Outstanding Developments in Railway Transport
A NEW STREAMLINED STEAM LOCOMOTIVE built for the German lines and designed for speeds of 105 to 110 mph. The locomotive is of the 4-
IN the chapter “Germany and Holland”, which begins on page 579, reference was made to the remarkable experiments and achievements in advanced railway working which have taken place in Germany. Many of these deserve special attention. To-
Germany was the earliest country to make a practical application of electric traction to railway working. As long ago as 1838, an inventor named Robert Davidson built a simple electric battery locomotive which succeeded in propelling itself at a low speed along one of the early Scottish railways; but it was not until 1879 that the world saw its first electric train, taking current from a conductor rail in the recognized manner of to-
During the early eighteen-
By 1903 the modifications had been carried out, and two new experimental cars appeared. Each car ran on two six-
These heavy cars, travelling at high speeds, and without streamlining, against the enormous resistance of the atmosphere, whirled up the ballast to such an extent that the sound of its impact against the undersides of the floors was similar to a continuous hum. In the rear, the displaced soil and loose stones followed the cars like miniature tornadoes. The running of the cars themselves, however, was surprisingly smooth.
More than thirty years have passed, but Germany has not lost her love of high-
THE FINAL LINK with the peak of Germany’s highest mountain is the aerial cableway that takes the traveller on the Bavarian Zugspitze Railway up 9,725 ft. The building at the bottom of the photograph is the Schneefernerhaus Station, which is reached from below by an electric rack-
The electric cars just described belong to the experimental and not to the practical side of German railway working. The practical side now requires attention. A start may be made with the “Flying Hamburger”, more fully described in the chapter beginning on page 173. This was the first high-
This pioneer “lightning-
The two car bodies between them provide seating accommodation for 102 persons. In one there is a luggage locker, and in the other a refreshment counter. The interior fittings arc plain but beautifully finished, and the velvet covered upholstery is designed to eliminate all corners and crevices where dust and dirt might lurk. There is one large window to each division on either side of the coach. The exterior of the car, resembling the coaches of the “Rheingold Express”, is painted in purple and cream, with gold lines; the roof has the colour of aluminium. Swiftly and quietly, day after day, the “Flying Hamburger” maintains the “extra fast” service between Germany's capital and her greatest port, without dust or cinders, and with barely any smoke save a faint blue blur from her fore and aft exhaust pipes.
The success of the “Flying Hamburger” has prompted the motive-
The car in question belongs not to the German State Railway, which owns the others, but to the Lübeck-
One of the coaches contains the steam engine and motor bogie, built by the German firm of Henschel and Son, which has been producing locomotives ever since it built the old “Drache” (in English “Dragon”) locomotive in 1848. By means of remote control between the engine compartment and the other end of the unit, it can be driven from cither end with perfect ease.
The train, which accommodates 130 passengers, provides a service between Hamburg and Lübeck; this is faster than any provided by the ordinary trains of the Lübeck-
The German State Railway operates another type of rail-
Trains of this kind now work much of the German local goods and parcels traffic. Within two years of their experimental introduction they were accounting for nine per cent of the local goods traffic of the country. A “Leig” train is far cheaper to run than a goods train drawn by an old-
THE “ZEPPELIN ON WHEELS”. This rail-
The German railways were among the earliest to introduce radio telephony on trains. This was done on the Berlin-
Wireless control has been introduced in marshalling yards at Erfurt, Saalfeld, Halle (Saale), and Hamm on the Lorenz system, which uses the Morse code. At Pankow and Hochfeld (South), the “Telefunken” system of complete wireless telephony with loudspeakers on the locomotives is used.
Another matter which has received most careful attention on the German railways is the provision of special accomm-
THE “RHEINGOLD EXPRESS”, one of Germany’s most famous trains. It is composed of “Mitropa” cars painted violet and cream. The two portions of the train leave the Hook of Holland and Amsterdam and join at Utrecht. It proceeds to Emmerich, whence it runs through Cologne, Mayence, Mannheim, Carlsruhe, Baden-
Although we opened this chapter with some notes on the early history of electric traction in Germany, we have yet to consider the enormous strides which main-
The great main line across Bavaria. which begins in Württemberg, at Stuttgart, and ends at Salzburg, in Austria, is worked by electricity over the whole of its 244 miles. The northern line, which carries the Berlin expresses, is electrically worked from Munich to Regensburg, on the Danube, a distance of roughly eighty-
The republic of Austria uses the same system of electric working as Bavaria and the main lines in other parts of Germany, namely, the single-
The “Karwendel Express”, running between Munich and Innsbruck and made up of Pullman type coaches, takes the Mitten-
A single electric line runs out from Munich to Herrsching, on the beautiful Ammer Lake. This is rather in the nature of an outer suburban line, though at the week-
THE TERMINUS IN THE TUNNEL. The German Zugspitze Railway in Bavaria is divided into three sections, a stretch of simple adhesion working, a rack system, and an aerial cableway. The photograph shows Schneefernerhaus Station, the terminus of the rack line inside the mountain, where passengers change for the aerial railway.
On short electrified lines such as this, motor coaches and trailers are used, these being attractively painted crimson below the windows, with cream coloured upper panels. On the longer distances, however, heavy electric locomotives of various kinds are in use. For the oldest line, that to Berchtesgaden, double-
More recently, however, coupling-
FOR SHUNTING PURPOSES. A new type of locomotive has been evolved on the German State lines. This is a light Diesel-
The Walchensee hydro-
By way of comparison with these hydro-
Until comparatively recently the most modern mountain rack railway in the Bavarian Alps was that which ascends the Wendelstein, near the Austrian frontier at Kufstein, but this has been surpassed, since 1928, by the Zugspitze Railway, which ascends to the 9,725 ft summit of Germany’s highest mountain.
On this line the Riggenbach type of rack is used, with electric traction, and the little blue and white train, with its connexions, brings the peak within four hours’ journey of Munich. Sky-
SCIENCE AND THE RAILWAYS. On the German State Railways, locomotive testing coaches are used to make precise records of the consumption, the speeds, and the general performance of an engine. Complicated apparatus facilitates the reading of figures obtained automatically while the engine and the laboratory on wheels are running.
The last section of the line, ascending roughly a thousand feet, is accomplished by means of an aerial railway, with the car hanging from wire ropes. The view from the summit is one of the most superb in Europe. Another aerial railway swings down the southern side of the mountain into Austria. This dates from 1926-
After all these details relating to electrical enterprise in Germany, it might be thought that some other methods of traction have remained undeveloped. This is anything but true.
Recently the firms of Henschel and Borsig have been making careful experiments in the construction of high speed steam locomotives, with streamlined exteriors. When the doors giving access to the working parts are closed, the locomotive has a perfectly smooth exterior, resembling that of the Diesel-
[From part 25 published 19 July 1935]