An Invention of the Simple Geared Drive with bevel Wheel and Pinion, Which Anticipated the Live-
A PIONEER HEISLER GEARED LOCOMOTIVE
This type was specially evolved to meet the peculiar requirements of the lumber industry. A wooden cab was fitted, but, proving unsatisfactory, later locomotives were provided with an all-
INDUSTRY has led the steam locomotive into many strange places, as the observant traveller, in the course of his world-
Experience has proved the railway to stand unrivalled for lumber haul, but the law of economics insists upon a railway differing -
In logging hauling power is of more significance than speed, but the nature of the track is adverse to the effective employ-
American designers turned to the work of the British pioneers and their geared locomotives, and drew freely upon their conceptions to meet the domestic situation, afterwards adapting the details to local conditions. Varying success was recorded, but, for the most part, one and all designs found the sharp curves fatal to triumph. One American inventor sought to apply the differential gear, common to the motor-
MOVING LUMBER OVER A SWITCHBACK WITH A GRADE OF 1 IN 10
The high tractive effort of the Heisler Geared Locomotive, due to the fact that all wheels are drivers, ensures haulage of heavy loads over the steepest banks.
Notwithstanding the inherent difficulties of the problem, the lumbering trade became more and more insistent for a locomotive adapted to its peculiar needs. The various locomotive manufacturing enterprises were incessantly importuned to come to the assistance of the sorely affected industry. Among the firms approached in this manner was the Brooks Locomotive Works, of Dunkirk, in the State of New York. They were asked for a locomotive adapted to rough mountain tramway service, capable of operating, safely and effectively, upon grades of i in 10 and curves of 95 feet radius.
Inception of the Heisler Design
One of these inquiries happened to be misdirected. Instead of being sent to the Brooks Locomotive Works it was addressed to the Dunkirk Engineering Company, owned by Mr. Edward Nichols, the President of the Brooks Locomotive Works. Confusion of the two firms was probably responsible for the mistake upon the part of the inquirer, a Mr. Addington, of Little Washington, North Carolina. What he wanted was a small locomotive, weighing about 10 tons, for service in a lumber camp among the mountains in the northern corner of his home state. He intimated his readiness to place an order with the Dunkirk Engineering Company immediately, if it would positively undertake to deliver such an engine in 60 days.
The company in question, while specializing in the manufacture of hydraulic, handling, and other special machinery entering into the manufacture of locomotives, did not engage in the production of the latter, but the inquiry happened to be passed on to the mechanical superintendent. He was a young man, Mr. Charles L. Heisler, who had recently completed his engineering training at Cornell University, where he had won distinction by his original investigation, and who had made a special study of the locomotive.
As the engine desired was so small Mr. Heisler was sorely tempted to recommend the acceptance of the order. Confident of being able to satisfy the specifications required, he saw the opportunity to present something entirely new in locomotive design. He was fully cognizant of what the British pioneers and his contemporaries in the United States had achieved in this field, and realized the circumstance that a geared locomotive, conceived along certain lines, would meet the rigorous conditions. His conception aimed at a more effective and simpler form of construction through reduction of the number of gears generally embraced in this form of unit, with incorporation of some of the proved features of the side-
A certain amount of pioneering was inevitable, and, upon reflection, he was compelled to acknowledge that the suggested time limit of 60 days did not offer sufficient opportunity for invention and development. With great reluctance he had to point this fact out to his chief, who concurred in the lack of opportunity to conduct original investigation and research. Accordingly, it was decided to acquaint the anxious customer that, in the circumstances, there was no possible chance of the company being able to meet his request.
First Heisler Geared Locomotive
Happily the general manager learned that no other manufacturer was in the position to compete with the offer of a locomotive designed for the duty, and so he wrote to Mr. Addington requesting an extension of 30 days for delivery, to enable them to get out a new and special design To this the client agreed. Thereupon Mr. Heisler concentrated the whole of his time upon the new idea; he devoted from twelve to fifteen hours a day upon the study and evolution of new arrange-
This type of frame is favoured for eight-
The conception was something entirely new in locomotive design, and, because of its novelty, advantage was taken of the law protecting originality. An interesting feature of this patent specification is that the drawings illustrating the principle had to
be copied from those which served for the first locomotive, built to the order of Mr. Addington. In this instance, therefore, the patent illustrations happen to be a faithful record of the first Heisler geared locomotive, as it is generically called -
The first Heisler geared locomotive proved eminently satisfactory to its owner, and soon attracted the attention of the lumbering industry in general. It presented exactly the type of locomotive for which such diligent search and inquiry were being made. The future of the new idea appeared to be assured when, unfortunately, Mr. Edward Nicholls, who had assisted his mechanical superintendent, and who held certain interests in the invention, died. Such misfortune could not have happened at a more unhappy moment; development of the idea perforcedly had to be suspended, but the outlook cleared when the heirs of the late president graciously handed over all their interests in the patent to the inventor.
