The reference for locomotives and railcars
Brazil National Railways class 142N
Brazil | 1951 | 66 produced
Schematic drawing with dimensions
Schematic drawing with dimensions
Locomotive Magazine, June 1953

Around 1950, André Chapelon developed two modern locomotive types with the 2-8-4 and 4-8-4 wheel arrangements for several Brazilian railway companies. While the machine shown here was designated 142N, the larger one was designated 242N. The 142N was developed for a maximum axle load of around ten tonnes and was designed to burn lignite or wood. It was used in mixed service.

Despite the meter gauge, the locomotives were all modern in design. In order to achieve enough power with the fuels used, they had a large firebox with thermic syphons. The superheater could reach temperatures of up to 380°C. Depending on the operator, different tenders were used, some of which had six axles.

The 66 locomotives were built by an export consortium called “GELSA”, which in this case involved Fives-Lille, Schneider-Creusot and Cail. In reality, it turned out that the curves with radii down to 50 meters were narrower than expected, for which the locomotives were not really suitable. That's why they were rather unpopular with the crews, who called them “too modern”. Instead, the old British locomotives were often preferred.

Axle config2-8-4 (Berkshire) 
Gauge3 ft 3 3/8 in (Meter gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length71 ft 1 3/8 in
Wheelbase30 ft 1 7/16 in
Fixed wheelbase13 ft 5 13/16 in
Total wheelbase60 ft 6 3/8 in
Service weight154,323 lbs
Adhesive weight89,067 lbs
Total weight314,710 lbs
Axle load22,267 lbs
Water capacity4,702 us gal
Fuel capacity26,455 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Indicated power1,381 hp (1,030 kW)
Optimal speed37 mph
Top speed37 mph
Starting effort23,812 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter50 in
Boiler pressure218 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 17 1/16 x 22 1/16 in
Grate area43.1 sq ft
Firebox area212 sq ft
Tube heating area1,103.7 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,315.8 sq ft
Superheater area484.4 sq ft
Total heating area1,800.2 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
André Chapelon
narrow gauge
last changed: 04/2024

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