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Petrol-Hydraulic Motor Car for the Lacombe and Blindman Valley Railway

car of a type that is novel in this country has been delivered to the Lacombe and Blindman Valley Ry., which is under construction from Lacombe to Rimby, Alberta. The car embodies the feature of a semi-direct drive, that has the advantage of flexibility. It is typically English in design, weighs 20 tons, is 33 ft. long overall, and 8 1/4 ft. wide overall. The truck centres are 18 ft. and the wheel base of the truck wheels 5 ½ ft. The seating capacity is 36, provided in rattan covered cross seats, with a central aisle.

The power transmission is on the Hele-Shaw system, wherein a variable stroke oil pump, directly driven by an engine, forces oil through pipes to an oil motor, which in turn, drives the axles of the car. The power of the driving engine is thus converted into movement of oil under pressure, and as the quantity of oil pumped is variable through the variable stroke pump, the speed of the oil motor, which is directly dependent on the quantity of oil delivered to it, can be directly regulated. By a suitable movement of the control spindle, the direction of flow of the oil, and therefore the direction of motion of the motor, may be reversed at will. It will thus be seen that the oil motor rotates at a speed directly proportional to the amount of oil it receives, its speed being varied and reversed at will. Likewise, when the pump is at full stroke, it is delivering a large amount of oil at moderate pressure, but when the stroke is reduced, the same power in the motor delivering a smaller amount of oil, will deliver it at higher pressure, giving a greater effort at the motor, or a high initial starting torque.

The motor driving the pumps is a 6 cylinder engine, with cylinders 140 by 156 mm., designed to give 103 b.h.p. at 1,150 r.p.m. on gasoline and 85 b.h.p on oil.

This car was supplied by McEwan, Pratt and Co., London, England.

Source: Canadian Railway and Marine World, November 1915.