The SNCF 7199 (class Y 7100) diesel shunting engine from 1960 (France).

The Y 7100 class of small shunters originally had 210 members. The first 130 were built by Billard, with the remaining 80 by Decauville. They have the 0-4-0 (“B”) wheel arrangement, 150 kW diesel engines and hydraulic transmission. They can be found all over the French network.

Y 7192 was converted to mechanical transmission and renumbered as Y 7001. This locomotive was the prototype for the Y7400 class.

Decauville was a manufacturing company which was founded by Paul Decauville (1846–1922), a French pioneer in industrial railways. Decauville’s major innovation was the use of ready-made sections of light, narrow gauge track fastened to steel sleepers; this track was portable and could be disassembled and transported very easily.

The first Decauville railway used 400 mm (15+3⁄4 in) gauge; Decauville later refined his invention and switched to 500 mm (19+3⁄4 in) and 600 mm (1 ft 11+5⁄8 in) gauge.

Établissements Billard was a French railway rolling stock construction company founded in 1920 and based in Tours. It specialised in light railbuses and metre gauge and narrow gauge rolling stock. The business ceased trading in 1956 and later became Socofer.

Read more: History of railways with Alex Meltos ...