SBB Ae 6/6
|SBB Ae 6/6
Ae 610 401-Ae 610 520
|Manufacturer:||SLM Winterthur, BBC Baden, MFO Zurich|
|Year of construction (s):||1952, 1955-1966|
|Axis formula :||Co'Co '|
|Length over buffers:||18,400 mm|
|Service mass:||120 t|
|Top speed:||125 km / h|
|Continuous output :||4300 kW (5830 hp )|
|Starting tractive effort:||392 kN|
|Driving wheel diameter:||1,260 mm|
|Power system :||15 kV 16.7 Hz|
|Type of speed switch:||N28i from BBC with flat track selector, transition resistor and 3 load switches|
The Ae 6/6 , according to the new designation scheme Ae 610 , is a series of 120 universal locomotives of the Swiss Federal Railways . They are assigned to the Gotthard locomotives due to their previous area of use .
The first 25 locomotives are often referred to as canton locomotives because they bore the coats of arms of the then 25 Swiss cantons . There are chrome decorative lines on the locomotive bodies and a little nose on the front . This decoration, accompanied by the coat of arms on the side walls, was very well received and made these powerful machines famous throughout Europe. The other 95 locomotives in the series did not have chrome decoration, but the coats of arms of the canton's capitals and important cities and towns.
Where the coats of arms were, the vehicle number (11401, 11402) was attached to the prototype locomotives. The locomotive christenings were held as festive occasions. The machines were originally painted pine green. Today about half of all locomotives are painted red. This repainting began - and not only for the Ae 6/6 - in the late 1980s.
In the post-war period, the Swiss Federal Railways had to cope with an increasing volume of traffic and therefore felt compelled to procure a new six-axle bogie locomotive , primarily for the Gotthard Railway . Until then, traffic was handled by the SBB Ae 4/6 , the SBB Ae 4/7 and the Ce 6/8 crocodile locomotive . From today's perspective, they were only approved for very modest trailer loads. As a result, prestressing services were necessary on the Gotthard, which were time-consuming, impractical and uneconomical.
The consortium consisting of SLM and BBC , which was later joined by Maschinenfabrik Oerlikon , was awarded the contract to build two prototypes in 1949. The two prototypes were preceded by the delivery of the CC 6051 (later CC 20001) to the SNCF for the Savoyard network, which was electrified with 20,000 V (later 25,000 V) and 50 Hz. The machine with the two three-axle bogies served as a model for the mechanical part of the Ae 6/6 and was delivered in 1950.
The technical development of the Ae 6/6 proved to be a difficult task, so that the 11401 locomotive was only able to leave the BBC factory building in Münchenstein on September 4, 1952 in a roadworthy condition. She was sent on a test drive to Zurich, where she was weighed. It turned out that it weighed 124 t instead of the intended 120 t. It returned to Münchenstein and was initially technically developed. The Ae 6/6 11402 followed on January 31, 1953.
Requirements for the Ae 6/6
- Six-axle bogie locomotive that can be used in front of express and freight trains ,
- Hourly output at 6 × 1000 hp at 74 km / h; Continuous power at 6 × 900 PS at 78.5 km / h,
- Total weight of maximum 120 t, tolerance of ± 2%,
- Transport of 600 t heavy trains at 75 km / h on the steep ramps of the Gotthard Railway ,
- Transport of 750 t on mountain routes with a gradient of up to 21 ‰ and 1450 t at 10 ‰,
- Can be used as a leader and intermediate locomotive at speeds between 35 and 75 km / h; must be able to start up the slope repeatedly with the transport of these loads,
- Pulling force of 8 t at 125 km / h and a contact wire voltage of 15 kV,
- electric recuperation brake, which can permanently brake the dead weight of the locomotive and a trailer load of 300 t on a gradient of up to 20 ‰; Increase in braking force by 20% within 5 minutes,
- Usability of the electric brake even at top speed,
- Increase in output by 10% over the hourly output within 15 minutes.
