World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Gölsdorf axle

Article Id: WHEBN0021315079
Reproduction Date:

Title: Gölsdorf axle  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Luttermöller axle, Klien-Lindner axle, Wheelset (rail transport), Bogie, Carrying wheel
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Gölsdorf axle

Gölsdorf axle principle on a ten-coupled steam engine

The Gölsdorf axle system is used on railway locomotives to achieve quiet running and low wear-and-tear when negotiating curves. It comprises a combination of fixed axles and axles that can slide transversely, all within a single, rigid locomotive frame. The system was invented by a young Austrian locomotive builder, Karl Gölsdorf, around the end of the 19th century. The first locomotive to use this principle entered service in 1897.


In the early days of the railway, locomotives were built with more and more axles in order the meet the increasingly heavy loads of goods trains. In order not to overstress the tracks, axle loads were often restricted, initially to 16 tonnes, occasionally to 18 tonnes and later usually to 20 tonnes. A ten-coupled locomotive had to weigh no more than 100 tonnes plus whatever tonnage the leading and trailing wheels could support. The heavier a locomotive is, the more surface pressure it places on the wheels and the more it can haul. But as more and more axles are added, curve running becomes increasingly difficult. So early on, work began to develop multi-part frames and bogies which linked sets of axles to their own drive. However driving wheels within bogies using steam was a difficult task due to the moving seals that were required. As a result, a different avenue of development was pursued, whereby a degree of smooth curve running could be achieved using a long, rigid frame through the use, for example, of axles that had sufficient sideways play. The Gölsdorf axle system avoided the need for complicated construction methods like that of Mallet locomotives. It was in effect an artifice enabling locomotives to retain a long, rigid frame (without articulation or bogies), yet whose individual axles could be better aligned when curve running.


Gölsdorf axles work in this way. Two of the five axles cannot move sideways relative to the frame because their axle boxes fix them rigidly to the frame. The other axles, however, are fitted into their bearings and attached to their drives in such a way that they can be moved sideways during curve running, depending on the sideways forces acting on them. In addition the connecting and coupling rods, through which the steam pressure and linear forces from the steam pistons are translated into the rotation of the wheels via the crank pins, also have to be able to move sideways.


The Gölsdorf system was a standard for decades in the construction of, usually ten-coupled, occasionally twelve-coupled goods train locomotives. One of the first companies in Germany to introduce Gölsdorf axles was the privately run Westphalian State Railway (Westfälische Landeseisenbahn), whose heavy goods trains between Belecke and Erwitte needed powerful, but nevertheless agile, locomotives in order to cross the Haarstrang hills. From about 1910 the WLE procured and used second-hand ten-coupled engines for hauling freight trains and improved their curve running by having their running gear converted to the Gölsdorf system.

See also


Fridrich Risse, Günter Krause: Die Dampflokomotiven der WLE, Fahrzeuge und Anlagen der Westfälischen Landes-Eisenbahn, DGEG-Medien, Hövelhof, ISBN 3-937189-25-4

External links

  • There is a relevant English-language forum at Railways of Germany
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.