Schienenzeppelin: Rail Zeppelin Propeller Driven Streamline Train




The Schienenzeppelin was built in Germany in the late 1920s. The Rail Zeppelin was a revolutionary locomotive for its time. This streamlined aluminium metal tube was pushed by an ash propeller in the rear. The Schienenzeppelin or Rail Zeppelin was an experimental rail car which closely resembled a zeppelin airship in appearance.



Schienenzeppelin Rail Zeppelin History :

It was designed and developed by the German aircraft engineer Franz Kruckenberg in 1929. Propulsion was made by an ash propeller located at the rear of the train, it accelerated the rail car to 230.2 km/h (143.0 mph) setting the land speed record for a petrol powered rail vehicle. Only a single example was ever built, which due to safety concerns remained out of service and was finally dismantled in 1939. The Schienenzeppelin rail Zeppelin car was built in the late 1920s,  in the Hannover-Leinhausen works of the German Imperial Railway “Deutsche Reichsbahn” company. The vehicle was 25.85 meters (84.8 ft) long and had two axles, with a wheelbase of 19.6 m (64 ft). The height was 2.8 meters (9 ft 2 in). Originally power plant had two conjoined BMW IV 6-cylinder petrol aircraft engines (later model featured a single BMW VI 12-cylinder of 600 horsepower (450 kW)) driving a four-bladed (later two-bladed), fixed pitch ash propeller.  To improve stability on the tracks the drive shaft was raised 7 degrees above the horizontal to give the vehicle some downwards thrust. The body of the Schienenzeppelin Rail  Zeppelin was streamlined, having some resemblance to the era’s popular Zeppelin airships, and it was built with aluminum aircraft style to reduce weight. The rail car could carry up to 40 passengers; its interior was spartan and designed in Bauhaus-style.


Schienenzeppelin Rail Zeppelin Speed Record :

On 10 May 1931, the Schienenzeppelin Rail Zeppelin exceeded a speed of 200 km/h (120 mph) for the first time. Afterwards, it was exhibited to the general public throughout Germany. On 21 June 1931, it set a new world railway speed record of 230.2 km/h (143.0 mph) on the Berlin–Hamburg line between Karstädt and Dergenthin, which was not surpassed by any other rail vehicle until 1954. The rail car still holds the land speed record for a petrol powered rail vehicle. This high speed was attributable, among other things, to its low weight, which was only 20.3 tonnes .

Schienenzeppelin Rail Zeppelin Specifications :

General characteristics

  • Passenger Capacity: 40
  • Car Length: 25.85 meters (84.8 ft)
  • Weight: 20.3 t
  • Powerplant: 45.84 L BMW VI water-cooled V-12
  • Power Output: 600 hp (450 kW)
  • Maximum speed: 230 km/h (140 mph)







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