Last years for French passenger diesels

FRENCH Railways SNCF bought hundreds of diesel locos in the 1960s and 70s to replace steam on lines that were not electrified.

BB67400 locos are currently in at least five liveries. The passenger liveries include the original blue, the more modern Grande Lignes (Main Line) silver & red, and the En Voyage multi-coloured style. In addition some locos have the all-over yellow SNCF Infra livery, and others have the white & green Fret SNCF livery. The regional services radiating from Clermont Ferrand remain a good place to find BB67400 for a few more months; 67416 in En Voyage livery (on left) and 67574 in Grande Lignes livery are seen at Vic-le-Comte on March 16, 2015 with regional services from Clermont Ferrand. KEITH FENDER

Several types were introduced, but the majority of those which have remained in use into the 21st century, operating passenger services, are the BB67400 Bo-Bo design, once found all over France; 232 were built between 1969 and 1975.

The similar, but slightly older BB67300 class, is no longer found operating passenger trains anywhere (although older BB67200 locos remain in use as TGV rescue locos, located at depots near high-speed lines).

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From December 2016 small numbers of BB67400 are still scheduled to operate regional services around Strasbourg, in eastern France, and Clermont Ferrand, in the centre of the country; in both cases new Regiolis bi-mode units will probably replace the locos during 2017.

Read more in January’s issue of The RM

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