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Query on bodyside grills on CC6500/CC21000


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I've been looking at pics of these locos and I'm a bit confised about the bodyside grills. Some locos seem to have symetrical grills with angled ends the full length between the cabs, while others have a more prominent rectangular grill towards the one end of the side. Is this period dependant, or were some locos always different to others?

 

35856107880_66cc9a5afb_k.jpg

CC6500 6558 by Sergio Kodemo, on Flickr

 

32063884537_dee8fb6d22_k.jpg

CC 6505 en tête du train 416/7 Lyon-Turin by Yves Séligour - Rétro Rail, on Flickr

 

Edited by Talltim
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Only the first series (6501 to 6538) received the symmetrical horizontal grilles. The second and third series (6539 to 6559), including the green "Maurienne" units, received the vertical grilles that cut off halfway along the bodyside. I find the first series much more pleasing to the eye though

 

Alan

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I think you’ll find that the grilles changed with the different batches. CC6500 were delivered in three batches, nos. 6501-6538 with trapezoidal grilles, 6539-59 (“Maurienne”) and 6560-6574 with rectangular grilles. CC21000 were delivered in two batches, nos. 21001-21002 with grilles like the first 6500 batch, the second pair 21003-21004 were similar, but with bottom projections mimicking the raked design of the cab front.

 

I haven’t fully checked, but these patterns fit with the photographs above and another source showing a breakdown by batches.  Edit: Further confirmed from other photographs.

Edited by EddieB
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39 minutes ago, Talltim said:

I've been looking at pics of these locos and I'm a bit confised about the bodyside grills. Some locos seem to have symetrical grills with angled ends the full length between the cabs, while others have a more prominent rectangular grill towards the one end of the side. Is this period dependant, or were some locos always different to others?

 

35856107880_66cc9a5afb_k.jpg

CC6500 6558 by Sergio Kodemo, on Flickr

 

32063884537_dee8fb6d22_k.jpg

CC 6505 en tête du train 416/7 Lyon-Turin by Yves Séligour - Rétro Rail, on Flickr

 

I may be barking up the wrong tree but could this possibly just be an assymetry between the two sides relating to the layout of equipment within. What makes me think that is that looking at photos of them the blank section is always on the left looking from the side and if the grilles were symetrical wouldn't they alternate between right and left?

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3 minutes ago, Pacific231G said:

I may be barking up the wrong tree but could this possibly just be an assymetry between the two sides relating to the layout of equipment within. What makes me think that is that looking at photos of them the blank section is always on the left looking from the side and if the grilles were symetrical wouldn't they alternate between right and left?

 

 

I'd never noticed that (hard to see both sides at once!) but yes, it would seem that on the second and third series the shortened grilles are up against one cab on one side of the locomotive, and the other cab on the opposite side. The "blank" bit is always on the left when looking side-on.

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Thanks for that. Amtrak X996/CC21003 (which started my investigation) has the later style rectangular grill without the overlays that trace the diagonal stripes of the SNCF liverey. They possibly removed them for the testing as I think they were just cosmetic

9060225740_92acf3036b_h.jpg

AMTK CC 21000 X996 by Robert Thomson, on Flickr

 

 

Edited by Talltim
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I’ve got a bit of a thing for the European trains Amtrak got for testing, unfortunately none of them seem to have HO models that are cheap :(

There is an old Jouef model but it’s the earlier grills, the current Jouef and Roco models are available in the right style but are a lot of money for a whim

Edited by Talltim
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3 hours ago, jivebunny said:

 

 

I'd never noticed that (hard to see both sides at once!) but yes, it would seem that on the second and third series the shortened grilles are up against one cab on one side of the locomotive, and the other cab on the opposite side. The "blank" bit is always on the left when looking side-on.

Good point.

I'd simply assumed the grilles were all "practical" but the extensions of them to the cabs could well have been simply cosmetic and part of Paul Arzens' design echoing his "Nez Cassé" (broken nose) style for the front of the loco. The counter sloping  windscreen reduced unwanted reflections for the driver (They appear quite often on ships' bridge windows and even tractors for the same reason) and though in theory counter aerodynamic, that doesn't in reality make a significant difference to a trains overall aerodynamic drag at the speeds at which it operated. However, Arzens, who had been a successful painter before turning to industrial design,  is also quoted as saying that his design reflected a  "sprinter on the starting block".

 

2 hours ago, jivebunny said:

I always thought the X996 looked a bit like something you'd expect to see in Mad Max :D

It does rather. I think it's the addition of a pilot (cow catcher) and removal of the buffers that makes it look like Arzens' design had an unfortunate encounter with a welding shop. I believe the X996 returned to France and was restored to its proper state. It seems that, because the loco was designed to run on properly laid track rather than what passes for that in the USA, Its suspension couldn't be adjusted sufficiently though the Swedish Rc4 loco trialled by Amtrak at the same time was succesfull and ASEA partnered with EMD to build it in America as the AEM-7.  

Edited by Pacific231G
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The asymmetric displacement of the grilles was to the right - the same on both sides. 

 

After its masquerade as Amtrak X996 was returned to France, where it went back to being plain old CC21003 again.  It was restored to its original form - including the grille shapes I described earlier.  I have photos of both sides of the loco from 1979.

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I'm  sure I read somewhere that C-C 21000-3 were testbed locos and reverted to being in the C-C 6500 class after testing was complete?

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51 minutes ago, JeffP said:

I'm  sure I read somewhere that C-C 21000-3 were testbed locos and reverted to being in the C-C 6500 class after testing was complete?

Not really.  CC21001-4 were bi-current versions of the CC6500 class, built 1969-74, that were absorbed into the CC6500 series with the removal of their a.c. equipment in 1995-97.  There was some testing - apart from the adventure in the USA, they were used on high speed trials on the new TGV routes - but they also performed regular and mundane duties.  Unlike the CC6500, which were based at Paris Sud-Ouest and Lyon-Mouche (solid d.c. territory), their allocation to Dijon meant access to both a.c. and d.c. routes.

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