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 Lesser known French locos?

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Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Lesser known French locos?   Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:11 am

I've been looking for info on 'lesser known' Engines that ran on French metre gauge lines. Meuse (Belgian),Piguet, and St Leonard all made locos which saw several years service with Departemental tramways, but then seemed to drop out of favour. Why was this. Couldn't be reliability; perhaps price ,or even that the makers turned to more lucrative things. Also can anybody tell me any other 'lesser' makes. I'm calling them lesser because I havent seen as many of them as say Corpets, Pinguelly,Blanc-Misseron, Five-Lilles etc.

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Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Lesser known French locos?   Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:50 am

Mikey, try this site:

Builder name Piquet-Lyon is there - but you can search on country = France, and go nuts! Several very obscure French loco builders in that list it seems...



Fat Controller of the S&CGR
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Carl Hibbs

Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Lesser known French locos?   Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:31 am

I think the situation is that many locomotives were built in small batches or one-offs local to the railway by small obscure engineering companies.

Maybe we should/could compile a list of all French metre gauge loco producers.

It would be an interesting exercise.
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Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: Lesser known French locos?   Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:58 am

Yes i saw that list Clive but being American based it doesnt go into a lot of detail. A lot are marked as 'Unknown'

Carl I think that is an excellent idea! I have never found a definitive list on the 'net (doesnt mean it doesnt already exist though!!) My reason for asking is as well as an historical interest I like to try and find locos that i could scratchbuild or bash.

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Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Lesser known French locos?   Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:35 pm

Robatel is one I find interesting. The company still exists but now serves mainly the nuclear industry (you have a few of those in France). We have a centrifuge in the plant where I work that was made by Robatel.

I think Carl is right- in the early days of steam, anybody and everybody made engines. The marketplace and regulation sorted it out. Many shops either failed, were acquired by other builders, or moved on to other things.

Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)
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Location : Preston, England

PostSubject: Re: Lesser known French locos?   Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:02 pm

Ok - what I know about obscure French engine builders is on a par with my knowledge of
brain surgery.

However, my books offer a couple not on the list ;

Tilkin-Mention, Aulnoye-Berlaimont, built tram locos for Rueil - Marly-le-Roi, and Villiers-le-Bel - Gonesse.

Crespin-Marteau built a curious geared tank engine for Villiers-le-Bel - Gonesse.

Neither are represented on this postcard, but its too good to miss:
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