Jules Petiet

Jules Petiet (5 August 1813 – 29 January 1871) was a French mechanical engineer who worked on the early development of the French railway network. He was the Chief Engineer of the Chemins de Fer du Nord from 1845, and became a locomotive engineer from 1848.[1] From 1868 until his death, he was head of the prestigious engineering school École Centrale Paris, of which he was also a graduate.

Jules Petiet
Jules Petiet.png
Jules Alexandre Petiet
Born(1813-08-05)5 August 1813
Died29 January 1871(1871-01-29) (aged 57)
EducationÉcole Centrale Paris
OccupationMechanical Engineer
EmployerChemins de Fer du Nord

Petiet's name is one of the 72 names inscribed on the Eiffel tower. A street in Paris, rue Petiet (at Épinettes, 17th district) is named in his honour.


Petiet's Duplex 0-6-6-0T

Petiet expanded the fleet of Nord locomotives from 187 at his appointment in 1848 to 841 at his death in 1871.[2]

One of Petiet's "Camels" – Crampton-inspired tank locomotive

He designed a class of 0-8-0T locomotives known as Fortes Rampes; and built 20 even bigger 0-6-6-0 tank engines. Looking like a pair of 0-6-0s back-to-back, they had a long-rigid chassis. They were not as powerful as anticipated, and Petiet's successor rebuilt them into forty 0-6-0T locomotives.[3]

He introduced the Crampton locomotive to the Nord (and France),[4] and developed an A3A (0-2-6-2-0) Crampton-style tank locomotive. Nicknamed "Camels", eight were built, but they soon were sold to the Nord's Belgian subsidiary Nord-Belge[5]


  1. ^ Davies 1997, p. 2.
  2. ^ Davies 1997, pp. 2, 4.
  3. ^ Davies 1997, pp. 3, 20.
  4. ^ Davies 1997, p. 8.
  5. ^ Davies 1997, pp. 3, 16.
  • Davies, John (January 1997). Chemins de fer du Nord Locomotive List 1842–1938. Sunnybank, Queensland: Dr. John Davies. pp. 2–26. ISBN 0-646-30938-2.
Business positions
Preceded by
Ingénieur en chef traction
of the
Chemins de Fer du Nord

Succeeded by