Use of the prototypes
Various test and extra drives followed after delivery. The machines met the requirements according to the specification. Technical problems made themselves felt in regular service. The weak electric brake was repeatedly criticized. As required in the specification, this was designed “only” for braking the dead weight and a maximum load of 300 t on a gradient of up to 20 ‰. The electric brake was further developed for series production.
The two prototypes initially provided regular services in a two-day program on the Gotthard Railway between Lucerne and Chiasso . They were stationed in the Erstfeld depot . Individual traction motors were repeatedly defective. Since no replacement engines had been procured, the affected locomotives were temporarily given ballast so that the service weight was still correct. However, they had to be withdrawn from the Gotthard and were used in other regular services instead of Ae 3/6-I and Ae-4/7 locomotives. They were withdrawn from the Gotthard earlier than the Ae-6/6 series locomotives, namely in the late 1960s, when the SBB Re 4/4 III stationed in Erstfeld were already in service. They were therefore often found in front of regional trains that were otherwise hauled by Ae 3/6 I or Ae 4/7. In the seventies they were technically further developed, but never maintained the quality of the series locomotives. In the summer of 1980 they were transferred from the Erstfeld depot to Zurich . The depot inspection there intended in January 1997 to use the two prototypes for depot maneuvers and as a compressed air dispenser in the Rorschach depot and thus to withdraw them from the market. Due to their special design, which only distinguishes them internally from the series locomotives, they were much more maintenance-intensive and to some extent an obstacle in operation. As a result of the lack of locomotives, however, they returned to regular service within a short time and due to the allocation of all Ae-6/6 locomotives to SBB Cargo , the depot allocation was no longer applicable.
These prototypes had bogies with rigid axles, which led to heavy rail and wheel flange wear when cornering . Despite initial technical deficiencies, SBB was convinced that they were on the right track with the development of the Ae 6/6. After installing laterally elastically mounted wheel sets and reducing the size of the flange of the middle bogie wheels, series production could begin in 1954, followed by the first deliveries in 1955.
The SNCB planned in the late 1960s the construction of a 200 km / h six-axle locomotive, which should be equipped with bogies according to plans by SLM. In this context, the Ae 6/6 11414 was equipped with modified bogies. The double leaf springs of the cradle were replaced by Flexicoil coil springs and a deep drawbar linkage was installed. The ratio has also been changed to 1: 1.6. The locomotive was transported to Forchheim , Germany on June 11, 1969, together with a measuring car . From June 16 to June 24, 1969, speed tests were carried out on the route to Bamberg . On the five trips, speeds of over 200 km / h were reached.
The successful attempts led to license agreements with the Belgian company Ateliers Métallurgiques de Nivelles in Nivelles , which used bogies according to the plans of SLM for the Belgian locomotives of the series 20 and other series.
Operational use until the 1960s
At the best of times, in the 1950s and 1960s , the Ae 6/6 were the Gotthard locomotive par excellence in both passenger and freight transport. They were also in action on the Simplon . They were used there in rotation so that the revision by the main Bellinzona workshop was ensured. In the late 1960s, the two prototypes were withdrawn from the Gotthard; many series locomotives followed later. They were moved to the plains because newer, more powerful locomotives were used on the Gotthard. Since the 1990s, the Ae 6/6 have been used almost exclusively in freight traffic, as they are too slow for passenger trains today.
The special trips on the occasion of the locomotive baptisms are also part of the operational use of the Ae 6/6. A custom from England was adopted by decorating the locomotives with canton and municipality coats of arms. These were festive occasions and each canton received "its" own Ae 6/6. Vehicles 11426 to 11520 received municipal coats of arms from canton's capitals and from important traffic centers.
