|FS Class E.636|
|The E.636 near Turin (Italy).|
|V - E - T - D|
The FS Class E.636 was a class of electric locomotives used on the Italian Ferrovie Dello Stato (F.S.), and built from 1940 to 1962. All locomotives of this type were taken out of service by 2006.
E.636 replaced the all-purpose locomotive E.626 and the E.326 FS express locomotive. E.626 was the first Italian locomotive with the axle arrangement Bo-Bo-Bo, and used a two-piece box for the middle joint of the center truck. This system was later used in locomotives E.645/E.646 FS and FS E.656. It adopted the axis suspension system and was associated with the location of a substantial part of Italy's rail routes in the mountains. E.636 locomotives can be equipped with a gear ratio of 21/65 providing a top speed of 95 km/h (locomotives operating heavy goods trains) or 28/65 to ensure maximum speed of 120 km/h (locomotives operating passenger trains ) .
E.626 locomotives were produced in three series :
- the first series ( locomotive numbers 001-108 ) built between 1940-1942
- the second series (109-243) between 1952-1956
- third series ( 001-008 ) between 1957-1962
The first E.636 entered service in May 1940. A total of 469 locomotives were built in this series. Six of them were destroyed in accidents during the conflict, and after the war.
E.636 series locomotives were used at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Although it had already been outdated, it still handled cargo in Sicily. Some of them were also given to smaller Italian railway companies. The last of the locomotives were withdrawn from use in May 2006.
Towards the end of the 1920's the Italian railways could rely on the use of three types of electric locomotives to 3000 volts DC power, they are designed with a philosophy of "interoperability", and projected by the engineer Giuseppe Bianchi. His design was chosen to allow the full compatibility at the level of components, electrical and mechanical parts between the various types of locomotive in favor of greater versatility and lower maintenance costs. The result was the E.626 type, 448 of which were built between 1928 and 1939. These classic mixed-traffic electric locomotives were retired in the late 80's, and 12 units have been preserved. At that time, these locomotives were used on all kinds of work, but they had developed mechanical flaws over time, so it was fitting that the E626 did not exceed 95 km/h, although in testing it had been reached 110 km/h of speed with no apparent problems.
At that time a new class of locomotives, the E.326 , designed for high speed (140-150 km/h), were tested but it was soon felt to be unsuitable for this purpose because of the significant step drive, the wheels and mechanical transmission suited for slower speeds. Their low factor of adhesion, the unpleasant noise they made and other problems were encountered, making sure that the E.326 class was limited to just 12 examples; however, they were heavily damaged during the Second World War and were later rebuilt. Finally the Italian railways had at their disposal the unforgettable group of E.428's - huge, powerful, versatile, strong locomotives, with a power output of 2850 kilowatts but absorbed by the low factor of adhesion caused by the type of running gear.
The first locomotive, E.636, entered service in May 1940. A total of 469 locomotives were built. Six of them were destroyed in accidents during WW2 and after the war.
E.636 series locomotives were used at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Although they had already been outdated, they still found work in Sicily. Some of them were also given to smaller Italian railway companies. The last was withdrawn from service in May 2006.
Now the E636's is a locomotive of historical interest and a few examples are preserved at the La Spezia (Liguria, Italy) railway museum.