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Liliput SNCF 140.C.314

French steam locomotive with separate tender class 140.C

Model Ref.: LILIPUT L101432

Review & DCC installation by Doug Teggin


Photo: François Coin (CFTV)

History

From the Liliput pamphlet:

"In the WWII the Deutsche Reichsbahn leased among others 118 machines of the type 140.C from the SNCF and used them in the entire railroad network. So for example the 140.C.218 was repaired in Posener Ausbesserungswerk, the other (140.C.343) was six times in RAW Darmstadt.

After the war's end all locs, that remained in the Western Germany, were transferred back to SNCF. The ones that were in the Eastern Zone remained there.

A surely extensive history of the originals of our models is unfortunately unknown.* We know that they were assigned to Alsace-Lorraine. The special frames on the tender indicate the maximum amount of possible coal load.

One machine is now on display in the Bahn Museum in Rosheim-Ottrott (near Strasbourg), the other (140.C.344) is in the Railroad Museum in Mülhausen."

Note: This seems to be a translation from French.

* In this paragraph, a better translation: "The exact working history of the prototype is unfortunately unknown."

Well, next time Liliput want some history, they're welcome to give me a call. Here is what I found:


140_C_314 at Gray 1974

Locomotive 140_C_314
Year of construction: 1917
Builder: North British – Hyde Park Works in Glasgow
Serial number: 21651
Cylinders: 2
Cylinder type: Simple expansion
Superheating: Yes
Boiler: steel
Firebox: Crampton
Maximum tractive power: 20 350 kg
Speed limited: 80 km/h
Maximum power: 1500 bhp
Total working weight (loco): 77,2 t (with tender: 126,4 t)
Adhesive weight: 67,6 t
Driven wheel axel load: 17,2 t
Length (loco): 11,750 m (with tender: 18,950 m)
Height: 4,26 m
Width: 2,92 m
Fixed wheelbase: 5 100 mm
Wheelbase (loco) : 7 600 mm
Minimum radius curve: 94 m
Ø of cylinders: 590 mm
Piston stroke: 650 mm
Ø of driving wheels: 1440 mm
Ø of bogie wheels: 850 mm
Brake: compressed air
Automatic brake: Westinghouse
SNCF N°: 140-314

Tender 18-C-428
Year of construction: 1913
Builder: Marine-Homécourt
Weight empty: 21,600 t
Water: 18 m
Coal: 9 t
Total working weight: 49,200 t
Axel load: 12,300 t
Length: 7,2 m
Hight: 2,890 m (excluding load gauge)
Width: 2,510 m
Ø of wheels: 960 mm
Brake: compressed air
SNCF N°: 18-428


140_C_314 at the Austerlitz station in Paris 27 November 2003

The 140_C_314 was built in 1917 at the North British works in Glasgow, Scotland. The locomotive was part of a series of 270 'consolidation' class designed in 1912 to improve the traction of goods trains on the French state rail network. A further 70 locomotives were delivered to the French Heavy railway artillery - l’Artillerie Lourde sur Voies Ferrées (ALVF). Shipped by boat to Saint-Nazaire in the Loire-Atlantique department of France, this particular locomotive started it's working life in Saint-Brieuc, Brittany on goods service and was assigned the number 140-314. The loco was originally paired with a tender with twin-bogies that had a water capacity of 18 m and coal capacity of 5 tons.

In 1938, the SNCF was formed and the locomotive was numbered according to it's region. A number '3' on the left of the buffer beam indicating the Western region, the number 140_C_314 in the center and the new logo of the SNCF on the right of the buffer beam.

WWII was declared and France was occupied. In 1941 the locomotive was requisitioned by the Germans and was sent to Germany.

After the end of the war, the 140_C_314 returned to France and required extensive repairs that were carried out at the SNCF works at Sotteville-lès-Rouen Quatre-Mares near Rouen during 1955. It was during this stage that the locomotive received new Coale Unifiées SNCF valves as well as the smokebox door type Nord with 'Y' hinge.

