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In Times Gone By.......
Early Steam

This page concentrates on earlier steam locomotive classes. Finding this sort of information is not easy. It will be added to as more photos and data is found.

Most Vietnamese steam locomotives seemed to favour using the Belpair type of firebox and almost all seem to have been built in France by SACM or one of it's subsidiaries.

These locomotives were all employed by the Chemins de Fer l'Indo-Chine (Indochina Railway) and it's descendants.
early01

Above: This is possibly the 22-101 class listed on Mr Smith's table below. It's the only 4-4-0 tank I've found so far.
early02

Above: This type of locomotive was used on the Saigon-Cholon Tramway

4-4-0 at Thap Cham
Above: 4-4-0 locomotive stored at Thap Cham in the late 60's. This could be an example of the 220-101 type locomotive as listed in Mr Smith's table. It appears to be similar (identical?) to those shown below. The photograph appeared on a now defunct website.

4-4-0 locomotive
Above: 4-4-0 (2-2-0) The text underneath appears to say it was built by Societe Anonyme (not clear) Franco-Helge a Nalmen (difficult to read) (Nord).These or similar locomotives appear to be in use around Hanoi.

440 hanoi (1)440 (3)

440 (5)

440 (4)
Above: Very similar locomotives at Hanoi. The facing machine above appears to be numbered '9' or perhaps N 9..


Locomotive 313
Above: This appears to be a similar type of locomotive to the one below. 4-6-0 (2-3-0). The number is just discernable as 313. The text underneath the photo states that the class consisted of numbers 301 to 320 and was built in 1906 so it may be slightly newer.

230
Locomotive Hue
Above: 4-6-0 (2-3-0) type locomotive number 103 at Hue. (If this is the same class as above perhaps it should be 303)?

Locomotive 1008
Above: 4-6-2 (2-3-1) locomotive number 1008 minus it's tender. I'm wondering if this is the same locomotive as the 231 class listed elsewhere on this website, or perhaps an earlier version. The number seems a bit odd. My guess is that it is a member of the 231-301 class, because the cylinder size matches the table details below. Information about this locomotive  includes:

Constructed by: SACM
Length: 11,010 mm
Weight: 52000 kg.
Weight in service: 58000kg
Diameter of cylinders: 420 mm

More Early Steam Data

The following Data was collated by J.D.H. Smith a few years ago. Some matches what we already know, but some raises more questions than answers. The 141-501 listed is clearly the original French built 141 locomotive. The 131-401 is the Japanese 131 2-6-2 tank locomotive. The 31 and 40 class are the two types of rack locomotives used on the Dalat-Thap Cham line.

CF de l'Indochine steam locomotives

All dimensions metric: lengths in mm, areas in m2, weights in metric tons, pressures in atmospheres.


Class Axle
Arr.

Dr.
Dia.
Cylinders
Dia. x Str.
B.P. Adh.
Wt.
EW
WO
Grate
Area
Evap
Surf.
Sup.
Surf
Remarks
22-101 2'Bt 4-4-0T
1200 300x460 10 13 23 1.0 50 none  
31-201 1'Crt 2-6-0 RT
910 420x480 14 35 42 1.4 67 17 420x480 rack
32-001 1'C1't 2-6-2T
1350 425x600 12 33 50 1.6 70 26 PNKA C30
40-301 Drt 0-8-0 RT
865 455x450 14 45 45 1.7 72 21 455x450 rack
131-401 1'C1't 2-6-2T
1400 400x610 14 32 50 1.3 54 20 JNR C12
141-501 1'D1' 2-8-2
1200 450x610 16 50 63 2.9 142 43  
150-301 1'E 2-10-0
1100 500x550 12 50 57 2.7 140 45  
220-101 2'B 4-4-0
1400 360x500 12 20 29 1.2 69 none  
230-001 2'C 4-6-0
1260 400x508 12.7 25 38 1.8 72 35 PNKA C52
231-301 2'C1' 4-6-2
1400 420x610 14 33 54 2.3 126 36  
231-401 2'C1' 4-6-2
1370 500x550 12 31 56 2.7 126 40  
231-501 2'C1' 4-6-2
1400 450x610 16 33/39 60 2.9 142 43  

2005 - 2007 J.D.H. Smith

CF Indochine - Yunnan steam locomotives

All dimensions metric: lengths in mm, areas in m2, weights in metric tons, pressures in atmospheres.


Class Axle Arr-
angement

Dr.
Dia.
Cylinders
Dia. x Str.
BP Adh.
Wt.
EW
WO
Grate
Area
Evap
Surf.
Sup.
Surf
Remarks
1 2'B 4-4-0
1400 360x500 12 20 29 1.2 69 none AM51
51 2'C 4-6-0
1230 380x520 12 30 39 1.4 122 none TH51
124 1'D1't 2-8-2T
1050 450x500 13 38 50       JF51
231-A-001 2'C1' 4-6-2
1400 450x610 16 33/39 60 2.9 142 43 CFI 231-501
141-A-101 1'D1' 2-8-2
1200 450x610 16 50 63 2.9 142 43 CFI 141-501
201 2'D1'-1'D2't 4-8-2-2-8-4
1090 420x560(4) 12 80 126 4.1 189 35 KUR EC
205 2'D1'-1'D2't 4-8-2-2-8-4
1090 420x560(4) 12 85 133 4.1 189 35 EAR 50

2005 - 2007 J.D.H. Smith
Locomotive Classifications

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. Pretty straight forward, except what did  if two classes had a 2-8-2 wheel arrangement I'm not sure. It didn't happen so wasn't a problem?

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, what happens if two classes are the same I don't know.

I am still investigating pre 1975 classifications. Some are the same e.g. 141 steam class, and some are different e.g. 'BB' class instead of D9E.

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Railways in Vietnam website 2009-2011 David Gurnett
  Updated January 2,  2011
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Please feel free to contact me at railwaysofvietnam@gmail.com