From the Amtrak Historical Society website: "Less well-known (then the X995) is X996, known at the time as the "French Fry". This locomotive's 1977 visit to the United States was more quickly forgotten. X996 started life as one of a series of six-axle, high-speed, high-horsepower locomotives built for the SNCF (the French national railways) beginning in 1969. By 1977 these 8000-horsepower locomotives had already built an established record with service up to 135 mph (220 km/h), most notably hauling the prestigious "Le Capitole" express from Paris to Toulouse. A total of seventy units were built for DC supply (the CC 6500 series), and four for dual AC/DC operation (the CC 21000 series). The pure-AC version was never built, but would have been numbered in the CC 14500 series. In mid-1976, SNCF lent unit CC 21003 back to its builder, Alsthom of Belfort, France, as the starting point for an American test locomotive. What happened next is detailed below. It is worth noting that after the Amtrak test campaign, X996 was returned to France and rebuilt to its original specification. A few years ago the AC capability was removed and it joined the CC 6500 series, and still operates to this day." An original Kodachrome slide from my collection; the photographer was not specified.