Class C301Y (UNC)
0-6-0 Diesel Mechanical Shunter
Above: C301Y class posing for the photographer in the builder's yard in France before delivery.
These images were posted on a French Forum. Correspondents were certain that this was indeed the C301Y being readied to be sent to Indochina. But the photos are dated 1952 and the delivery date is recorded as 1957 so they don't match, if the correspondents are correct. Other sources record the build year as 1955.
This fuzzy images is believed to be a photo of the C301Y class (Sometimes known as 'UNC' class), an 0-6-0 diesel locomotive, used in the south and originally constructed in France probably some time in the 50's by Baudet-Donnet-Rousel (BDR), a rather obscure company which seemed to build small shunting locomotives known as 'Locotracteur'. The above builder's photos are dated 1952. The two locomotives were handed over to the southern system (VNHX) by the US army in 1957. Why the US army had two French locomotives is not known. I have been only able to find one reference to the company on the internet.
Above: C301Y (Trains Magazine photo)
Basic data is believed to be as follows:
Steam Locomotives generally used the traditional French classification system. A steam locomotive with a 2-8-2 wheel arrangement is classified as 141 class, a locomotive with 4-6-2 wheel arrangement is classified as 231 class etc. Each class was/is also allocated a unique set of road numbers, usually starting with x01. EG. 231-501. This means you can have more than one class with the same first 3 numbers.
Diesel locomotives have a completely dfferent clasification system.
All diesel classes start with the letter 'D' (for diesel?) then a number which I believe is related to the locomotives power output. The third character defines Electric' (E) or hydraulic (H).
e.g. D5H class = Diesel + 500 hp + hydraulic.
Again each class has a unique set of road numbers allocated. For example D20E 001-020.
I am still investigating pre 1975 classifications. Some are the same e.g. 141 steam class, and some use the French Diesel system e.g. 'BB' class instead of D9E.
The practice of allocating unique sets of road numbers remains the same.
Diesels and steam locomotives in the south also seem to have had their road numbers changed after 1975 re-unification.
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