the class 642 in Yugoslavia, the class 10700 in Spain (later renumbered 307) and the class 1200 in Portugal. The BB 63400 and 63500 are variants with a V12 engine from the Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques (SACM). Of the latter, 603 pieces were made.

The locomotives were also called “Deux Cheveaux” due to their large number and their wide range of applications in reference to the also ubiquitous Citroën 2CV. Although the design with a single driver's cab is more associated with shunting locomotives in Germany, they were also used in mainline service with passenger and freight trains. After a few decades in service, the area of application shifted to freight trains and finally they were used almost exclusively for shunting tasks and with work trains. The Sulzer locomotives were phased out by 2006, but 61 of the SACM locomotives were still in use at the end of October 2019. A total of 23 units were converted into the BB 64700 shunting locomotive between 1989 and 1993, with new MTU 8V 4000 engines. In another 19 units, the diesel engine and driver's cab were removed and the frame was shortened so that they now only have the traction motors. These vehicles, designated as TBB 64800, were each coupled to a BB 64700 and received the power for propulsion from their diesel engine.

Variant63000 first batch63000 last batch63400, 63500rebuilt 64700
ManufacturerBrissonneau et Lotz
Axle configB-B 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length48 ft 1 15/16 in
Wheelbase33 ft 1 5/8 in
Fixed wheelbase8 ft 6 3/8 in
Service weight149,914 lbs
Adhesive weight149,914 lbs
Axle load37,479 lbs
Power sourcediesel-electric
Top speed56 mph50 mph
Starting effort37,543 lbf
EngineSulzer 6LDA22SACM MGO V 12 SHMTU 8V 4000 R41
Engine type6-cyl. dieselV12 dieselV8 diesel
Fuel793 us gal (diesel)898 us gal (diesel)
Engine output591 hp (441 kW)715 hp (533 kW)740 hp (552 kW)1,341 hp (1,000 kW)
Power Plant
Calculated Values
diesel locomotive
last changed: 03/2022

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