Distributed by McGraw Hill in the mid-1950s, this French language film tells the story of the SNCF, the French national railway. The film was originally produced as part of the "Ici La France" series, intended to be used as a foreign language teaching tool for foreign students. The film begins with footage of model railways at :25. At :53 one of Paris' many railway stations is shown at rush hour. At 3:28 the film flashes back in time to show early French steam locomotives. At 4:11, in footage likely from a silent movie, a train crew struggles to clear a cow from the tracks and with a steep grade that requires passengers to push the train. At 5:20, the train shed at a train station is seen as modern trains shuttle in and out of the city. At 6:00 a steam locomotive is lubricated by a workman. At 6:24, a locomotive is shown on a turntable and then being watered. At 6:37 the throttle is moved and the engine rumbles forward. At 10:12, a modern electric locomotive is shown. This engine CC-7143 appears to be one of the CC 7100series of electric locomotives built by Alsthom. These derive from two CC 7001 and CC 7002 prototypes built in 1949 1 that tested the principle of total traction (all wheels are drive) for power locomotives. Twice, the CC 7100 broke the track speed record. At 10:56 the BB-9004 is shown. The BB 9003 and BB 9004 are French electric DC locomotives with two bogies of two drive axles. Built at the same time as the BB 9001 and 9002 , these four machines were designed to test the behavior of total traction locomotives in operation and to define the mechanical and electrical characteristics of machines to be ordered in quantity. On 29 March 1955, the BB 9004 broke the rail speed record of 331 km / h on the Landes line between Facture and Morcenx 1 , one day after the CC 7107 . The SNCF brought the same speed record to the credit of the two machines in order to spare the susceptibility of the manufacturers. At 11:20 the high speed operation of this locomotive is shown with the train running at very high speed on electrified tracks. The pantograph is shown in operation.
At 14:21 passenger service is shown from Paris to Monetereau, with passengers having a meal en route. The train appears to be going 140 KMPH. At 16:45 a steam locomotive is shown operating in the countryside to Marseilles.
The Société nationale des chemins de fer français (SNCF, "National society of French railways" or "French National Railway Corporation") is France's national state-owned railway company. It operates the country's national rail traffic (including Monaco), including the TGV, France's high-speed rail network. Its functions include operation of railway services for passengers and freight, and maintenance and signalling of rail infrastructure.
The SNCF employs more than 180,000 people in 120 countries around the globe. The railway network consists of about 32,000 km (20,000 mi) of route, of which 1,800 km (1,100 mi) are high-speed lines and 14,500 km (9,000 mi) electrified. About 14,000 trains are operated daily. Since July 2013, the SNCF headquarters are located in a Parisian suburb at 2, place aux Étoiles, 93200 Saint-Denis.
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