231 C Northern
The Pacific 231 C is the denomination the SNCF of a Locomotive to vapor speed which served as long years, of 1923 at the end of the vapor about 1968, on the Northern network of the France and Belgium.
It could traverse long distances because it was equipped with a tender separated from great capacity which carried 37 cubic meters of water and approximately 8 tons of coal, that is to say the necessary one to cover for example the distance from Paris to Lille to 120 km/h with a passenger train of more than 300 tons. The design of this tender, characteristic of the Northern network, was so irreproachable that it was taken again almost without modification for the Locomotive S studied for the SNCF twenty years later.
Its engine was of the type Compound with four cylinders and overheating, with two cylinders with high pressure between the frame side girders under, and the two cylinder smoke-box with low pressure thus of largeer diameter outside the members. Numbered 3.1200 before the nationalization in 1938 of the Network of North, in which the bankers Rothschild had important interests, like all the most prestigious compound engines, it was decorated color chocolate with cream-coloured nets which, says one, pointed out delivered employees of the family of this banker.
Its design had with Marc de Caso and its esthetics had been carefully studied by Gaston Schaeffer to gather various pipings in esthetic beams running along the Chaudière. With an oar of metal cars Northern, also designed by Marc de Caso, the unit took an undeniable form which made say to the many in love one that it was the most beautiful engine entirely designed by the Network of North.
Marc de Caso, with his 231 C of 2.700 horses, had designed an engine of an important power for the time but to the narrow hearth and very length of more than 3 meters with a grid plunging between the members of the machine. For this engine without stoker (an endless screw motorized automatically bringing the coal of the tender to the hearth), this length of grid implied an intesive work very with the driver to uniformly furnish it with the throw, and thus with the shovel. The shelter open to all the winds, called “go drafts”, was also characteristic of the Northern network.
This machine was exceeded on the Northern network only by the Pacific 231 E, conceived by André Chapelon by modification of a series of engines of the network of the State. This other engineer of great talent liked to say that it “had nordifié” this series of engines by a constant research of the most possible output. In particular, Chapelon had contributed to a better exhaust of smoke by a model of exhaust (the Kylchap, of which the name took again that of two engineers who created it, Kylälä and Chapelon) and by the reduction in the pressure losses in the vapor conduits by means of greater bypass sections.
After war, in 1947, Marc de Caso still designed another very prestigious engine, the 232 U 1 by finishing a machine which had not been able the being during the war and according to the best precepts of its time (Kylchap exhaust, bearings rollers for connecting rod assembly etc).
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