Thursday, February 21, 2013

Climax logging steam loco, Australia

The notable characteristic of the Climax is that the cylinders do not directly connect to the driving wheels; instead they drive a crossshaft near the centre of the locomotive. From there the drive is transmitted to the small driving wheels through rotating shafts, universal joints, and bevel gears. The driving wheels are mounted in two four-wheel bogies so that they can easily follow sharp curves in the track. None of these features are found in normal steam locos. The result is a locomotive that is extremely powerful for its size and will cope with sharp curves and steep grades with ease. But this is at the cost of speed, and they move quite slowly.

A 2'6" (762 mm) gauge example is preserved at the Puffing Billy heritage operation in Victoria, but not currently in working order.  Fundraising is underway to return it to service.

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