The switcher General Electric N° 4036

Le GE4036 en attente de renovation

The GE in january 2015, after a first pickling. (Picture Sébastien Kieffer)

General characteristics of the switcher:

Builder: General Electric Compagny, Schenectady, New York (siège)
Ateliers: Erie, Pennsylvanie
Model/Type: GE 75tons/ Serial Number GE: 27536
Date of delivery: 1944
Road number: GE4036
Diesel power [kW]: Original: 2 * 186
Current: 2 * 211
Locomotive power [kW]: Original: 262 at 42km/h
Maximum starting tractive effort [kN]: 200
Maximum safe speed [km/h]: 50
Weight in working order [t]: 67,5
Total length [m]: 12,09
on board voltage [V]: 72

General characteristics of the 2 prime movers:

Builder: Baudouin Moteurs, Marseille
Model/Type: DNP V type 922
Cycle: 4 stroke
Air supply: Naturally aspirated
Max. Power output [kW] at rpm: 211 @ 1800
Specific fuel consumption [g/kWh]: 237
Fuel consumption at max. power output [l/h] 67
Maximum torque [Nm]: 1120
Break mean effective pressure [bar]: 6,6
Piston speed [m/s]: 9
Number of cylinders [-]: V8 at 90 degrees
Bore * Stroke [mm]: 150*150
Displacement one cylindre / total [l]: 2,65 / 21,2
Weight [kg]: ?
Cooling: eau
Cranking: Electric using the generator
Injection system: 1 unique pump Sigma + 1 injector Bosch per cylinder

Diesel prime mover builder plate:


General view:


Builder plate:


Short presentation:

This locomotive GE 4036 is one of the 10 copies of type GE75tons which were ordered in 1944 by the US Army Transportation Corps for troop transport during WW2.

They were equipped with two identical power generators that produce direct current. Originally each power generator consisted of a Cummins in line 6 cylinder diesel engine type L1 600, with natural aspiration, 38 liters displacement (Bore: 178mm, Stroke: 254mm) which was able of 186kW at 1000rpm and a generator of type GE 549-F1. This one was able to deliver a maximum current of 800A or a maximum voltage of 500V (of course not simultaneously).

After that (and this is the case for the 4036), the Cummins engines have been replaced by Baudouin V8 diesel engines of type DP8 with 21,2 liters displacement (bore=stroke=150mm) with natural aspiration which developed each 211kW at 1800 rpm (or 176kW at 1500 rpm). Because changing the generators would have been by far too expensive, a gear reducer has been added.

Each power generator provides electric current for the both nose-suspended traction motors of the nearest bogie. These electric motors are of type GHM833-L1 and connected in series or parallel.

To start the diesel engines, the power generators are fed by the 6 classical lead acid batteries which are connected in series. Each power generator is equiped with an auxiliary generator of type GY-10A1 which can charge the batteries and feed the excitation winding of the generator. For each power generator, there is one air compressor.

The benefit of having two complete independent power generators is evident: it is very unlikely that both will faile at the same time and the locomotive has a greater availability and reliability, even if the locomotive has only the half of the nominal power. Perhaps only one regret: in the case of a failure on one power generator, the 4 electric motors are not fed but only 2. The advantage would have been that the speed tractive effort curve would have stayed the same, only the speed would have been divided by two. With only 2 traction motors used, the maximum starting tractive effort is only the half of the original value.  

This machine has been operated by the "Chemin de Fer de Blaise et Der" (CFBD) in regular freight use until 2011. At this time, the french state railways decided unilaterally that they would not assure the transfer of the freight trafic in 200 stations of the net. The  CFBD generated a trafic of approx. 60000 tonnes every year but the deadlines were too short and it was not possible to find another partner which was able to take over the wagons in the station of Saint-Dizier. This decision led to the bankruptcy of the CFBD. The locomotives and wagons became property of the general council of the Haute-Marne which was financially involved in this business. The salvage of the locomotive was only possible because the webmaster negociated with the scrap dealer just before the deadline.

Life at CFTR:

Last owner before salvage: Conseil Général de la Haute Marne
Retirement date: 2011
Acquisition date: 2014
Current owner: Privé
Restauration: On going
Use at the CFTR: Run the train from depot to the station and switching at Sans-Soucis
Retirement by the CFTR: -

Not only the 4036 has been preserved. Following list shows what has happened to the other machines:

4028: Chemin de Fer Touristique de Sabres-Marquèzes, not in use anymore.

4029: scrapped in St-Symphorien, Gironde

4030 & 4031: scrapped in Bordeaux

4032: used by the CFBD then sold to the CFTPV (conifer) where it was in use until 2019 when it has been bought by our association.

4033: Used by the train touristique Guîtres-Marcenais.

4034: scrapped in Bordeaux

4035: scrapped but no available information

4037: no information.

Pictures (CFTR):


GE Wassy

Just before the cranes came, here in Wassy, on the 29th of october 2014 (Picture: Guillaume Kieffer)

Bibliography and external links:

  • Vidéo of the lifting at Wassy Railstation. (File to download here)
Premiers tours de roues mai 2018
  • Coverage of France 3 Alsace about the move of 2014 (File to download here)
  • Press article of the local newspaper "Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace" from the 31th of october 2014
  • Voies Ferrées N°32, 65
  • Ferrovissime N°46
  • Rail Passion mai 1998
  • The restoration works are getting ahead: here in mai 2021 there were important reparations done on the first diesel engine. The first test is to be seen below!
Essais mai 2021

More technical information: 


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