Nature 132, 308-309 (26 August 1933) | doi:10.1038/132308c0

French Locomotive-Testing Station


IN Engineering of August 4 is a description of the new locomotive-testing station at Vitry-sur-Seine, Paris, which was formally inaugurated on July 29, The plant has been designed by the Office Central d’Etudes de Matriel de Chemins de Fer (O.C.E.M.) and erected on a site belonging to the Compagnie du Chemin de Fer de Paris Orlans. The main plant is contained in a building about 180 ft. 80 ft. The essential elements; of a locomotive-testing plant consist of a testing bench with supporting rollers on which the driving and coupled wheels of the locomotive revolve, brakes to absorb the power and a dynamometer to record the pull on the drawbar. There are also means for recording the fuel and water consumption and apparatus for measuring steam and water temperatures and pressures, and the vacuum in the smoke box, furnace and ash pit. In the new plant there are eight pairs of rollers of which six pairs can be coupled up to the hydraulic brakes, which were supplied by Messrs. Heenan and Froude, Ltd. Each of the brakes can absorb up to 1,200 horse-power, the permissible rim speed of the rollers is 100 miles per hour and the permissible weight per roller 15 tons, the plant thus being capable of dealing with heavier and more powerful locomotives than are in use in France at the present time. There are several locomotive-testing plants in various countries, some of which were described in Mr. H. N. Gresley’s paper, “Locomotive Experimental Stations”, read to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1931. The only testing plant in Great Britain is that laid down by the Great Western Rail-way Co. at Swindon in 1905; but it has often been advocated that a modern plant should be set up by the railways in conjunction with the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. No steps, however, have yet been taken in this direction.