Saturday, April 19, 2014

Nord autorail on the Paris-Lille route poster, 1937

A poster from the year before nationalisation featuring a Train Automoteur Rapide T.A.R. XF1100. Influenced by the Deutsche Reichsbahn "Flying Hamburger" multiple units, the Nord decided to order from the Société Franco-Belge the first diesel-electric TAR in 1933. Unlike the German articulated sets, Nord opted for the formula of two powered cars on either end of an unpowered trailer.

The first example of diesel-electric traction in France, the two TAR 34 sets were equipped with Maybach engines of 410 hp; the nine TAR 36 that followed had engines of 430 hp . This second sub-series was equipped with Jeumont transmission instead of the Siemens of the TAR 34. The maximum allowed speed was the French 140 km/h against 160 km/h of their counterparts Germans.

The operations focused on the Paris-Lille-Tourcoing, Paris-Brussels and Paris-Liège routes.

During the war, many trains were requisitioned by the Wehrmacht. Upon liberation, the SNCF could not find all the expropriated TARs and those it did were often irreparable. The survivors continued to circulate until 1957 (TAR 34) and 1959 (TAR 36) when they passed the baton to the BB 16000 for domestic routes and new German VT 08 and VT 11.5 sets, but also French RGP 1 TEE sets. No TAR was preserved.

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