Friday 28 December 2012

SNCF Carte de Reduction Senior+

Great excitement today:

Our discount SNCF rail cards arrived which entitle the user if over 60 years of age to 50% reduction on train travel in France for the next 12 months.

Disappointingly, the card is in the form of a giant ticket which will be a nuisance to fit into a wallet or purse. I was expecting it to be a plastic and credit card sized.

232 or 4-6-0; 141 or 2-8-2

No, that is not my SNCF card number but the numerical classification used to distinguish locomotives in terms of their wheel or axle formation.

Being stupid, I never gave a thought to why the most famous passenger pulling French steam engines (vapeurs) were named as 141s or 232s. I thought they were sequentially numbered as per when they first came into service or were constructed or some such. I very rarely look for the meaning in things.

Here's my Jouef 141 R. One small wheel at the back, followed by four large wheels and then one small wheel at the front. Hence, 141.

My Jouef 141 R

A Jouef 232
Two small wheels three large wheels and then two small wheels.

I then looked at the wheel formation of my small Jouef shunting locomotive.

And, sure enough, its designation is 0-4-0 ie 4 same sized wheels in a row and nothing else before or after.

But in Great Britain, they use the same designation but double it up to count the pairs of wheels at the end of each axle. So 232 becomes 4-6-4.

The other classification used in conjunction with steam locomotives is per Ocean eg Atlantic class, Pacific class.

Apparently, because the original 232s were meant to pull the Nord Express all the way to St Petersburg which was on the Baltic, they were referred to as Baltic class.


Last night's dinner:

Everything I feared.

Jussi Bjorling:

Listening to the Swedish tenor, Jussi Bjorling, singing Scandinavian folk songs.

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