Trainnews - volume 8 - issue 152 (International) - 08/04/15
This day in Railroad HistoryAugust 4, 1857
Levi Bissell was granted a US patent for an improved dual axle locomotive pilot truck, after a successful demonstration on the Central Railroad Company of New Jersey. Prior to the Bissell pilot truck, locomotive derailments were fairly common. Many of these could be traced to the inability of the engine to negotiate curves at speed. Bissell, a New York inventor who investigated this problem in the 1850’s, correctly analyzed the difficulty. He observed that when the engine was proceeding on straight tracks the leading truck tended to oscillate and chatter about the center pin, and he noted that it was this action that imparted a fearful pitching motion to the locomotive at speed. He moved the center pin to a point behind the truck and just in front of the forward driving axle. This shortened the wheelbase of the engine and removed the danger of the pintle serving as a fulcrum between the truck and the driving wheels, thus allowing them to assume a comfortable position on a curve. The Rogers Locomotive Works in 1858 was one of the earliest builders to apply the improved truck. By 1860 they had fitted many of their engines with it and were endorsing the device to prospective customers.
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Chemins de fer de Provence at Digne, France. The narrow gauge line runs approximately 80 miles north of Nice to Digne.
Edward Immel Photo
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Rail supplier updates from Thales, Xplore, Wabtec, Bombardier and CIT
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