The reference for locomotives and railcars


Page views since 2023-01-26: 261057
French Northern Railway No. 4.001 to 4.075 and 4.636 to 4.990
France | 1866 | 430 produced
No. 4,853 in September 2010 at the Longueville Museum
No. 4,853 in September 2010 at the Longueville Museum
Didier Duforest

Over a long period from 1866 to 1891, the Nord had a total of 430 freight locomotives of basically the same type built. With the 0-8-0 wheel arrangement, they were among the most powerful models at the time of their introduction. The nickname “180 Unités” came from a French unit to measure tractive forces. Four units corresponded here, for example, to a freight car with a load of less than ten tonnes, which is pulled on the flat at 50 km/h.

The cylinders, which were quite large with a diameter of 500 mm, were already mounted outside the frame. In reality, the locomotives could pull coal trains weighing 680 tonnes on lines with a maximum gradient of 0.6 percent. At 1.2 percent, 415 tonnes could still be pulled. In later series, the boiler pressure was increased from 8.5 to 10 bars, which increased the train weights accordingly.

The locomotives built after 1879 were fitted with a boiler with a Belpaire firebox. From 1890, a driver's cab was installed ex works. Between 1907 and 1913, 108 locomotives were converted into tank locomotives. Other machines from the Nord-Belge that were almost identical in construction were also converted in this way and used in Belgium.

No. 4.042 in the original version
No. 4.042 in the original version
Die Lokomotive, February 1933

When the SNCF was founded in 1938, only two of the non-converted tender locomotives were still in use. Of the 108 tank locomotives, a total of 104 were still in use. The last of these remained in use as shunting locomotives until 1962. Today only 4.853 survives, which was not converted into a tank locomotive and was used in a sugar refinery until the 1960s.

ManufacturerFives-Lille, Schneider, Cockerill, Claparède, Floridsdorf, Wiener Neustadt, Cail, Bâtignolles-Châtillon
Axle config0-8-0 (Eight-coupled) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length loco29 ft 10 7/8 in
Wheelbase13 ft 11 5/16 in
Fixed wheelbase13 ft 11 5/16 in
Service weight95,681 lbs
Adhesive weight95,681 lbs
Axle load24,692 lbs
Fuel capacitycoal
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power469 hp (350 kW)
Optimal speed15 mph
Top speed31 mph
Starting effort20,306 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter51.2 in
Boiler pressure123 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 19 11/16 x 25 9/16 in
Grate area22.5 sq ft
Firebox area110.3 sq ft
Tube heating area1,364.6 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,475 sq ft
Total heating area1,475 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
last changed: 03/2023

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