SNCF Class 241P

Ranked #90 on the list Best Locomotive class of All Time

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About SNCF Class 241P

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The 241P is a 4-8-2 'Mountain' type express passenger steam locomotive that ran on the SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français, French National Railways) from 1948 until 1973. Introduced as large scale electrification of the SNCF was already underway, they were the last new class of passenger steam locomotives in France. In 1944, SNCF reviewed its predicted postwar traffic requirements and determined a requirement for a locomotive capable of hauling passenger trains of 700 - 800 tons at 120 km/h (75 mph), and capable of climbing gradients of 1 in 125. A prototype 4-8-2 four cylinder compound locomotive, the 241C, had been built by Schneider in 1930 for the former Chemins de fer de Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée. This locomotive was utilised as the basis for the new class, but with some key design changes including the addition of an automatic stoker, strengthened frames, and boiler modifications. 35 locomotives were built by Schneider and Le Creusot between 1948 and 1952. The class was initially assigned to the line between Paris and Marseilles, hauling services including the famous Le Mistral expresses, but within a few years they were displaced by electrification.

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