Operational use until the 1990s
In the 1970s, the prototypes 11401 and 11402 were technically further developed. In 1978 they were adapted mainly to the 11414 locomotive, but never maintained the quality of the series locomotives. In 1971 the Ae 6/6 were relieved somewhat by the new SBB Re 4/4 III on the Gotthard route. However, they got real competition from 1975 onwards from the SBB Re 6/6 , which was intended to be their successor and has almost twice the performance.
The former star of the Gotthard was thus pushed into lower-level services and since then has mostly been used in the Central Plateau and the Jura, and since the mid-1990s almost exclusively in freight transport. This is because it is too slow for fast travel with the maximum speed reduced from 125 km / h to 120 km / h.
In 1997, the Zurich depot inspection wanted to take the two prototypes out of circulation and use them as a compressed air dispenser and for depot maneuvers in the Rorschach depot . As a result of the lack of locomotives, however, they returned to regular service.
The series locomotives 11403–11520 were created according to the so-called modular system. Although some of them were involved in serious accidents, they could be repaired within a short time. Since the prototype locomotives 11401 and 11402 are designed differently in various ways, they could only benefit little from this modular system.
On the night of July 29th to 30th, 1988 Ae 6/6 11413, which was pulling freight train 53048, collided with a construction machine in Effingen . It then had to undergo a major overhaul and was back in operation on February 28, 1989.
On April 12, 1989, there was a flank journey in Winterthur between SBB Ae 6/6 11401 and SBB Re 4/4 II 11287. Since there was a sufficient stock of spare parts for the series locomotives, they could be repaired within a short time after accidents . Since this time it was a prototype locomotive, the reconditioning turned out to be much more complicated. The locomotive department of the main workshop in Bellinzona agreed to the demolition of the locomotive. However, railway enthusiasts fought to receive this very first Ae 6/6 locomotive, so it still received a major overhaul, an R3. It was the most complex and expensive revision of all time. In 1991 the Ae 6/6 "Ticino" was released back into regular service.
Cantonal locomotive Jura
After the founding of the canton of Jura in 1979, this canton was to get its own "canton locomotive". But since the last Ae 6/6 had already been delivered in 1966, the 11483 Porrentruy city locomotive was promoted to the Jura canton locomotive . It received the Jura canton's coat of arms, but not the chrome decorative lines and the "mustache". The coat of arms Porrentruy inherited the SBB Re 4/4 II 11239 .
In 1999, due to the restructuring at SBB, all 120 locomotives were divided into the Freight Transport Division ( SBB Cargo ). The Ae 6/6 was still a very reliable locomotive in freight transport. Since the Ae 6/6 contain bogies with three axles each, they have the stigma of “rail killing”. The resentment was particularly loud due to freight journeys on the Porrentruy - Bonfol line belonging to the Chemins de fer du Jura (CJ) .
The lack of multiple controls is often mentioned as the greatest disadvantage of the Ae 6/6 . Previous plans for a conversion were discarded and, due to the uncertain remaining service life, they were not pursued any further. Equipping the newer locomotives with driver's cab signaling (FSS) was considered.
The still operational series locomotives were last seen in front of local freight trains and were mostly parked in the large marshalling yards during the day. After coats of arms were repeatedly dismantled and stolen by strangers, SBB Cargo ordered the dismantling of all coats of arms in March 2005. It is likely that the coats of arms will no longer be installed, but will be handed over to SBB Historic together. In March 2007, SBB Cargo announced that a large number of Ae 6/6 vehicles would be repainted in the so-called “cargo look” and should remain in operation at least until the Gotthard base tunnel was commissioned. The first locomotive to be repainted is - apart from the Ae 610 492 monument locomotive - the Ae 610 486 "Burgdorf".
On July 5, 2012, SBB Cargo published the new fleet concept, which provided for the retirement of around 40 Ae 6/6s still in operation by the end of 2013. Your remaining services should be taken over by Re 620 and Re 420. In December 2013, SBB Cargo put the last Ae 610 out of service. The locomotives that were not handed over to SBB Historic were scrapped.