Unfettered possession gave Mr. Heisler absolute freedom to make any further arrangements he concluded advisable to continue the manufacture of his engine, and, about the end of 1893, he was approached by Mr. George Burnham, senior, at that time president of the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, whose interest in the invention had been aroused. Burnham handed the invention to the technicians of the extensive organization which he controlled for investigation, and to him they carefully explained all its details and recommendatory features. Burnham was so impressed as to intimate to Heisler his intention to manufacture the locomotive, at least for the time being, in the independent shops which he owned privately in Erie. Thus the manufacture of the Heisler geared locomotive entered upon the second epoch in its history.
Orders continued to pour in from the lumbering industry and from other trades in which broadly similar railway conditions obtain. The invention was thus steadily and surely gaining ground when there came another set-
The investigations conducted by Mr. Curtze vindicating the assertions of Mr. Swabb, the first-
During this third and enduring period of the locomotive’s history many improvements were made to enhance its serviceability and efficiency; one of the most important of these was the embodiment of Mr. Swabb’s idea for giving extreme flexibility to the truck-
PLAN VIEW OF THE DIAMOND MAIN FRAME OF LOCOMOTIVE
Shows method of mounting the engine and transmission. The design permits the removal of the boiler and fire-
The Heisler geared locomotive possesses nothing in common with others of this class. So far as the general lines are concerned, the only familiar features are the boiler and fire-
The opposing cylinders, inclined at an angle of 90 degrees to one another, are bolted to the main frame and connected to a single throw crank-
The outstanding feature of the locomotive is the gear transmission. The main frame is supported at the ends by swivelling or four-
SIDE VIEW OF DIAMOND FRAME OF LOCOMOTIVE
Showing one cylinder of engine, and transmission to each truck with universal couplings, thus giving flexibility for the rounding of sharp curves and safe riding over a badly laid track.
The Driving Principle
The fundamental driving principle is precisely that now universally adopted in motor-
The drive from the engine to the two-
The longitudinally central disposition of the driving shaft not only gives the most effective steady drive, but brings complete protection against snow, grit, sand, and other material thrown up from the roadbed. The trucks of the eight-
THE NOVEL ENGINE OF THE HEISLER GEARED LOCOMOTIVE
The “V” arrangement of the cylinders permits the ready withdrawal and replacement of the unit without disturbing any other part of the locomotive. It is bolted to the main frame, free of the boiler barrel, with universal couplings between engine and propeller shafts.
The outer axle of each truck being the driver, side-
There are two large sand-
An Ingenious Braking System
The braking system is also ingenious, of simple design, and positive as well as highly effective in action. The braking pressure is varied by the driver through the medium of a three-
When, however, the driver moves the lever to the third notch, steam is admitted into both cylinders, and the full braking pressure is instantly applied, as, for instance, in an emergency. By returning the lever to the neutral position the brakes are instantly released by steam. Owing to the character of the brake-
On the first locomotive of this design wood was employed for the construction off the cab, but it was found to be far from satisfactory. The uneven track, rough travelling and hard use, extreme changes in temperature, and, at times, exposure to the heat from forest fires, played havoc with the wood framing. Accordingly, a heavy and substantial steel cab is now used with floor and ceiling finished in wood.
Wood, coal or oil can be used as fuel with equal facility; the first-
The Heisler locomotive is built in ten standard classes according to size, weight and tractive effort. The first eight classes are of the eight-
NOVEL GEAR DRIVE OF THE HEISLER TRUCK
One axle carries a heavy bevel wheel with which meshes the pinion mounted on the propeller shaft, the drive being transmitted from this to the fellow axle of the truck through side wheel-
Throughout the timber territories of the world the Heisler geared locomotive may be seen performing duty of the most arduous character with complete success; many of these units are veterans of 25 years’ continuous operation. It has invaded the rich lumbering districts of New Zealand; in British Honduras, among the lagoons of Louisiana, the low-
THE LARGEST AND MOST POWERFUL HEISLER GEARED LOCOMOTIVE
These are mountain railways in the fullest sense of the word. They wind and twist among the crags and shoulders in curves which appear to be hopelessly impracticable to the steam locomotive, while the banks are so steep as to seem impossible of adhesive working. The crossing of the yawning gulches from one hump to the other has involved the erection of lofty trestles of the familiar wooden type -
In another instance the locomotive is confronted with a steady upward toil for 5 miles with the maximum rise of 1 in 12½, but upon this the locomotive handles ten standard railway logging trucks per trip. Possibly, however, the most amazing expression of such hauling achievement is to be found among the mountains enveloping Vancouver. This particular Canadian road has grades ranging from 1 in 10 to 1 in 6 -
It has been pointed out how Heisler, by his conception of the simple gear drive with bevel wheel and pinion, anticipated the live-
[From Railways of the World by Frederick A. Talbot, published 1923]