Welcome on the "Sauvons la CC 6575" website

Website in French 

We wish you a happy new year 2012 !

The association

Funded in 2007, our association called "Sauvons la CC 6575" ("Let's save the CC 6575") aims to preserve the CC 6575, former CC 21001, to show it to visitors and to maintain it in working condition, in the aim to haul special trains. The locomotive, having an unique history among SNCF rolling stock, is currently stored at the Nimes's shed, where a Museum can also be visited.

History of our machine

The CC 21001, built in 1969 by Alsthom, was at this moment the most powerful locomotive of French Railways (SNCF), reaching 8100 HP (5900 kW) and able to run at 200 km/h (125 mph) in commercial use.

A second identical unit was built at the same moment (CC 21002), followed by 38 others machines only able to run under 1500 V DC catenaries (CC 6501 to CC 6538), designed to haul trains like the Mistral (Paris - Marseilles - Nice), the Rhodanien (Paris - Lyon), the Etendard (Paris - Bordeaux) or the Capitole (Paris - Toulouse), which were the most prestigious of French network at this moment.

During tests in the years 1970 - 1971, the speed of 281 km/h was reached by the CC 21001, permitting to develop newer systems of signalization for the future High Speed Train called TGV. During this time, 20 others CC 6500s were built : 6539 to 6559 for freight service in the "Maurienne" line (going to Italy), in green livery and fitted for both catenaries and third rail.

In 1974, two others machines were built : CC 21003 & 4, permitting to the CC 21000 class to be regularly used in the line between Paris and Switzerland (through Dijon, Dole and Vallorbe) with the Trans Europe Express Cisalpin (Paris - Milan). There were also 14 CC 6500 (6560 to 6574) to follow the increase of heavy trains in the South Easter network. Quickly, the CC 21001 became a test machine for some parts of the future high speed trains (TGV), like signaling system, electrical components and new tracks.

With the firsts TGV runs in 1981, the service of the CC 6500 was reduced in the South East, most of the prestigious passengers trains being replaced. In 1984, the arrival of TGVs specially fitted for the Swiss Network led to the withdrawal of the Cisalpin, and the CC 21000s were relegated to freight and experimental trains.

Since 1990, with the arrival of the new TGV Atlantique and BB 26000, most of passenger services were dropped. CC 6500s were very used in freight services, while CC 21000s had an small but expensive utilization. In 1995, it was finally decided to convert them as CC 6500 (6575 to 6578). The last unit to be transformed was the CC 21001, which became CC 6575 in early 1997. In 1999, it was decided that the whole CC 6500 class would be dedicated to Fret SNCF.

With the fall of freight traffic, the withdrawal of CC 6500 started since 2004. At the same time, there was a lack of rolling stock for the regional service (TER) in Rhône Alpes (around Lyon), so half a dozen of units, including the CC 6575, were dedicated to it. Last Fret SNCF locomotives disappeared in half 2006, while the TER units get one year more, being withdrawn in July 2007.

Characteristics in brief

2010 - 2011 - Association "Sauvons la CC 6575" - Contact