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International Railroad Discussion > Pacific 231 - 1949 short film

Date: 07/03/08 00:08
Pacific 231 - 1949 short film
Author: C.P.Huntington

Someone has posted the 1949 short film "Pacific 231" on youtube.
Here is the link:

Where in France was this filmed?

Can anyone give a translation of the introduction that appears at :59-1:10 ?

The tank locomotive that appears in the background at 1:32 and 2:06 looks interesting.
Is there any information or photographs of this type of locomotive available on the web?

My thanks to anyone who has the answers to these questions.

Here is another version of the piece with some nice shots of running steam locomotives added:

Date: 07/03/08 09:20
Re: Pacific 231 - 1949 short film
Author: Ray_Murphy

Pacific 231 (231 being the axle arrangement for the class, not a locomotive number) is a well-known orchestral work by the Swiss composer Arthur Honegger. It was composed in 1923.


Date: 07/03/08 15:02
Re: Pacific 231 - 1949 short film
Author: 86235

I think that the terminal the train starts off from is the Gare du Nord in Paris, the cars are certainly the most modern pre-war type of the Chemin de fer du Nord, The station the train terminates in looks a lot like Lille Flandres, which kind of points to the loco being a Nord Pacific. I couldn't get the loco number so can't be sure but that's my guess. Happy to be corrected.

Date: 07/04/08 00:57
Re: Pacific 231 - 1949 short film
Author: Cyclops

The text reads as follows :-

"This film is not a documentary
Supported by the noises with which we are familiar
then closely tied to the music
The images which are going to follow
are put forward only to create an atmosphere"

The star of the film is a Chapelon pacific, one of the fantastic 231E series. They came from the rebuilding of redundant Paris-Orleans Railway pacifics in the late 1930s. The rebuilding transformed their performance. Although the original pacifics were not failures, the rebuilding doubled the power output and reduced fuel consumption, related to power output, by 40%.

Chapelon was one of the greatest loco engineers of the 20th century. He went back to first principles in loco design with a scientific analysis of the air/gas/steam circuit, leading to massive steam passages and highly efficient exhaust systems.

The French Nord and Est railways obtained locos of this design, some being rebuilds and some built new.

The tank loco is a former Nord Railway class 050TD. This was one of a class of 70 0-10-0 locos built between 1930-2. They were used for shunting in major marshalling yards.

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