THE FIRST ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE ON THE SEEBACH-
at the rear recalls familiar steam locomotive practice.
WHILE electric locomotive design has seemingly settled into well-
This sustained stimulation of investigation and research has attained its highest level in Switzerland. The locomotives have not been carried to the limits of weight, dimensions and power recorded in the United States of America, but in many respects are more interesting, inasmuch as they represent more determined effort to solve the many peculiar and abstruse technical problems incidental to this form of traction. Hence the diversity of types.
One of the first Swiss trunk railways to be converted to electricity was that from Seebach to Wettingen. This was carried out in 1904, when electric traction, so far as railways are concerned, was in its infancy. Consequently the line was more or less an experiment. The pioneer electric built by the Swiss manufacturers, Ateliers de Construction Oerlikon, with two groups of two coupled axles, was of the B-
This was followed by an Oerlikon locomotive, which in body conforms to general electrical practice, with foot-
When the charter was granted for the driving of the Lotschberg Railway, with its tunnel through the Bernese Alps, thus continuing the Simplon Railway from Brigue, it was stipulated that it should be electrically operated. The road, as may be expected from traversing mountainous country, is arduous. At Brigue the rails are 2,234.5 feet above sea-
PRESENT TYPE OF ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE IN SERVICE UPON THE SEEBACH-
In 1910 two experimental locomotives were acquired, the one from a German firm and the other from the Ateliers de Construction Oerlikon. Both developed 2,000 horse-
As the result of the experience gained with this locomotive, the Swiss Federal Railways ordered thirteen electrics, each developing 2,500 horse-
The drive from the two 1,250-
Towards the end of the 1880s private enterprise embarked upon the weaving of a network of secondary railways through the mountainous Engadine country. This system, known as the Rhaetian Railways, in point of engineering achievement is one of the most remarkable in Switzerland, for the country threaded is of a rugged character. Nevertheless, through touching many of the important centres away from the main lines, and thus serving as an interconnecting link, these roads, aggregating more than 150 miles, have become of primary importance, handling an enormous volume of traffic, both through and local.
MIXED TRAFFIC ON THE ELECTRIFIED SECTION OF THE RHAETIAN RAILWAYS. The Oelikeon electric locomotives (1-
In 1913 it was decided to convert this network from steam to electricity. The first section to be taken in hand was that between Schuls, Bevers, Davos and Pontresina, a distance of about 30 miles, but electrification is to be continued, stage by stage, until the complete system has been released from its servitude to steam. The sectional character of this gridiron facilitates such a change-
For the operation of the first division several designs of electric locomotives have been acquired. One of the 1-
The Oerlikon electrics have an overall length of 35 feet 4 inches. The driving wheels are 42 inches and the carrying wheels 27.9 inches in diameter respectively. The total weight of the locomotive is 110,969.6 lb.; of this 88,818.4 lb. are available for adhesion. The weight imposed upon each of the driving axles is 22,204.6 lb., with 11,075.6 lb. upon each guiding truck axle; the axle-
AN OERLIKON ELECTRIC “DECAPOD” (1-
The seven 300-
The conversion of the great trunk road of Switzerland, the St. Gothard Railway, from steam to electricity has provided the domestic manufacturers with every scope for the manifestation of their ingenuity to meet official requirements, both for passenger and freight traffic, and for this two different types of locomotives are required; haulage effort rather than speed is demanded for the latter service. The Oerlikon locomotives may be said to represent a Swiss endeavour to emulate American practice in point of dimensions. They have twelve driving wheels divided into two groups, with a guiding truck at each end, giving the Continental classification 1-
Electric Development in Italy
In Italy the electrification of the main line railways is proceeding apace, and for the same economic reason as that guiding the movement in Switzerland — emancipation from imported coal. Among the many and varied locomotives which have been delivered to the state is an Oerlikon 2-
The locomotive has four defined speeds — 23.43, 31.25, 46.8 and 62.5 miles an hour respectively; at these 1,250, 1,870, 2,640 and 2,220 horse-
Upon delivery the Italian State Railway subjected the locomotive to a series of interesting tests upon the electrified sections of the national system — Genoa-
Another series of trials to the same end were made on the Lecco-
Three interesting trials were carried out with abnormal train weights and lengths under conditions of double locomotive operation. The one locomotive was coupled to the head of the train, while the second electric was placed at the rear for pusher service. The purpose was to attain speeds of 31.25, 47.8 and 62.5 miles an hour respectively, with the loads hauled, and over grades ranging from 1 in 83 to 1 in 143. In the first trial, when the speed of 31.25 miles an hour was recorded on the grade of 1 in 83, the train load, exclusive of the engine, was 690 tons distributed over 70 axles. In the second instance the speed of 31.25 miles an hour was reached on the same grade with an attached load of 668 tons borne on 90 axles. In the third run, when the maximum speed of 62½ miles an hour was attained, the train load was reduced to 367 tons on 50 axles, and the incline to 1 in 143.
So far as Great Britain is concerned, the electric locomotive has not undergone any decided development for working the trunk roads. Several factors have contributed to this seeming lack of enterprise, notably doubt as to whether any financial advantage would accrue from such a conversion under the peculiar domestic conditions-
Moreover, the development has not yet emerged from the experimental epoch, as it is evidenced by consideration of American and European practice, the former striving to uphold the principle of mounting the motors on the axles for either direct drive or through reduction gearing, while the latter prefers the side-
of transmission. There has also been considerable conflict of opinion in regard to current supply, which is probably a more contentious problem than any other. The British railways did not desire to witness another “Battle of the Gauges” in regard to this factor, but the air has been cleared by the Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Transport definitely recommending the adoption of direct current at 1,500 volts as the standard for the country.
The new movement was initiated in Britain by the North Eastern division of the London and North Eastern Railway with electrics built at the Darlington locomotive shops for the haulage of mineral traffic over the electrified Shildon-
To determine the comparative operating results of steam and electricity some interesting trials were carried out on the Shildon-
The latest development of the London and North Eastern Railway in the electric traction field is a high speed passenger locomotive of the 4-
LONDON AND NORTH EASTERN LATEST TYPE OF ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE (4-