37595 – SBB Ae 8/14 11801
The growing requirements for power and speed, the growth in traffic on the Gotthard, and the provision of motive power for the grades on the Gotthard and on the Monte Ceneri led to the construction of two double locomotives at the start of 1930. These units, road numbers Ae 8/14 11801 and 11851, were placed into service by the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) in the years 1931 and 1932. They were capable of 100 km/h / 63 mph and pulled 600 metric ton passenger trains at 62 km/h / 39 mph and 750 metric ton freight trains at 50 km/h / 31 mph up 2.7% grades. Externally, both units were mostly identical with their wheel arrangement (2A)A2A(A2)+(2A)A2A(A2). Where they differed considerably was in their propulsion concepts. Road number 11801 realized as a model had a Buchli drive per powered wheel set that was almost identical to the Ae 4/7. This produced 5,514 kilowatts / 7,391 horsepower of performance. The two outer powered wheel sets for each locomotive half were put together with the end wheel sets to form a truck in the running gear. Since the middle wheel sets had side play, each locomotive half was guided merely by the centering of the trucks. These units could thus negotiate curves of 100 meters / 325 feet radius. The main frame of each locomotive half was suspended at four main support points, whereby the suspension springs for all the powered wheel sets and the middle non-powered wheel set were connected by equalization levers. A new feature was the relief of the strain on the middle wheel sets for each locomotive half for difficult startups by increasing the pressure on the powered wheel sets. The latter went from around 20 to about 21.5 metric tons and thereby increased the adhesion weight from 160 to 172 metric tons. Also new was the voltage and speed control on the high voltage side of the transformer with a high voltage control with 28 speed levels.
Road number Ae 8/14 11801 was available for the SBB starting in December of 1931 and was assigned to the Erstfeld Depot. Naturally, the locomotive was tested intensively and numerous partially stubborn teething problems were repaired. It was used on the Gotthard and on the approach lines whereby it came to Lucerne and Zürich with passenger trains. It was in heavy freight train service however that the Ae 8/14 designated by locomotive crews as "The Big One" could really show what it had. The handwriting was not on the wall for this double locomotive until the Re 6/6 was first put into service. It was retired in 1977 after over 5,800,000 km / 3,620,000 miles of operation. It was overhauled and made operational again for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Gotthard in 1981. In 1984, it went as an historic locomotive into the SBB's museum roster and it has since been maintained by the workers at the Erstfeld Depot in operational condition.