X 3217 Electrotren

Autorail X 3217 ABJ Nord

Photo Cl. Lapierre in Le Train spécial No. 35.

Electrotren 2138


XBDP 3217 type Renault ABJ 3

Mass / max. current under 12 V

274 g; 239 g after installation of lighting resulting in a change in ballast / 0,7 A

The overall impression is flattering, except perhaps for the thickness of the cab window posts. The overall scale is scrupulously respected. The railcar yellow is too dark, tending towards beige. The bogie sides block the pivoting and can therefore only be used statically. No coupling.

I first bought the red-roofed model X 3506 from the Ouest (Sotteville depot if I remember well) in a hurry. When I found the cream-roofed Nord model, I transferred the modifications made to the former to the latter. The former, almost intact in its original box, has since been resold.

The radiator fairing sheet (the cap) should be flush with the roof at the rear, as can be seen in the photo opposite. See this quote from the LR forum (page 4).

The Nord versions had the radiator fairing plate joined to the upper rounding of the body, (Ferrovissimo p. 12, 44) whereas on the other series this plate was a little higher (Ferrovissimo p. 4, 5, 33, 35).

The windscreen wipers should have their pivot point in the middle of the right-hand bay post.

See the Loco-Revue Forum.


  • Ex-3506: Lenz Silver+ decoder.
  • Ex-3506: new PCB (compartment lighting and separate control of the red lights).
  • Ex-3506: SMD elongating drawbars and Roco couplings.
  • Body swapped with X 3506; hooks, air hoses reinstalled after being shortened; black paint in air intake grilles; SMD wipers fitted.
  • The bogie sidewalls have been thinned to render them functional on a 500 mm curve radius. Profi couplings.
  • Electrical circuits remade: front / rear connection by copper adhesive tapes. There is no longer a connector at the rear. Repair of the connections to the rear bogie (the wires are very brittle).
  • Horizontal windscreen wipers and anti-skid on buffer beams, in personal photo-cutting, installed. Photo of modificationsModifications on the X-3217 Electrotren


The ABJ 3, a 300 hp railcar, was built from 1935 by Renault.

The X 3211 to 3221 ex-Nord 711 to 721, delivered in 1937 to La Chapelle, were typically based in Douai from 1954 and then in Longueau from 1969. They were written off between 1970 and 1975. They seem to have kept their cream-coloured roof until the end.

X 3217 was delivered in December 1937. Successive depots: Lille-Rouges-Barres (11/1947); Fives (9/1953); Douai (9/1954); Longueau (10/1969). It was written off in January 1973.


  • Loco-Revue sheet No. 187 / — 67 d 16 (older series).
  • Assignments at Eurocity 64.
  • Photos on RailFanEurope.
  • ABJ Renault file.
  • Ferrovissimo No. 7 of February 2006 : Le métro des provinces françaises.
  • Le Train special No. 35 of March 2003, les ABJ. In particular, on p. 35, there is a photo of the X 3217 at Aulnoye, on 28 April 1971 (photo above).
  • Video on Dailymotion: Autorail Renault. Manufacture of an ABJ railcar. And as always in those days (fifties), with a cigarette in the mouth and no protective equipment!
  • Electrotren instruction leaflet.

X 3217 ElectrotrenX 3217 Electrotren

Autorail X 3217 ABJ Nord

Photo Cl. Lapierre in Le Train spécial No. 35.

1 26 254 301.8 301.0
1 25 180 289.4 287.0
2 886 33.2 33.1
(rear) 3 261 37.5 37.0
16 930 194.6 194.5
2 500 28.7 28.6
860 9.9 9.9
  1. Le Train No. 35, p. 27