04/02/2010; 04/02/2019.

X 3217 Electrotren

X 3217 railcar ABJ Nord

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

Electrotren 2138


Renault ABJ 3 XBDP 3217

Mass / Max. current @ 12 V

274 g ; 239 g after lighting installation resulting in a change in ballast / 0.7 A

Pleasant general impression, except perhaps the thickness of the cabin window uprights. The overall scale is scrupulously respected. The yellow colour, too dark, tends towards the beige. The bogie flanks block the pivoting and can therefore only be used in static mode. No coupling.

I first bought, by haste, the Ouest X 3506 model with a red roof (depot Sotteville if I remember well). When I found the Nord model with a cream roof, I transferred the changes made on the first one to the second. The firt one remains almost intact in its original box waiting for a possible resale.

The radiator fairing (the hood) should be flush with the roof at the rear, as shown in the picture. See this quote from the Loco Revue forum (page 4).

The Nord versions radiator fairing joined the upper body roundness (Ferrovissimo p. 12, 44), while on the other series this metal sheet was a little higher (Ferrovissimo pp. 4, 5, 33, 35).

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

See the Loco-Revue Forum.


  • Ex-3506 : Lenz Silver+ decoder.
  • Ex-3506 : new PCB (lighting of compartments and separate control of red lights).
  • Ex-3506 : elongation drawbars and Roco couplings.
  • Change-over with the X 3506; hooks; black paint into radiator air intake grilles; installation of metal wipers.
  • Bogie sides thinned down to be made functional on 500 mm radius curve. Profi couplings.
  • Reworked electrical circuits: front / rear connection by adhesive copper tapes. There is no more rear connector. Connections to the rear bogie repaired (the wires are very brittle).
  • Correct horizontal photoetched wipers.


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

The X 3211 to 3221 ex-Nord 711 to 721, delivered in 1937 in La Chapelle, are typically based in Douai from 1954 then in Longueau from 1969. They are withdrawn between 1970 and 1975. They apparently kept their cream roof till the end.

The X 3217 was delivered in December 1937. Successive depots: Lille-Rouges-Barres (11-47); Fives (9-53); Douai (9-54); Longueau (10-69). It was withdrawn in January 1973.


  • Loco-Revue sheet No. 187 / — 67 d 16 (former series)
  • Assignments at Eurocity 64
  • Photos on RailFanEurope
  • ABJ Renault file.
  • Ferrovissimo No. 7 of February 2006: The underground of the French provinces
  • Le Train special No. 35 of March 2003, The ABJ. In particular, on p. 35, there is a photo of X 3217 in Aulnoye, 28 April 1971 (shot above).
  • Video on Dailymotion: Autorail Renault. Manufacture of an ABJ railcar. As always in those days (1950s), cigarette stuck to the lips and no protective equipment!

X 3217 ElectrotrenX 3217 Electrotren

Nord X 3217 ABJ railcar

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

Dimension Actual 1:87 Model
Overall length 1 26 254 301.8 301.0
Chassis length 1 25 180 289.4 287.0
Body width 2 886 33.2 33.1
Height (rear) 3 261 37.5 37.0
Pivot distance 16 930 194.6 194.5
Bogie wheelbase 2 500 28.7 28.6
Wheel diameter 860 9.9 9.9
  1. Le Train No. 35. p. 27