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The Heilman locomotives were the first steam-electric designs, using a reciprocating steam engines to drive DC generators, which in turn powered electric motors mounted directly on the axles. They were possibly also the last!

Their story makes for an interesting read!

Heilmann Steam-Electric Loco

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Is this where Hornby got the idea for their 'Live steam' models? I'm just glad that it doesn't need that many KV to work the Hornby models!

The earliest AC systems in the UK used 25Hz power, half our current frequency of 50Hz.

I suspect the low frequency was the result of early generating technology. The first generators were driven by reciprocating steam engines, not turbines, and the larger the engine the slower its top speed. Parson's steam turbine came in around 1890, I think, and it it took some time to develop the technology to make turbines big and fast enough to drive generators at 3000rpm to give the 50Hz power.
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John Webb
 

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Early electrical distribution systems were DC & there were many small local generating stations in use - no national grid then.

Don't know about generating directly for the railways, but I would agree with John's explaination.

They may have used "rotary converters" i.e. DC motor driving alternators for providing AC from DC supplies - things were nice & simple then !
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 15 Jul 2007, 23:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Some of these set ups from the early days of rail are pretty amazing. The steam loco powered by electricity seems to be on the other side of the fence though. Why?

I could be wrong on this !

These locomotives were converted during the war to run on electrified lines where coal was in short supply. AFAIK they were not very efficient.

Maybe someone else can shed some more light on this subject.
 

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There have been some pretty weird and wonderful locos in the UK as well,at the very least the Leader was of the wall.

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John
 

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QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 16 Jul 2007, 16:27) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I could be wrong on this !

These locomotives were converted during the war to run on electrified lines where coal was in short supply. AFAIK they were not very efficient.

Maybe someone else can shed some more light on this subject.
That's pretty much it. The Swiss coal supply was basically cut off during WW2, while hydro-electricity was abundant. I have heard the efficiency was rather low.

Geoff
 

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QUOTE (Rowdy @ 1 Aug 2007, 05:53) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>That's pretty much it. The Swiss coal supply was basically cut off during WW2, while hydro-electricity was abundant. I have heard the efficiency was rather low.

Geoff

Thanks for that info' Geoff, proves I can remember some things !
 
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