Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Henschel V-8 steam locomotive--doomed

This is a fascinating piece of railroad steam engine history and loaded with tons of physics. Why did the Henschel V-8 steam locomotive disappear? It looks like a good idea. Researching the material leads me to believe it was specifically designed for setting speed records, but the ultimate death blow was the advent of cheaper, more efficient train engines--the diesels. Can you imagine the maintenance on one of these?

The V19.1001 was a V8 locomotive, having four V2 engines, one for each driving axle. The wheel arrangement was 2-8-2 and in October 1944 the V19.1001 was seriously damaged during an air raid on Hamburg. It was moved to RAW Braunschweig and stayed there until the end of the war. In August 1945 the locomotive was brought back to Henschel, repaired, and after one test run between Kassel and Wabern, was shipped to the USA in October 1945. It was sent to Fort Monroe in Virginia for testing and inspection and in 1950 was moved to Fort Eustis to be scrapped in 1952.

How Steam Locomotives Really Work


P. W. B. Semmens and A. J. Goldfinch

ISBN: 0198607822

Perfecting the American Steam Locomotive


J. Lamb

ISBN : 0253342198


Timothy said...

fascinating piece of history....altho other than cargo i see little use for high speed rail....well at least for sometime

modernsteam said...

Re: "I see little use for high speed rail....well at least for sometime",

I disagree. Despite their advances through the years, airplanes drink too much petro-fuel per passenger carried, and private automobiles, when all costs are factored in, cost the user/owner too much to run. Other than human-powered vehicles, particularly bicycles, fast passenger rail is now viable, especially using hydro or 4th-generation thorium-based nuclear electricity, pending the implementation of something like Focus Fusion.