LGB 23461 – Schöllenen Railroad (SchB) Class Hge 2/2 Electric Locomotive
After long exhausting struggles, the planning pushed through for the electric narrow gauge Schöllenen Railroad with rack operation from the Göschenen Station through the gorge that is the Schöllenen Valley up to Andermatt was implemented starting in 1913. The Abt system for the rack operation was selected in view of the connection at Andermatt to the Brig-Furka-Disentis Line (later the FO – Furka-Oberalp Line). The only 3.6 kilometer / 2.25 mile long and 17.9 percent steep line claimed three tunnels, three stone bridges, a large avalanche deflection wall, and a 210 meter / 682 foot 6 inch long gallery as its own. It was initially electrified with 1,200 volts DC. The sudden outbreak of World War I in the summer of 1914 caused construction work to proceed only sluggishly and finally ended with a modest dedication ceremony on July 11, 1917.
Initially four small class HGe 2/2 two-axle electric cogwheel locomotives with the road numbers 1 to 4 from BBC (electrical part) and SLM (mechanical part) were available for scheduled operation the next day. Their power transmission was done from the two propulsion motors by means of a gearbox with double reduction to the two driving cogwheels and to two jackshafts that used coupling rods to power the two sets of driving wheels with their diameter of 712 mm / 28 inches. The two DC motors connected in parallel produced 235 kilowatts / 315 horsepower that allowed a load of 40 metric tons at a maximum speed of 8 km/h / 5 mph on the rack part of the line. In 1941, the FO was electrified with 11 kilovolts / 16⅔ hertz AC and the Schöllenen Railroad was also converted at that time to allow trouble-free train operations. The class HGe 2/2 units were equipped with two new series motors with a rated hourly output of 429 kilowatts / 575 horsepower that now allowed 48 metric tons to be pushed at a top speed of 14.5 km/h / 9 mph.
In 1961, the Schöllenen Railroad and the FO merged. The locomotives now ran with road numbers 21-24 and successively lost their cream / light gray paint scheme in favor of the FO's dark red. Starting in 1972, they were only used in freight and switching service. Between 1976 and 1985, these locomotives were taken out of service. Unfortunately, none of these units with two coupled sets of driving wheels was preserved because they all ended up on the scrap pile.