Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but few would dispute that this magnificent locomotive exudes both elegance and power. The design originated with the CdF du Nord's last CME, Marc de Caso, before the formation of the SNCF and four examples of this 4-6-4 four cylinder compund classwere built with the depicted 232 S 004 being the final example entering service with SNCF in 1941.
This good looking 4.000 HP engine is shown in its final form. The lower parts of the skirts have been removed, the front part too and the valve gear with rotary cams and counterbalance eccentric rod (bielle saumon) has been replaced by a Walschaerts gear acting on swinging cams similar to the Dabeg of the Chapelon Pacifics.
This undocumented portrait was probably taken at Gare du Nord in Paris. 232 S 004 was withdrawn in 1961.
[Mike Morant collection]