Theft of coats of arms
Unknown people, who are likely to be trophy hunters, gained access to the marshalling yards and dismantled coats of arms and Swiss crosses at night in 2006 . In order to prevent further theft, the SBB ordered that the coats of arms of all Ae-6/6 locomotives be removed and archived. The locomotives in the new SBB Cargo design were given new coats of arms on the driver's cab on the left.
Accident in Kaiseraugst
Stir the Ae 6/6 11437 aroused "Basel", as Lokzug on 1 May 2006 at the station Kaiseraugst one to stop ran over standing dwarf signal on a siding and a protective soft derailed. The locomotive ended up sloping in the gravel bed next to the main line.
Usually, such accident vehicles that have already been written off for accounting purposes are no longer repaired. The vehicles from SBB Cargo are transferred to the Bellinzona industrial plant responsible for this and cannibalized as spare parts donors. This locomotive did not suffer any major damage, so the Ae 6/6 11437 «Stadt Basel» was able to be put back into operation after being refurbished in Bellinzona.
The whereabouts of discarded locomotives
In 2002 the first locomotive of this series, the 11410 “Basel-Stadt”, was scrapped and broken off due to an accident. This happened after the side wall had been torn open on a flank drive in Dietikon. Since then, several machines, including the prototypes 11402 «Uri» and 11401 «Ticino», have been scrapped.
In 2002, shortly after her 50th birthday, the 11401 “Ticino” was a guest at the open house at the Muttenz marshalling yard. After a cable fire, it was scrapped on September 11, 2003. After that she stood for months on a catenary-free siding at the locomotive cemetery in Biasca - initially with a few other Ae 6/6, which were shortly afterwards broken off unnoticed by the public. The same fate befell 11433, which was parked in Bellinzona . 11412, which was handed over to the scrap dealer in December 2006, was also parked in Biasca.
The fate of discarded Ae-6/6 locomotives regularly causes a stir among railway enthusiasts.
Prototype locomotive 11401
Most recently, only the 11401 “Ticino” was parked in Biasca and secured with cycling shoes . It has been owned by SBB Historic since June 12, 2006 , which it has been renting long-term to the Club del San Gottardo since December 2006 . Railway enthusiasts asserted that the Swiss cross and the cantonal coat of arms were no longer present on this and other Ae 6/6 locomotives. According to the information provided by SBB , the dismantled parts will be handed over to the buyer together with the vehicle. In July 2007 the “Ticino Ae 6/6” was transferred to Bellinzona . She was drawn there and they wanted to start the restoration. However, the cost turned out to be much higher than budgeted and it was difficult to get the right replacement parts. In addition, there were cracks in the spokes. Since May 20, 2010, this locomotive has been with the Stuttgart Rail Transport Company in Horb am Neckar .
Ae 6/6 to SBB Historic
The SBB Historic Heritage Foundation (SBB Historic) has already been given the Ae 6/6 11402 «Uri», which was restored with its original, fir-green paint for the Gotthard anniversary in 2007 and then stationed at the Erstfeld depot. The Ae 6/6 11411 “Zug” (fir green, location Erstfeld) and 11425 “Geneva” (location Olten), the locomotive 11416 “Glarus” (not operational, location Vallorbe) is also in service with SBB Historic .
The Ae 6/6 11405 «Nidwalden» was also taken over by SBB Historic as a spare parts donor and initially parked in Olten. After removing parts that could still be used for the Ae 6/6 “Aargau”, which is in the care of the Mikado Association, it was transferred to Kaiseraugst on January 10, 2012 for demolition.
In autumn 2011, SBB Historic also took over the Ae 6/6 11456 “Olten”. It was stationed in Olten and was supposed to be able to drive in its last operational state. It was the only city locomotive in the inventory of the historic Ae 6/6. After the 10439 team decided in 2018 not to refurbish the locomotive, SBB Historic decided not to keep it. The machine was transferred to Kaiseraugst for demolition in August 2019.