In February 1971 the 140_C_314 loco was part of the last reorganisation of SNCF steam together with the 140_C_230, 231 and 313 locomotives. Used as a reserve loco at the Chaumont depot. The loco was due to be scrapped on 30 October 1975, but was purchased by the Friends of secondary railways - Fédération des Amis des Chemins de Fer Secondaires (FACS) who were keen on preserving a few examples of this type. Stored at Gray in the Haute Saône, the loco was then assigned to the Chemin de Fer Touristique du Vermandois (CFTV) in 1983. After many thousand hours of volunteer work the locomotive was back up and running on 21 May 1994 and moved to the new CFTV depot in Saint-Quentin where it still runs.


140_C_314 Longueau yard

Service History of the 140_C_314

location from to yrs
Saint-Brieuc 1917 September 1927 10
La Rochelle September 1927 26 June 1932 5
Saintes 26 June 1932 August 1941 9
Germany August 1941 25 July 1950 9
Workshops of the Quatre-Mares 25 July 1950 8 December 1955 5
Sotteville-lès-Rouen 8 December 1955 15 December 1957 2
Saintes 15 December 1957 28 February 1964 7
Batignolles 28 February 1964 26 September 1966 2
Trappes 26 September 1966 31 January 1967 1
Mantes 31 January 1967 7 February 1971 4
Chaumont 7 February 1971 1974 * 3
Gray ** 1974 7 December 1988 14
Busigny *** 7 December 1988 21 May 1994 6
Saint-Quentin (CFTV) 21 May 1994 present (2008) 14

* Officially due to be scrapped in Chaumont on the 30th October.
** Stored in preparation for restoration and first stage of restoration work
*** Restored by the CFTV


140_C_314 on the line to Le Treport

 

The Liliput Model

First off, these models are not cheap. Not that there are many cheap models around these days, but the RRP is £167.00. You can pick one up for between £140 and £160.

I first head of this model last year and then at the 2008 Nürnberg Toy Fair I met Marc de Prest, the French/Belgium Liliput importer who was actually responsible for commissioning the model. He talked about it and I made up my mind to get one. I was keen on getting one of these models as the prototype is located about an hour and a half from where I live in France. The locomotive is in running order and can be seen at the Chemin de Fer Touristique du Vermandois (CFTV). See photos above.

It arrived a few months later than expected, but for something as nice as this, the extra wait is not a problem.

The model is very well packed in a protective plastic cradle pack that is contained in a cardboard box. I think that these packing systems offer the best way to transport and store the model for long periods. The model comes with a detail pack, etched cab side plates, some real coal dust and a tool for separating the tender and locomotive - basically a little screwdriver.

For some reason I was expecting a tender drive model - perhaps after my experience with my last Liliput model the BR 42. I was pleased to see the loco driven model with electrical connections to the tender allowing the DCC decoder or sound decoder and speaker to be installed with ease in the tender.

I have run the model in on my rolling road (below). Initially it seemed a little rough with quite a bit of rocking and rolling from side to side. This eased-up as the model ran for a while.

The detailing on the model is fine and precise. The lining is intricate and well done. The finish is pristine - it would be a shame to add the coal dust...

Liliput say that this particular model is modelled after the 140_C_314 when it was at Trappes. That would have been in the winter of 1966. The current prototype is not lined, but I have no way to determine what the livery would have looked like in 1966. I'm sure that it would have been grubby though. In those days - with the end of steam on the horizon - dirty goods work on the outskirts of Paris... not sure it would have been lined.

Here below, you can see the etched plates supplied with the model. I like the existing red and gold tampo print on the cab side that are very finely printed so I'm not going to use the etched plates.

Looking at the photo below, isn't the detail of the rods, fittings and pipe work great? It really is well made, well painted and exquisitely finished off. Nothing has fallen off or broken and I am so glad that I don't have to open up the loco itself to add the decoder.

