Rapid Progress on Busy Main Lines
WHILE it is generally agreed today that electrification is the best way of handling suburban railway traffic around large cities, the great progress which the electrification of main-
Some years ago Professor Reichel, the well-
The Italian Government in 1934 announced its intention of electrifying the lines from Rome to Pisa, along the coastal route, and from Rome to Florence. The Florence-
1,300 ROUTE MILES of line have so far been electrified by the German State Railways. Eighty-
At the time of writing the longest continuous electrically operated journey possible in Europe is over the 529 miles from Geneva to Salzburg via Zurich and Innsbruck by the Swiss Federal and Austrian Federal Railways. The distance is a little more than that from London to Aberdeen by the East Coast Route.
By 1937 it is hoped that electrical operation will be continuous from Paris for 512 miles to the Spanish frontier at Irun. The distance of 219 miles from St. Pierre-
Another important long-
It may be asked why 1934, a year of unstable political and trading conditions, was the time of such renewed activity in main-
In part, also, intensive railway electrification has been induced by the favourable effect of railway electrification work on unemployment. The German Government has estimated that eighty per cent of the cost of the conversion of the Munich-
A GENERAL VIEW of the power station at Spullersee, near Bludenz, showing the giant pipes carrying water down the mountain-
Railway electrification brings prosperity also to the electrical and allied industries. Industries directly affected are the iron and steel industries, the cement and concrete undertakings, as well as the paper and cotton mills feeding the cable manufacturing companies, and the china-
Although by 1940 the percentage of electrified route miles in Europe will be relatively small, it should be realized that the lines electrified are among the most densely loaded lines. The electrified railways linking Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and The Hague handle a very high percentage of the total traffic in Holland. In Austria the lines connecting Vienna with the frontiers are those which are electrically worked; while in Hungary the Budapest-
Only two of the four tracks between Brussels (Nord) and Antwerp (Central) have been electrified; these tracks have been reserved for fast non-
ONE OF THE WORLD’S FASTEST ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVES. This E04 class locomotive, hauling a train of seven corridor coaches, attained a speed of 94 miles an hour on its test run. The engine was built by the Allgemeine Elektrische Gesellschaft for the German State Railways. The Reichsbahn have over 930 electric locomotives in operation.
The motor coaches, of which there are two to each train working on the multiple-
The new service consists of sixty-
The importance of railway electrification in Sweden can be gauged by the fact -
The map indicates the extent of the Swedish State Railways schemes. An important factor behind electrification was the increase in the speed of travel to the Continent via Malmo. To the student of railway economics the Swedish State Railways scheme is of special interest. When the plans were laid in 1920 for the electrification of the first 310 miles, the price of
SWEDEN’S ELECTRIFIED LINES have proved of great value to the country. Eighty-
The map indicates the extent of the Swedish State Railways schemes. An important factor behind electrification was the increase in the speed of travel to the Continent via Malmo. To the student of railway economics the Swedish State Railways scheme is of special interest. When the plans were laid in 1920 for the electrification of the first 310 miles, the price of imported locomotive coal was over £6 per ton. This high cost of coal constituted the basic reason for electrification. The experts consulted by the Swedish Government agreed that the price of coal would probably fall to about £2 15s. per ton. In 1930 and 1931 the price fell to between 16s. and £1. Nevertheless, because of the success of the existing electrified section in attracting traffic and lowering operating costs, an extension of a further 560 route miles was put in hand in 1932. In general the railway electrification schemes have proved of the greatest possible value to Sweden in the stimulation of employment and the virtual avoidance of the effects of industrial depression on the railways.
The Ore Railway is run on a single-
After much discussion it was decided that one type of locomotive should be used for all purposes on the Swedish State Railways. This decision, of course, has helped to reduce operating costs. The locomotive has three driving axles, one guiding axle, and motors totalling 1,600 horsepower. In changing from express to freight traffic, a differential reduction gear is used between the driving motors and jack-
Apart from the line to Narvik from the Swedish frontier, the only important railway electrification scheme in Norway is that of the Oslo suburban railway system. But the State Railways have recently decided upon a number of short-
TO REDUCE OPERATING COSTS one type of electric locomotive is used throughout on the Swedish State Lines. The engine possesses three driving axles, one guiding axle, and motors totalling 1,600 horse-
In Denmark electrification has been confined to the Copenhagen suburban area. The first part of the electrification scheme was finished in 1934, and this has proved so successful that an extension is now nearly completed. A British firm has been responsible for all the control and traction equipment of the first scheme and is supplying control equipment for the extension, as well as the designs and specifications for the traction motors, which are being made in Denmark.
