A Krauss-Helmholtz bogie (Krauss-Helmholtz-Lenkgestell) is a mechanism used on a steam (or other coupled-axle) locomotive, where a carrying axle is connected to a coupled axle via a lever such that when the carrying axle swings to the side on going round a curve, it causes the coupled axle to move sideways in the opposite direction. In this way the radial forces during curve running are more or less evened out on both axles, so that riding qualities similar to those of a normal bogie are achieved and wear and tear reduced on wheel flanges and rails. The bogie is a type of pony truck and was named after the locomotive firm of Krauss and the engineer, Richard von Helmholtz. By contrast a Bissel bogie is independently installed in the frame, and sideways guidance of the locomotive is achieved by elastic forces. The distribution of these forces is not tightly defined and, in addition, they are dependent on the curve radius.
Examples of use
Because the advantages of a pony truck come into play particularly on tight curves, the Krauss-Helmholtz bogie initially appeared on branch line, Lokalbahn and narrow gauge locomotives. One of the first locomotives of this type was the Bavarian D VIII. On this tank locomotive the bogie was located at the rear; however in the majority of cases it was at the front or - if the locomotive had to have equally good riding qualities in both directions - at both ends.
Later this pony truck arrangement was also adopted by the DRG standard locomotives (Einheitslokomotive) of the Deutsche Reichsbahn, e.g. on the ten-coupled classes: 44, 45, 50 and 85. An exception was the Class 84, that was fitted with Schwartzkopff-Eckhardt II bogies or Luttermöller axle drives.
The tender locomotives of classes 41 and 45 only had a Krauss-Helmholtz bogie at the front; the trailing axle was housed in a Bissel bogie. The tank locomotives of Class 85, like some of the Class 64 and 86 engines, had two Krauss-Helmholtz bogies.
Even the electric locomotives of Reichsbahn classes E 04, E 17, E 18 and E 19 were fitted with comparable pony trucks, known as AEG frames (AEG-Gestell). Because the axles had external bearings, the lever linkage also had to be on the outside, a characteristic detail of these locomotives.
In Italy, the Krauss-Helmholtz bogie was improved around 1900 by Giuseppe Zara, a technician of the Rete Adriatica and later of the Ferrovie dello Stato; by modifying the structure, rearranging the weight distribution and allowing the bogie to also move transversally respective to the locomotive's frames, he obtained the Italian bogie (a lighter and somewhat different version was the later Zara bogie). It saw widespread use, being fitted on many Italian steam locomotive classes, like the FS Class 625, FS Class 740 and FS Class 685.
- Cleminson's patent
- List of DRG locomotives and railbuses
- List of Bavarian locomotives and railbuses
- List of Prussian locomotives and railcars
- Photograph of the bogie on a South African NG 15 (610 mm gauge)
- There is a relevant English-language forum at Railways of Germany
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