8538 - the SNCF bo-bo diesel electric BB67001

Prototype information:

Whereas the early range of Diesel locos was limited to the BB66000's, CC65000's and 65500's, the SNCF was looking for a light mixed traffic locomotive in order to continue the elimination of steam traction on the last non-electrified lines of France. Thus the BB 67000's were born, in parallel with the delivery of the first A1A A1A 68000's and more adapted to hauling heavy trains. Painted in an attractive blue livery, these locos were fitted with a number of light alloy and plastic parts in order to keep their weight low such that they could operate on most of the SNCF routes.

They were equipped with bogies having two gear ratios, similar to those of the BB9400 with a D.C. generator feeding Pielstick 16 Pa traction motors. The first units were delivered in 1963 to the depots at Chambéry and Nîmes where they ousted steam on the right bank of the Rhône and in the Alps. They then ran with the addition of a boiler van (fourgon chaudiere C922) in order to steam-heat their passenger coaches and also hauled freight trains working in multiple. Gradually spreading across the network, further locos were sent to Rennes, Caen and Clermont-Ferrand.

In 1969, technical advances brought about the BB67300's, derived directly from the BB67000 but equipped with an alternator allowing electric train heating and power supply. The same year, the BB 67400 and CC 72000's gradually took over from the BB 67000's which lost express train haulage and were relegated to freight work. The usefulness of the BB67000 was worsening during the 1970's and it was decided to modify a number of locos to BB67300. The latter kept the same body, but were fitted with an alternator. Finally after the arrival of the South-eastern TGV, the SNCF decided to build the BB67200 class which were equipped with TVM300 cab signalling which allowed them to operate on the high speed lines. The installation of an auto coupler also enabled them to rescue failed TGV 's. About sixty locos were thus modified over the period up to 1996. The rest of the BB 67000 fleet, limited to 90 km/h was then based at Avignon depot and could be seen hauling freight trains in the Bouches du Rhône area. These locos were also used on construction trains on the high speed lines, their last duties being on the Mediterranean LGV.


Number built: 124


67062 pictured on shed in Ventimiglia in the summer of 1966



67539 near Avignon summer 1975


567414 at Lille Flandres in January 2006


Operating area : All regions

Number range:

67001 - 67124
Maximum speed: 90 km/h (55 mile/h)


2000 HP - Sulzer


80 tonnes
Length 17.1 m.
Date entered service: 1963 -1968
Builder Brissonneau and Lotz, MTE, SEMT