Gallery N°28 : Various Streams (C.F.E. period)


In 1898 the Company acquired two type 030 locomotives, designated No 1 and No 2. They weighed 19 tons each and were named DJIBOUTI and HARRAR respectively. They were followed in 1899 by two more locomotives of the same type: Nos 3 and 4 named EL BAH and SEINE. In 1909 4 new locomotives, factory numbered 279 to 282, were delivered to the Ethiopian Company that then gave them the numbers 55 to 58.


1899 saw the delivery of two type 030 locomotives, designated No 7 and No 8. They weighed 12 tons each and were named ALSACE and SAONE. In 1938 four locomotives, ex tramcars from "Ile et Vilaine", were delivered. Although they were on the Company strength they were assigned for use by the "Batignoles" Construction Company, in charge of building the Port of Djibouti.


Around 1936 four type 141 T locomotives, originating from the Yunnan Railways, were sold second-hand to the C.F.E. They were designated Nos 301, 302, 303 and 304.


At the beginning of 1937 six Italian locomotives of type Gr.R 302 joined the stock. They were designated N°14, N°16, N°26, N°32, N°34 et N°39. Their gauge was increased to 1000mm. They had a tender capacity of 18 m3. They kept their original designation for a long time, as can be seen from the pictures taken at Djibouti and Dire Dawa Stations. N°34 was later re-converted to a 950 mm gauge, and transferred to Massawa in 1939 where it ended its career. All the locomotives were destroyed during the war but the tenders survived and were used for the transport of water to work sites on the line.


Ordered in 1937, six of these Garratt Ansaldo 141-141 1175 hp locomotives were supposed to be brought into service. They were designated 501 to 506. Only three were delivered, between 1938 and 1940. As they often broke down, they were little used. The locomotives numbered 501 and 503 were de-commissioned and scrapped in the 1960s. The boiler of No 502 would later be used as a press at the sugar cane factory of Akaki. As part of war compensation, Italy was to reimburse the C.F.E. for the three missing locomotives.

Information regarding the GARRATT articulated locomotives :

Builder ANSALDO, Genoa, Italy
Net weight 63.000 kg
Operating weight 87.000 kg
Weight on coupled wheels 43.500 kg
Weight on coupled wheels 6.500 kg
Weight on front bissel 7.000kg
Grip weight 60.000 kg
Boiler length 8.485 mm
Boiler pressure 14 bar
Steam production 8.000 kg/H
Distribution mechanism Walschaerts
Exhaust Kylchap
Core Crampton
Boiler heating surface 134 m2
Overheat heating surface 52,50 m2
grid surface 3 m2
Coupled wheels diameter 1,050 m
Bissel wheels diameter 0,710 m

Mallet 030-030 HENSHEL SHON LOCOMOTIVE. (Daniel Ammann)

In 1916 the Railways Ministry in Brussels (MED Brussel) and the Military Management of the German Railways ordered 20 Mallet 030+030 superheated locomotives with a maximum load of 9 tons per axle from the Henschle Company in Kassel Germany. They were delivered in 1917 with the Factory Numbers 18150 to 18169, but were registered with the numbers H.K. 11 to 30 (H.K. meaning « Heeresprüfkommission », which translates as "Army Supervisory Commission". Most of the locomotives ran on a metric rail network that began at Montmédy on the German front during the Battle of Verdun. Many of these were among the forty or so locomotives still stationed at Montmédy at the end of the war Initially at the disposal of the Meuse network, H.K. 23 (Henschel 18162) was sold in 1922 to the Company that ran the Commercial Railway (S.E.) Attached to the Woevre network with the registration number 6001 this locomotive proved itself to be too powerful for its intended use.

Consequently this locomotive was handed over to the Swiss Company Yverdon-Sainte Croix where it was assigned the number 5. Before being put to work, it was transformed for use with saturated steam, by suppressing the heater located between the funnel and dome. At the same time the four sand-boxes made from sheet metal (in the shape of letter boxes) situated in pairs on the boiler at the height of axles 3 and 5 were replaced by just one cylindrical sand-box taken from an old CFF steam engine that was broken up in 1928. Having a heavy coal consumption, it was rarely used after 1930. It was placed at the disposal of the Swiss Army during the Second World War and remained stationed at Montbovon from 1941 to 1945. Montbovon is a junction station of the GFM network (Gruyères-Fribourg-Morat) and MOB (Montreux-Oberland Bernois). The engine was kept as a cold spare, able to operate independently of electric traction. After its return to Yverdon it was obsolete as electric traction had been introduced from the beginning of 1945.

It was sold in 1946 to the Franco-Ethiopian Railway (C.F.E.), and later that year it was transformed into a locomotive with a separate bogies tender taken from an old steam engine. This idea came from an earlier transformation of two type 140 locomotives, numbered 101 and 102, that were modified from old tender locomotives of the "Apenzellois" Railways by the builder, SLM. However, the transformation of locomotive number CFE61 was undertaken at the workshops of Dire Dawa and would not prove successful: the locomotive turned out to be too slow, too difficult to drive by inexperienced personnel, too expensive to maintain and a big consumer of coal. But the biggest handicap of all remained the great distance to be covered by the driver between the tender's coal-bunker and the firebox door which made working conditions unacceptable. For this reason it is very likely that the locomotive wasn't used often and that it was put into a siding by the time the new type 141 "Mac Arthur" locomotives were delivered by the Davenport (USA) manufacturers. So 1948 as the date the locomotive was removed from the Register, mentioned in Swiss sources, is probably correct. As was the case for most of its CFE sisters, the locomotive would not be destroyed immediately, but would be used for some time as a source of spare parts.


In 1938 a study about a "Système Franq" articulated superheated locomotive, Type 1.3.0-0.3.1, was undertaken by "REGGIANE Office Meccaniche Italiane S.A.". The project remained at the planning stage, as can be seen in the picture gallery.