ON ELEVATED TRACK. An electric train entering Norrebro from Varlose in the direction of Helierup, on the Copenhagen suburban lines of the Danish State Railways.
Apart from a few small electrification schemes on privately owned railways, the German Reichsbahn (State Railways) electrification schemes fall into six as yet unconnected sections. The electrified mileage of these sections amounts to about 1,300 route miles, of which eighty-
The central German electrification scheme of the Reichsbahn is essentially an inter-
In the Silesian area very severe gradients are to be met with; on the Hirschberg-
The Baden electrified section is supplied by water-
The Reichsbahn had altogether about 937 electric locomotives at the end of 1934. The record speed reached at the end of that year was 94 mph with a train-
The two European countries with the largest amount of total railway track converted to electrical operation are Italy and Switzerland. In Switzerland all the main lines and the great majority of the branch lines are electrically worked. Over ninety per cent of the country’s traffic is now operated in this way. Long, continuous gradients of 1 in 37 to 1 in 40 are common on the main lines. The latest locomotives are capable of hauling 600-
After Italy and Switzerland, France contains the most important main-
THE ELECTRIFIED ROUTES OF FRANCE are shown on this map. A desire to reduce the importation of coal and to develop the water power resources has led to large electrification schemes since the war of 1914-
Early in the present century the water resources of the Pyrenees were developed for supplying the electrochemical industry, and the Midi Railway Company seized on the advantage of cheap power to begin its extensive schemes. The Pyrenees region gives an excellent example of the benefits which may be derived from the joint development of electrified industry, agriculture, and railway traction. To-
The electrification of the Paris-
It is perhaps surprising that the third and largest potential source of waterpower in France, the Alps, has not yet been greatly used for electric traction. The PLM Railway has hitherto electrified only certain heavily graded sections, though under the Marquet Plan, referred to below, a new scheme costing about twenty-
ON THE MIDI RAILWAY of France. This electrically-
The Marquet Plan, which came into force in 1934, marks the biggest step forward in the electrification programme yet taken. The largest item to be completed before 1934 relates to the Paris-
The latest electrified section of the Paris-
The locomotives is use are of the same type as those which have been at work on the Paris-
AN ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE on the Midi Railway of France. This locomotive is fitted with four 350 hp motors, which can be used as generators on down grades, to provide regenerative braking, by returning current to the supply line.
In Spain electrification has been mainly of a local character, although recently the Norte Railway has begun a scheme of main-
In Poland an important suburban scheme around Warsaw was begun in 1934, while the construction of a new railway running about a hundred miles south-
A 1,000 HORSE-
Since the war the rise of the electrical manufacturing industry in Great Britain has been remarkable, and no field of activity illustrates this achievement better than does railway electrification. In the British Dominions, of course, it was to be expected that British manufacturers would carry out the extensive schemes put into operation in South Africa, Australia, and India. In South America and Japan British workmanship has played a far larger part than that of any other country. In Europe, the home of some of Britain’s most important rivals in the electrical manufacturing field -
IN AUSTRIA. A powerful Austrian electric passenger locomotive which has a double-
The Hungarian electrification from Budapest to the Austrian frontier at Heygeshalom is designed on the Kando system, according to which three-
Because the electric locomotive or motor-
The fact that the electric locomotive draws its power from a central source is also responsible for the capacity of the electric locomotive to maintain speeds with heavy loads up steep gradients. It is this aspect of electric traction which has resulted in the conversion from steam to electricity on many of the European main lines. On the Swiss Federal Railway system, for instance, it was found in 1932 that the average haul of a steam train on certain sections of a line was limited to 132 tons, while, at faster running schedules, the average haul of an electric train was 310 tons.
On the Chambery-
The question of speed is coming more and more into prominence. It is claimed that over long journeys, with steep gradients and heavy trains, electric traction is unrivalled for high-
Swiss and German Feats
Recent tests with a streamlined electric motor-
In the interesting prophecy to which reference was made at the beginning of this chapter, Professor Reichel allows for average speeds of 100-
AN ELECTRIC MOTOR-