Saturday, September 10, 2016

Alsthom locomotives from 1950 of the Gafsa phosphate railway, Tunisia

These were a series of 17 units; Bo-Bo type diesel-electrics with Sulzer prime movers rated at 735 hp for this metre-gauge 435 km (270 mile) Sfax to Gafsa railway built as from 1897.

"An exhaust gas turbo pressure charger equipped Sulzer 6LDA25 powers the locomotive, the high temperatures, altitude and indifferent working conditions saw the engine set for 610 hp at 800 rpm. Cylinder size was 250mm by 320mm (9.85 inches by 12.6 inches). Construction was of the usual welded crankcase & bedplate which also incorporated the main generator bedplate. All of this was supported by a substantial locomotive underframe. The power units were constructed at the CCM-Sulzer works at St Denis. The engine water & lubricating oil is cooled through two side mounted radiators. The fan has two motors, operating in parallel when the temperature is above 40 degrees C (104 degrees F). At lower temperatures the motors are in series. In light of the extremely sandy conditions including sandstorms much attention was paid to the filtering of the air in the engine room. A large Tecalemit centrifugal filter along with cell type filters at engine room roof level clean all air entering, additionally the entire engine compartment is slightly pressurised."

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