Bothwell  Geared Steam Locomotive

Geared Steam Locomotive Works

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"The Bothwell Locomotive"
Locomotive Fireman and Enginemen's Magazine - November, 1907

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Mr. George A. Bothwell, of Owen Sound, Ontario, has devised an ingenious and novel scheme for increasing the tractive power of a locomotive and securing additional adhesion for utilizing same by providing the locomotive with a supplemental set of smaller driving wheels.  By means of a shifting mechanism which is operated by a valve in the cab, the engineer is enabled to throw the weight of the engine on either group of driving wheels as desired.  One group of drivers only are on the rail at one time, as when the smaller wheels are lowered to the rail for the purpose of increasing the tractive force the larger wheels are lifted clear of the rail, and vica versa. By means of a suitable geared shafting operated from the small drivers the weight on the truck wheels is utilized to obtain the required adhesion.  Changes from one system to the other are made by suitable clutches in connection with the mechanism which is operated by either steam or compressed air by means of a cylinder which is shown just above and back of the locomotive cylinder.
 


Gear Mechanism
 

The locomotive shown in the illustrations to which this system has been applied is an old locomotive which was recently rebuilt at the Hicks Locomotive & Car Works, Chicago Heights, Ill., after the designs of Mr. Bothwell, for the purpose of demonstrating its feasibility.  Its purpose is to provide a locomotive of maximum hauling capacity with minimum weight, it being the inventor's idea that locomotives of the usual types equipped with this arrangement will be enabled to take trains over ruling grades that otherwise would require the services of helper engines.
 


Showing Application of the Bothwell Principle to an Eight-Wheel Locomotive.
 

In a test recently made on a short grade with this locomotive, it is stated that when running on the large drivers the engine stalled with twenty-five empty cars, but was able to take over the grade twenty-three cars. With the smaller drivers running on the rail and the larger drivers raised the engine went over the grade with forty-seven cars, but stalled with fifty, showing the hauling capacity with the smaller wheels to be about double that obtained with the larger wheels. This is thought, fully demonstrates the merits and practicability of the design. It is also stated that a company has been formed, known as the Bothwell Locomotive Company, with headquarters at Owen Sound, Ont.
 


Shifting Mechanism for transferring weight of locomotive
 from one set of drivers to the other.

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This information was transcribed from the article entitled  "The Bothwell Locomotive" that appeared in the November, 1907 issue of  Locomotive Fireman and Enginemen's Magazine..

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