The Ae 6/6 11407 “Aargau” was loaned by SBB Historic to the “Mikado 1244” association in 2009. The locomotive, which was largely restored to its original state, has been able to be used again since May 24, 2014.
The Ae 6/6 11421 “Graubünden” was loaned by SBB Historic to the “Association for the Preservation of Historic Electric Locomotives Ae 6/6 11403”. The contradiction in the club name and the locomotive number arises from the fact that the club first wanted to take over the Ae 6/6 11403 «Schwyz»: However, it was defective and could not be repaired, so they used the 11421 on loan. The locomotive was returned to SBB Historic in 2015.
Monument locomotive near Erstfeld
From autumn 2006, on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Gotthard Railway, a class Ae 6/6 monument locomotive with two dining cars and a baggage car was parked in the area of the motorway service station near Erstfeld. The dining cars weren't repurposed - they were part of the restaurant. At the same time, the interior of the service area was converted to face north. When construction work was finished, the dining cars that normally run on InterCity trains were replaced by freight cars .
The former Ae 6/6 11492 “ Emmen ” was freshly painted with the SBB Cargo design and was given the designation Ae 610 492. With its current appearance, however, it has only been in regular service since it was put back into operation. The once planned re-designation as a result of the allocation of all conspecifics to the freight transport division met with protests from railway enthusiasts. (A light green color was planned.) The new memorial was inaugurated on October 18, 2006 with a large station clock. Among the speakers were the Urner Government Isidor Baumann , the Ticino Councilor marco borradori and Benedikt Weibel , the outgoing president of the SBB General. In autumn 2007 the locomotive was removed from the motorway service station and put back on the Gotthard Railway. During the technical inspection, broken wheel stars were found. The damage had to be repaired before the locomotive was put back into regular service.
Association 11406 Alpnachstad
The 11406 Alpnachstad association wanted to receive the Ae 6/6 11406, baptized in the canton of Obwalden, as a monument locomotive in Alpnachstad . The association had leased the locomotive from SBB Historic on a long-term basis .
The locomotive was decommissioned as no longer operational and cannibalized as a spare parts donor in the main Bellinzona workshop. Their scrapping was already sealed by the SBB, which was prevented for the time being. On the night of December 14th to 15th, 2006, she was transported on the road from Bellinzona to Alpnachstad. After a long but unsuccessful search for a location in Alpnach, the locomotive was broken off on June 17, 2011 in Ennetmoos except for the driver's cab, which is to be used for a later project.
Monument locomotive in the canton of Lucerne
Between Dagmersellen and Nebikon , on the Galliker Transport AG site, the Ae 6/6 11418 has been in red since February 2007 on the initiative of senior manager Peter Galliker. Although it was dedicated to the canton of St. Gallen , it received a new Lucerne cantonal coat of arms. Galliker, a regular SBB Cargo customer , discovered the demolished machine in Bellinzona and gave it a new home.
Monument locomotive in the Museum of Transport
The Swiss Museum of Transport has acquired the Ae 6/6 "Schaffhausen" from SBB Cargo and exhibits it from time to time in the Museum of Transport .
15 of the 120 locomotives are still available today. They are either owned by SBB Historic , associations or private individuals. Numbers in bold are operational locomotives.
|11401||SBB Historic||Horb am Neckar|
|11404||Elektra Birseck Münchenstein||Romanshorn|
|11413||Swiss Museum of Transport||Lucerne|
|610 420||Classic Rail||Sissach|
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Schweizerische Bauzeitung, Volume 71 (1953), Issue 6 (Part 1) (E-Periodica, PDF 4.9 MB)
Schweizerische Bauzeitung, Volume 71 (1953), Issue 7 (Part 2) (E-Periodica, PDF 5.6 MB)
- Schw. Bundesbahnen Ae 6/6 No. 11'401 - 11'520 from Bruno Lämmli