The Baldwin (A1A-A1A 62000)

Le Yaya en 2009

Here in 2009 at the depot. (Picture Sébastien Kieffer)

General technical data of the locomotive:

Builder: Baldwin Locomotive Works, Philadelphie, Pennsylvanie
Model/Type: DRS 6-4-660, N° 72926
Date of delivery: 28th of dec.1946
Road numbers: 040DA29 then A1A-A1A 62029
Diesel power [kW/HP]: 560/750
Locomotive power [kW]: 398
Maximum starting tractive effort [kN]: 208
Maximum safe speed [km/h]: 96 then 80
Weight in working order [t]: 109,5
Total length [m]: 17,72
On-board voltage [V]: 130

General characteristics of the prime mover:

Builder: Baldwin Locomotive Works, Philadelphie, Pennsylvanie
Model/Type: DeLaVergne type 606 NA
Cycle: 4 stroke
Air supply: Naturally Aspirated
Max.Power [kW] @ engine speed [rev/min]: 560 @ 625
Specific fuel consumption [g/kWh]: 233
Fuel consommation @ Pmax [l/h] 174
Max.Torque [Nm]: 8550
Break Mean Eff. Pressure [bar]: 5,5
Piston speed [m/s]: 8,21
Number of cylinders [-]: in Line 6
Bore * Stroke [mm * mm]: 324*394
Displacement (cylinder / total) [l]: 32,48 / 194,9
Total mass of engine [kg]: 12644
Cooling method: water
Starting method: electric using the GP
Injection system: 1 Bosch injector et 1 high pressure Bosch pump for each cylinder

Diesel prime mover builder plate:


General view:


Builder plate:


Short presentation:

This locomotive is certainly the most impressive of our collection. Its prime mover and its fantastic sound is the reason for the high interest for it among the railfans in France.

The 100 A1A-A1A 62000 (former 040DA) were built between april 1946 and august 1947 and delivered to the french state railways SNCF, in the framework of the Lend/lease programm which goal was to rebuild Western Europe after WW2. The well known Mikado 141R are also part of this plan. For the Baldwin Builder, which was specialized since decades in the construction of steam locomotives in the USA (like ALCO and LIMA), this series is paradoxically its first large production experience for diesel locomotives. The precedent series for the domestic market were by far smaller.

First registered under the number 040DA (for 4 drive axles, D for Diesel and A because they were the first diesel series in France) they were renamed "62000" in 1962 after the renumbering of the entire SNCF locomotives fleet. These diesel-electric locomotives are equiped with a naturally aspirated, slow-running, 4-stroke, in-line 6 cylinder, water cooled engine which drives a prime generator, an exciter (EX), an auxiliary generator (GA), a double stage air-compressor Gardner-Denver Class WXO, the propeller of the fan to cool down the water and oil radiators and the blowers of the traction motors. It is started by the prime generator which is shortly fed with current of the batteries. These were first lead batteries, then cadmium-nickel (for more than 40 years!) and now again lead-acid batteries (9 of 180Ah).

Note that despite its (even in the US of the 40's) impressive dimensions, (displacement of 194L that's to say nearly 33L per cylinder), its engine is only rated at 750HP/492kW which is what the workshops of the SNCF have adjusted the injection pumps to. After all said auxiliaries, only 497kW are available for the prime generator.

 The engine belongs to the 600 series and is called 606NA because of its 6 cylinders and the Naturally Aspiration. The NA versions were rated from 660HP/492kW to 750HP/560kW. These engines were later turbocharged and called 606SC. They were rated  between 1000HP/746kW and 1325HP/988kW. The biggest versions of the 600 series were (and still are) the in-line 8 cylinders versions. Generally speaking, the number of 8 cylinders, naturally aspirated version is limited. These NA engines were rated at 1000HP/746kW but soon replaced by the 606SC with the same power output with 2 cylinders less. The 608 engine were later also supercharged and called 608SC. They could deliver between 1500HP/1119kW and 1750HP/1305kW power output.

