Lematec Modelbex French Steam Loco Class 231 #3645 of the NORD Railroad, "La Chapelle" Sound

Lematec Modelbex French Steam Loco Class 231 #3645 of the NORD Railroad, "La Chapelle" Sound

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Prototype History: The French Pacific class 231 locomotives stood among the finest examples of Pacific class locomotives ever constructed. These remarkable locomotives boasted an impressive 2,200 horsepower (1,600 kW). These locomotives drew inspiration from the Paris Orleans 3500 class, adopting a compound locomotive design, specifically the Glenn type compound, which ingeniously combined external High Pressure and internal Low Pressure cylinders. These locomotives earned their renown through their dedicated service on passenger trains, particularly on prestigious routes like the Paris-Le Havre and Paris-Le Mans-Rennes expresses, and they proudly took the helm of the iconic Orient Express.

Their production journey commenced in 1914, giving rise to a total of 283 locomotives painstakingly crafted to serve as the stalwarts of express passenger trains within the ÉTAT network. Over time, they underwent a series of refinements, enhancing their performance by drawing from the innovative techniques championed by André Chapelon for the PO 231-3566 locomotives.Initially, 289 locomotives rolled off the assembly lines, yet the annals of history intervened. One locomotive was seized by German forces, and five others met a tragic fate, succumbing to the depths of the sea as their transport ship sank.

The manufacturing of these locomotives was a collaborative effort among several esteemed factories:

  • Fives-Lille, a key contributor, produced 54 locomotives.
  • Batignolles-Châtillon made a significant impact with 140 locomotives.
  • The North British Locomotive Co. in Glasgow, responsible for 45 locomotives, though bearing the weight of an unfortunate loss of 5 during transportation.
  • Schneider et Cie. played a vital role, producing 50 locomotives.

Recognizing the significance of these locomotives, the Ministry of Public Works acknowledged the necessity for an additional 121 locomotives. These new additions adhered to the design principles of the Pacific ÉTAT, culminating in the establishment of a comprehensive class of 404 locomotives.

The 121 TP Pacific locomotives were strategically allocated to various French railroad companies, with precision and care:

A solitary locomotive was entrusted to the NORD Railroad, donning the distinguished designation of 3-1150. The Compagnie de l'EST Railroad welcomed a formidable fleet of 40 units, each bearing a unique number within the range of 31001 to 31040. The Compagnie de l'AL Railroad received 40 units, each individually identified by numbers from 1311 to 1350. The Paris Orleans Railroad was graced with 40 units, each bearing specific numbers spanning from 3641 to 3680. These locomotives earned the esteemed title "Pacific TP," a testament to their funding by the French government, which played an indispensable role in the post-World War I endeavors to rebuild and revitalize the railway networks.

As the sands of time flowed, a series of modernizations classified the class into distinct subtypes, namely 231B, 231D, 231F, 231H, and 231G. The 231G subtype underwent significant modifications, emerging with an unmistakably unique appearance, setting it apart from the rest of the class. The illustrious careers of these locomotives culminated in 1968, marking the conclusion of an era as they gracefully retired from active service, leaving behind a legacy of remarkable locomotive engineering and service.

Model: Lematec has introduced an exciting new line of models under the Modelbex brand. These Modelbex models share the intricate detailing of brass models but come at more affordable prices. Modelbex uses a combination of brass and diecast to create these wondeful models. These new French class 231s are remarkable showcasing exceptional detail and features. It is constructed entirely from brass and diecast metal and is equipped with a robust brushless ironless motor with flywheels, a DCC ESU 5.0 Loksound decoder boasting an . Additionally, the model features functional lights and sprung loaded puffers and NEM coupler pockets.

Model Highlights:

  • Brass & Diecast Construction
  • 5-Pole Motor with Flywheel
  • Factory Installed ESU 5.0 LokSound Decoder
  • Extensive Sound Library
  • High Detailed Model
  • Sprung Loaded Puffers
  • LED Lights
  • Interior Cab Detail

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