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 Decauville in a field

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philkelly

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Location : Vienne, France and Islington. London

PostSubject: Decauville in a field   Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:28 pm

Amazing what you find on a country stroll: near the house of some friends, we wandered round a barn and found this:



and this:



and inside the open barn was this:



and even a four wheel truck thingy - been there so long that the tree has grown through it:




Our friends don't know the farmer well even though they have had their holiday home in the same village for 20 years. What is it doing in a field? Looks like WW1 vintage - could have been used for harvesting? We haven't enough land to rescue it, but I would be happy to make inquiries next year. Seems a shame to let it rust to nothing...

Phil
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mikeyh

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Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: Decauville in a field   Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:06 pm

What a find Phil!! Mind you I was a bit disappointed after reading your title; I was expecting to see a freshly painted decauville 030 with a tree growing up through it!! Rolling Eyes Crying or Very sad

mikey
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philkelly

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Location : Vienne, France and Islington. London

PostSubject: Re: Decauville in a field   Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:20 pm

mikeyh wrote:
What a find Phil!! Mind you I was a bit disappointed after reading your title; I was expecting to see a freshly painted decauville 030 with a tree growing up through it!! Rolling Eyes Crying or Very sad

mikey

One day, Mikey, one day...always been my dream to find an NG coach converted to a shed...
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Carl Hibbs
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Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Decauville in a field   Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:38 pm

Seriously Phil if you don't want it and noone else does of course....
I could possibly give a new home and future in Normandy.

My wife will be soooo pleased ( cyclops ). Could be the start of modelling a new scale for me.
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philkelly

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Location : Vienne, France and Islington. London

PostSubject: Re: Decauville in a field   Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:32 pm

Carl:

I'll get our friends down there to see if they can locate the landowner and sound him out...

Phil
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mikeyh

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Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: Decauville in a field   Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:39 pm

they look to be very light rails. Love to know their history~!!

Mikey
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Carl Hibbs
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Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Decauville in a field   Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:44 pm

Thanks Phil. Did you check the gauge?

It looks like 60cm but there were 50cm and 40cm lines and equipment.
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philkelly

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Location : Vienne, France and Islington. London

PostSubject: Re: Decauville in a field   Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:07 pm

No tape measure with me but pretty sure it's 60cm. The sections were meant to be light and portable - Decauville designed them for agricultural use (and used them on his family's farm I think). In WW1, track sections could be carried by 4 men and laid at the end to move the railhead forward as the Army advanced..when it did...
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mikeyh

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Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: Decauville in a field   Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:11 pm

what sort of traction power Phil?

Mikey
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philkelly

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Location : Vienne, France and Islington. London

PostSubject: Re: Decauville in a field   Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:40 am

Mikey: you've sent me back to look at "The 60 cm Military Railways of France" by Christian Cenac.

Quote: "The track was made with steel rails of 9.5kg per metre rivetted on steel inverse-U- shaped ties..The ties were 1094 mm long 140 mm wide and 29 mm high.. Every element of track could be easily transportable. Evey length was 5 m and comprised 8 ties. These track sections wighed 167 kg..carried by four men it was a load of 42 kg for each one...This track allowed a 3.5 tonne live weight per axle, which permitted locomotives of 14 tonnes with eight wheels or 10.5 tonnes with six wheels..."

I think the bits I found are shorter, but Decauville also produced similar track for farm and quarry use. Dr Cenac's book has track drawings that look not dissimilar to an LGB catalogue - including points and curves of varying radius!

Most 60 cm locos were suitable for use (slowly) on portable track: Decauville, Pechot, German DFB, Kerr Stuart Joffre, Hunslet, Baldwin, Alco-Cooke and petrol locos including Crochat, Simplex, Baldwin, Schneider.

Heavy loads - including whole gun barrels - were suspended across two or more four or six-wheel trucks.

A lot of ex Army portable track and locos were used on farm railways - mostly sugar beet lines - after WW1. It was used in the early days by the Chemin de Fer Froissy-Cappy-Dompierre - the finest preserved 60 cm operation - but has been replaced by heavier "proper" track on wooden sleepers - for safety reasons and because it runs far heavier and longer trains than the portable track was designed for. Derailments were common on portable track - but not really acceptable on a tourist line!

Near the front, horses and mules (and squaddies) were used to move individual wagons.
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philkelly

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Location : Vienne, France and Islington. London

PostSubject: Re: Decauville in a field   Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:51 am

Oh and happy birthday --- 62 is not problem - I spent a year being 62 ---
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mikeyh

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Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: Decauville in a field   Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:04 pm

thanks for that Phil. seriously interesting. i love all these facts and figures! I was aware of all the 're-use' after WW1 but it makes me wonder how much other stuff is yet to be discovered!!

Mikey (62 and counting)
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