The reference for locomotives and railcars
Bavarian ES 1
German Reichsbahn E 16 and German Federal Railway class 116
Germany | 1927 | 21 produced
116 009 shows its chassis side with the Buchli drives in May 1977 in Prien
116 009 shows its chassis side with the Buchli drives in May 1977 in Prien
Werner & Hansjörg Brutzer

In the development of a single-axle drive for electric locomotives, one of the approaches was to use the Buchli drive, as used in Switzerland. The 21 examples of the series initially designated as the Bavarian ES 1 were equipped with it and put into operation by the Reichsbahn as the E 16. They were used by the Bundesbahn until 1980 and were still the only locomotives in Germany with this technical solution. The Buchli drive was characterized by the fact that one traction motor was located above the axle in the locomotive body and its power was transmitted by a one-sided mechanism on the axle. Power was again transmitted between the large gear wheel and the axle via coupling rods. This design is externally recognizable by the cover of the gear wheel. Although the technology was highly complex, the engines could be completely decoupled from the impacts of the ground.

Control was via a new type of linear mechanical tap changer, which had been used shortly before on the E 32. Its further development was later also used in the standard electric locomotives. The chassis of the first five locomotives was designed with two bogies, each consisting of one leading axle and two powered axles. This solution did not work, and so the following locomotives were designed with driving axles in a main frame and Krauss-Helmholtz bogies. The first five were also converted to this form directly afterwards.

The first ten machines were given the Bavarian designation ES 1 when they were delivered in 1926. They had an hourly and continuous output of 2,340 and 2,020 kW and were soon renumbered E 16 01 to 10. Seven more followed in the following year as road numbers E 16 11 to 17. Their output had increased to 2,580 and 2,400 kW respectively. Finally, four more machines were ordered in 1932 with the numbers E 16 18 to 21. Due to technical advances, the output was now 2,944 and 2,655 kW.

Despite their unusual propulsion technology, the locomotives were used for a very long time. Only two were lost in the war, all the rest were taken over by the Federal Railways. There only the E 16 12 had to be retired in 1967 due to an accident, all other 18 locomotives were redesignated in 1968 as class 116. These were retired between 1973 and 1980.

VariantE 16 01 to 10E 16 11 to 17E 16 18 to 21
Manufacturermechanical part: Krauss, electrical part: BBC
Axle config1-D-1 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length53 ft 5 3/4 in
Wheelbase41 ft 4 1/16 in
Service weight228,178 lbs
Adhesive weight176,811 lbs
Axle load44,313 lbs
Power sourceelectric - AC
Electric system15.000 V 16⅔ Hz
Hourly power3,138 hp (2,340 kW)3,460 hp (2,580 kW)3,948 hp (2,944 kW)
Continuous power2,709 hp (2,020 kW)3,218 hp (2,400 kW)3,560 hp (2,655 kW)
Top speed75 mph
Starting effort31,923 lbf44,063 lbf
Power Plant
Calculated Values
electric locomotive
Buchli drive
last changed: 02/2022

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