In 1913, the État had a series of 70 Consolidation freight locomotives built by three French manufacturers. The next 200 pieces were to follow from 1916, also from the same manufacturers, but this was not possible due to the change in production during the First World War. Thus the order was given to the British companies Nasmyth-Wilson, North British and the Vulcan Foundry. A further 70 were ordered by the armed forces and also manufactured by North British and the Vulcan Foundry.
Unlike most other heavy French locomotives of the time, they had simple steam expansion engines. The power was transmitted to the third coupled axle. As superheater, the British design according to Robinson was used. The running gear included a Zara bogie that connected the leading axle to the first coupled axle. The maximum deflection of the leading axle was 80 mm on both sides.
Six of the total of 270 engines for the État never went into service because they were already sunk along with their transport ship on the way to France off Cornwall. In 1920, the engines of the armed forces were divided equally between the Est and the PLM. With the creation of SNCF in 1938, the État engines became the 3-140 C, the Est the 1-140 C and the PLM the 5-140 K.
Locomotive Magazine, June 1916
The SNCF relocated almost all of the engines from the former Est to the east of the country. They were not only used in front of freight trains, but also in front of passenger trains and sometimes even in front of express trains. It was not until 1971 that the last passenger service with one of the locomotives was discontinued. On September 24, 1975, the last freight train in France with steam traction was hauled by the 1-140 C 287. Today there are still eight pieces, three of which are still in working order.