In the photo below you can see the cab detail. With a model in this price bracket you may think that Liliput could have added more detail to the cab in a similar way to the current Hornby locos. One could argue that as the model is close coupled to the tender, you rarely get to see inside the cab so extra detail is not needed.

In the photo below you see the load gauge on the tender. This was to show the crew the limit of how high they could stack the coal and starter blocks. The 'Danger' sign is the wrong way around on the model. It was made from a metal plate and the cut out word 'Danger' faced the crew in the loco.

See this photo below of the prototype to compare. You can see too that the tender number on the model has been written with hyphens (-) instead of the underscore (_) between the type and serial number. Liliput got the front buffer beam right thankfully. The loco that is paired with the tender usually has it's number printed on the back of the tender. The model doesn't have this, but it may not have been written on the tender during the period that is modelled.

You can see from the photo below that the model has directional lighting. Lamps are mounted on the front buffer beam and are hung from the rear of the tender. They are white LEDs and look good, but could be yellowed a little perhaps. The rear ones are white too and fainter than the front.

 

DCC Decoder installation

This model comes with an interesting pamphlet. The drawings are 3D CAD images that show you very clearly where to oil and how to take apart the loco and tender.

This drawing below shows how to remove the tender from the loco with the special tool provided (G).

The drawing below shows the tender when taken apart with the printed circuit board (there is also a circuit diagram supplied) and the space for installing the speaker under the board.

Here I am installing a Bachmann 21-Pin DCC Decoder with Back EMF and 3 Function Outputs (36-554).

The Bachmann 36-554 decoder is designed for use with the 21-pin connectors fitted to many of the most recent models this three function decoder offers several advanced features including configurable back EMF high-frequency pulse width motor speed control. A shunting speed function control is provided, allowing finer control for slow speed operations.

Decoder measures 24mm long, 15mm wide with socket at one end. The decoder is reasonably priced at around £10 in most shops.

Installing the decoder is very simple. Remove the 8-pin blanking plug. Fit the decoder. It only goes on one way so you can't mess it up.

Re-assemble the tender. Connect the tender to the loco. Plug the two connectors back in. I found that they were painted with a paint that didn't stick too well to the plastic so when I pulled them out some of the paint came off. I'll touch it up with some black paint. You don't have to disconnect the tender from the loco as long as the loco is well supported whilst you are installing the decoder.

Onto the programming track to verify the decoder and then off for a trip around the layout. Directional lighting works fine and it can be switched on and off with Function-0.

The model runs much better with DCC than DC and has a good slow movement which I couldn't see with DC (my DC controller is rubbish though). The loco does shudder a little at medium speeds. You don't see this at crawling speed and perhaps you miss it at top speed, but it isn't a problem. I assume the 2-cylinder prototype is much the same.

 

Conclusion

I only have a couple of gripes. The detail of the rear of the tender and the load gauge. The cab detail. But these are minor and you really have to nit pick to find them.

Is it worth £160? Well I certainly won't be getting a fleet of these. The build quality and the detailed components give it it's value.

The model runs OK, but it's not the league of my best runners. I may work on that though to see if I can improve the running.

Overall, I like it and I'm happy that Liliput have made this particular model.

I'm tempted to take it along to the guys who work on the prototype to get their opinion... but I can imagine that there will be some grumbles from the experts. Would they buy it? Yes, I'm sure, but I can imagine them getting stuck in to make it perfect to the original.

I'll let you know how that turns out.

 

Please leave some comment and tell me what you think of the model. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

 

- August 2008

Update:

I've installed an ESU LocSound v3.5 decoder from DCC Concepts into the 140_C_314. It replaces the Bachmann 21-Pin DCC Decoder and fits into the 8-pin NEM 652 socket within the tender. Here is a little video of the model with the decoder fitted. For best viewing results, make sure the 'HQ' is turned on and click 'Extended size' on the menu of the video.

- October 2008

Many thanks to OnTracks for giving us a good deal on this loco.

 

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