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Locomotives Nez cassés

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La CC 6557, en livrée TEE Grand Confort, en tête d'un train Corail.

The Nez cassés locomotives (literally: Broken Nose) are a family of French electric and et diesel locomotives built by Alsthom from the 1960s to the 1980s. Their name, Nez cassés, comes from their identifiable shape, designed by Paul Arzens. According to the Arzens, this shape is designed to evoke a feeling of speed.. The positioning of the windows, slanted towards the middle of the locomotive, is designed to avoid the reflection of light, thus improving visibility. The original paint schemes were also the work of Arzens.

The first locomotives of the family were the CC 40100s, built in 1964.

Iconic SNCF locomotives in France, certain examples were exported to Belgium, the Netherlands, Morocco, Portugal, Slovenia and South Korea. They even were tested by Amtrak in America for a short period of time.

These locomotives are widely considered as symbolic of SNCF's modernisation. The first class in the family, CC 40100, were in charge of the prestigious TEE services, composed of specially built PBA carriages. Other classes were often found hauling Corail trains, another iconic class of the SNCF.

The distinctive shape gave way to other designs with the production of the BB 26000 in 1988.

By the mid-2010s, the Nez cassés were less omnipresent in the French railway landscape due to the progressive replacement of locomotive-hauled trains by TGVs, as well as the introduction of BB 26000 and BB 36000 and similarly the Prima family. Nonetheless, the family is still in use in significant use across the SNCF network, indcluding the Intercités, TER, Transilien, Freight and Infrastructure subsidiaries.

The different classes[edit]

In France[edit]

The CC 40100s were delivered between 1964 and 1970. These quadri-voltage locomotives were used on international services to Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. The last locomotives were retired in 1996 following the opening of the LGV Nord.

The CC 72000s were introduced between 1967 and 1974. They are still the most powerful diesel locomotives operated by the SNCF. From 2002, 30 machines had new motors installed, and were re-numbered as part of the CC 72100 class. They are principally used on the Paris-Est to Mulhouse-Ville line.

The CC 6500 class appeared in 1969, which were at the time the most powerful locomotives on the French network. They were principally in use on the prestigious Mistral and Capitole, in the South-East. The CC 21000s were CC 6500s modified for international routes to Switzerland. They were converted into ordinary CC 6500s between 1995 and 1997. Emblematic of the Modane (Fréjus Tunnel) line, the last ones were retired in 2007.

The BB 15000s were constructed between 1971 and 1978. Until the opening of the LGV Est européenne in 2007, they were in charge of regular passenger services on the Paris to Strasbourg line. They are now allocated to Paris-Normandy push-pull trains, most notably Paris-Cherbourg, Paris - Le Havre and Paris - Amiens services.

With 240 examples produced between 1976 and 1985, the BB 7200 class are the largest of the Nez cassés family. In 2012, 14 machines were modified into BB 7600s to work services on line N of the Paris suburban Transilien.

The BB 22200s were the last class of the Nez cassés with 205 machines delivered between 1976 and 1986.


The prototype BB 7003, converted from BB 15007, was delivered in 1974. It was converted into BB 10003 in 1982 the reverted to its original state in 1997.

BB 10004, another prototype conceived from a BB 15000, BB 15055, was completed in 1982. It was reverted to original condition in 1989.

Finally, the two prototypes of BB 20011 and 20012, based on BB 22379 et 22380, were tested from 1985.


Alsthom has exported many of the family aborad.

In Belgium, SNCB received 16 of the class 18 in the 1970s. These locomotives, similar to the CC 40100s, were retired in 1999.

The 1600/1700/1800 classes were delivered to NS between 1980 and 1983. These machines are based on the BB 7200.

In Morocco, the ONCF use multiple classes of the Nez cassés. The E 900, derived from CC 6500, were introduced in the 1970s and retired in 1995. The 18 examples of the E 1300 class were received between 1992 an 1993 whilst the 9 examples of the E 1350 were delivered in 1999. Finally, the DF 100 is the Moroccan equivalent of the CC 72000.

The 1900 and 1930 classes of the Portugese CP are also derived from the CC 72000. Other classes of the Nez cassés have also been sold to Portugal : the 2600 and 2620 classes

The 94-strong class 8000 were received by the South-Korean national operator Korail from 1972. These machines were retired in 2012.

The class 363 of the Slovenian SŽ are based on the CC 6500s.

In the US, Amtrak tested the prototype X996, derived from CC 21003, at the end of the 1970s.

  • List of SNCF locomotive classes

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Category:Alstom locomotives

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