Class C5 4-6-0 (1897)

Class C5 4-Cylinder Tandem Compound Passenger Locomotive
Designed by Karel Belčamin
Built in 1897 by SACM, Belfort, France

After the embarrassment of the class C4, Belčamin decided to revert to the tandem compound layout that had served so well in his class D5 2-8-0s. The Belfort works of the Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques supplied fifty-three locomotives between 1897 and 1899. An innovation was the separation of the cylinders by the bogie wheels, allowing unrestricted access to the piston rod glands. Although the balancing was not of the best, a common problem with tandem compounds, the C5s were to serve the RSR admirably for almost forty years, being rebuilt in the process with three different types of new boiler. During the particularly severe winter of 1904, no. C5-12 was involved in a daring rescue of stranded travellers under the threat of avalanches in the southern highlands. After that, the C5s enjoyed great popularity with the general public and appeared in a variety of publicity material for several years.

Text and graphics © Norman Clubb 2012