The reference for locomotives and railcars
French State Railway 232 S
France | 1941 | 4 produced
232 S 004 at Gare du Nord, Paris
232 S 004 at Gare du Nord, Paris
collection Peter Boor

In addition to the 232 R with a simple three-cylinder engine, the Nord had the 232 S developed with a four-cylinder compound engine. It was therefore also used to test powerful express locomotives for the highest speed range. Due to the founding of the SNCF, the program was postponed and the four 232 S were therefore only delivered in 1941. They had streamlined bodywork that looked very similar to the 232 R. The similar 232 U 1, ordered at the same time, was not completed until 1949.

The Zara valves of the four cylinders were controlled by a rotating Dabeg camshaft control. Otherwise, the locomotives had a Lemaître blast pipe, an ACFI feed water heater and modern injectors. The boiler worked with a pressure of 20 bars. The tender was basically designed for 38 m³ of water, but could only hold 36 m³ with the built-in stoker. On a gradient of 0.5 percent, they could pull 595 tonnes at 113 km/h, which corresponded to an output of 3,400 hp

The four locomotives were tested on two different lines in front of regular trains. Due to the war, the performance of the locomotives could not be fully exploited and they were only approved for 140 km/h. Since the valve gear had problems, it had to be replaced in 1954 with another one with an oscillating camshaft. Their service life ended in 1961 and the SNCF did not order any more express locomotives with a 4-6-4 wheel arrangement, as locomotives with four coupled axles were now used for the heaviest trains.

Axle config4-6-4 (Hudson) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length84 ft 0 7/16 in
Wheelbase39 ft 4 1/16 in
Fixed wheelbase14 ft 4 13/16 in
Total wheelbase74 ft 1 3/8 in
Service weight288,144 lbs
Adhesive weight145,505 lbs
Total weight474,214 lbs
Axle load50,706 lbs
Water capacity9,510 us gal
Fuel capacity25,353 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power3,353 hp (2,500 kW)
Optimal speed56 mph
Top speed87 mph
Starting effort38,258 lbf
with start valve45,910 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter78.7 in
Boiler pressure290 psi
Expansion typecompound
Cylindersfour, HP: 17 15/16 x 27 9/16 in
and LP: 26 3/4 x 27 9/16 in
Grate area55.8 sq ft
Firebox area269.1 sq ft
Tube heating area2,099 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,368.1 sq ft
Superheater area742.3 sq ft
Total heating area3,110.3 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
last changed: 05/2023

We use cookies to save the following settings:

  • selected navigation structure
  • selected language
  • preferred units
  • spelling of railway company names

If you refuse the use of cookies, the settings will only be retained for the current session and will be reset to the default values the next time you visit the site.

Display of units

Here you can set the desired unit system for the technical data.

  • Metric: Lengths in meters, weights in tonnes, and volumes in cubic meters
  • Imperial (UK): Lengths in feet/inches, weights in long tons and volumes in imperial gallons
  • Imperial (US): Lengths in feet/inches, weights in pounds, and volumes in US gallons
  • Individual: Depends on the country of origin of each locomotive
Operator names

Here you can set the display of railway company names.

  • Short: Abbreviation or short form of the name
  • Standard: commonly used name, partially translated to English
  • Complete: full name in local language