Train des Pignes - La Portugaise E-211

This steam locomotive was built in 1923 by Henschel & Sohn in a series of sixteen units - for the Portuguese Railways.

During the early 1970s it was based in Sernada, used to haul passenger and freight trains on the lines Val de Vouga/Espinho to Sernada and Aveiro to Viseu. In 1975 it was transferred to Lousado, where it provided service on the line from Famalicao to Povoa de Varzim.

After being transferred to the central workshops in Puerto Campanhã it underwent its last revision in service in 1976. Later on it was based in Regua where it pulled mixed trains and work trains on the line from Corgo Regua to Chaves. It was taken out of service in 1981.

Three years later, the Portuguese Railways offered to sell twelve steam locomotives no longer in use. One of them was the E 211.

It was offered to and bought by GECP and in July 1986 towed from Regua in Vila-Real to the GECP depot in Puget-Théniers.

From 1988 to 1992, GECP used it to haul the Train des Pignes steam train. It also allowed steam train excursions as far as Digne and Nice

In 1992 it become clear that it had to be retired for necessary and, as it turned out, costly repair. The necessary funding of the repair/restoration work took time to find and it wasn't until more than 10 years later that the work could start. The restoration was done in Italy, at the workshops of Lucato Térmica in Castelletto Monferrato in Alessandria in Piemonte. It finished in late 2009.

E-211 returned to Puget-Théniers on December 3, 2009. After final adjustment and testing it was on June 19, 2010 put back in service, to once again pull the passenger carriages of the Train des Pignes heritage train.


  • Length 12.1 m ( ft), height 3.75 m ( ft), width 2.65 m ( ft).
  • The engine power is 730 hp.
  • Weight at full load is 60 t (including 2.3 t of coal and 6000 l of water).

The following photo, taken at the coal supply in Puget-Théniers, gives the proof:

The Train des Pignes (pine cones train) is actually fuelled not only with coal, but with pine cones!

See also Vehicles in the Train des Pignes Steam Train

(Ref traindespignes.fr)