The prime generator has a separate excitation. This excitation winding is fed by an exciter from which the excitation is composed of shunt (positive), a serial (negative) and a separate winding fed by the auxiliary generator. The current through this separated winding is limited by a system called "Carbonstat" (TS31) which purpose is to avoid the diesel engine to stall if the torque demand of the generator is too high. A modification done by the SNCF was to allow the locomotive engineer to vary directly this current by adding or subtracting resistors in this circuit. The driver can now choose the tractive effort at a given diesel engine speed.

The brake is an Westinghouse specialty: it is a kind of a triple valve. The GE has a similar system. It is a distributor 6 DKR which can be found as well on the 141R.

The chassis and the trucks are in cast steel. These trucks were first used on steamlocomotives or on their tenders and are equiped with 3 axles and 2 nose-suspended electrical traction motors from type Westinghouse 362 with 4 poles. The 14/68 gearing allows a maximum safe speed of 96km/h (60mph). Suspension uses leaf and helix springs and is fully equalized. The connection between chassis and trucks is also original.

These locomotives were the first experience of dieselization on a large scale for the french national railways, more through necessity then by choice. The reconstruction of France was at that time an absolute priority. Very soon, the trucks revealed to be very agressive for the track and the maximum safe speed has been limited to 80km/h (50mph). Also the journal boxes need continuously lubrication made by hand (Symington). This precluded early their use on long distance. So, they were more and more used only for yard works for example at humps, especially in the North (coal ore) and the Lorraine (iron ore). On both sides of the atlantic the Baldwin excelled on mining regions: Pennsylvania is the equivalent of the french Lorraine or the german Ruhr regions. They were very suited to the service on humps where the locomotive pushs long trains at a slow and regular speed with high tractive effort. The Westinghouse electric equipment was oversized (generator and traction motors were used on 1000HP locomotives) so that they could withstand high overloads without majour problems.

Life at CFTR:

Last owner before salvage: SNCF
Retirement date: 1982
Acquisition date: 1983
Current owner: Private (founding member)
Restauration: all the time!
Use at the CFTR: Run the train from depot to the station and switching at Sans-Soucis
Retirement by the CFTR: -

Our 62029 (Building number 72926 and not 73201 like above picture shows! This number is that one of the 62086) has been bought in Lens (North of France) in 1983 by a founding member. It was not too difficult to repair it as it was just overhauled by the workshop there. Now, our baldwin is operated regularly to pull train to the station and switch at Sans-Soucis and every driver enjoys it. First of all, the webmaster who drives it, secondly the railfans who take pictures of it and thirdly the oil industry because of its higher turnover.

In 2014, some difficult work had to be done: a roller bearing of one of the traction motors was defective and had to be replaced. But it is like the cathedral of Strasbourg: you begin here, continue there and you never stop repairing!

Pictures (CFTR):



Changing a traction motor? No problem, we can do that! (Photo Sébastien Kieffer)

Bibliography and links:

  • Loco-revue documentary file;
  • SNCF caracterstic file;
  • trains miniatures n°19, mai-juin 1988;
  • Voies Ferrées 78, juillet-août 1993;
  • Diesel Locomotives: the first 50 years, Louis A. Marre, Kalmbach Books, 1995.
  • Train Shed Cyclopedia n°60, Newton K. Gregg, 1977. 
  • Diesels from Eddystone: the story of Baldwin diesel Locomotives , Dolzall, Kalmbach Books, 1984
  • The Diesel Builders, Volume three,  Baldwin Locomotive Works, John F.  Kirkland, Interurban Press, 1994
  • Diesel Locomotives, Cyclopedia volume 2, compiled by Bob Hyden, Kalmbach Books, 1980.
  • La traction électrique et diesel-électrique, Pierre PATIN, collection des chemins de fer aux éditions Léon Eyrolles, 1952.

More information? 

A  more comprehensive article is in process, juste wait a little!

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