The reference for locomotives and railcars


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Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée No. 6001, 6011 to 6030 and 6221 to 6285
French State Railway 231 C
France | 1909 | 96 produced
No. 6001
No. 6001
Die Lokomotive, December 1914

In 1909, the PLM started comparisons with Pacfic locomotives with different types of power plants. The locomotive with the number 6001 had a saturated four-cylinder compound engine and a boiler pressure of 15 bars, while the locomotive initially given the number 6002 was built with a superheated single four-cylinder engine and a boiler pressure of only 12 bars. Although the compound engine had already emerged as the winner in the first comparisons, series orders of both versions were ordered for more precise comparisons under everyday conditions. While the 6002 was renumbered 6101, the first production examples of the 6001 were numbered 6011 to 6030.

In contrast to practice in Germany, the smaller high-pressure cylinders were arranged on the outside at the height of the second bogie axle. The low-pressure cylinders were inside and below the smoke box. Based on the De Glehn principle, both groups of cylinders each had their own valve gear. The high-pressure cylinders acted on the second coupled axle and the low-pressure cylinders on the first.

No. 6013 on a postcard
No. 6013 on a postcard
Henri Fohanno

During the tests, the 6001 already showed that it could bring a 495-tonne train to its destination in just 87 minutes over a 160 km long route with an altitude difference of more than 300 meters. The 6002 had taken over ten minutes longer to cover the same distance with a slightly lighter train, using more coal. Nevertheless, it was found that the 6001 could have used larger cylinders.

Series production initially started in 1912 with locomotives 6011 to 6030, which were built by Henschel in Germany due to a lack of domestic production capacity. The diameter of the cylinders had been increased from 390 to 440 and from 620 to 650 mm and the cylinders were now all in a line at the height of the smoke box. They were factory built with a superheater and the 6001 was also fitted with a new superheated boiler in 1912.

In 1913 and 1914, 40 more examples came from the works on the Loire in Nantes and in 1921 another 25 from SACM. The first series was renumbered 6201 to 6220 and the later series locomotives were given the numbers 6221 to 6285. In the PLM's new numbering scheme from 1925, the prototype and series locomotives were collectively referred to as 231 C. In the SNCF they were then renamed 5-231 C with the appropriate regional prefix.

VariantNo. 6001No. 6011-6030, 6221-6282
Built19091912-1914, 1921
ManufacturerPLMHenschel, Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire, SACM
Axle config4-6-2 (Pacific) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length loco45 ft 10 13/16 in
Wheelbase36 ft 10 1/8 in
Fixed wheelbase13 ft 9 3/8 in
Empty weight180,360 lbs184,527 lbs
Service weight202,274 lbs204,148 lbs
Adhesive weight122,356 lbs121,695 lbs
Axle load40,785 lbs40,565 lbs
Water capacity7,397 us gal
Fuel capacity15,432 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,877 hp (1,400 kW)2,146 hp (1,600 kW)
Optimal speed55 mph52 mph
Starting effort21,661 lbf26,390 lbf
with start valve25,993 lbf31,668 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter78.7 in
Boiler pressure232 psi
Expansion typecompound
Cylindersfour, HP: 15 3/8 x 25 9/16 in
and LP: 24 7/16 x 25 9/16 in
four, HP: 17 5/16 x 25 9/16 in
and LP: 25 9/16 x 25 9/16 in
Grate area45.7 sq ft
Firebox area170.8 sq ft168.3 sq ft
Tube heating area2,875.4 sq ft2,007.4 sq ft
Evaporative heating area3,046.2 sq ft2,175.7 sq ft
Superheater area694.3 sq ft
Total heating area3,046.2 sq ft2,870 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
De Glehn compound
last changed: 06/2022

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