Electric locomotive 1060

 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Traffic & Transport
1910 - 1919
The Mittenwald Railway from Innsbruck to Garmisch-Partenkirchen opened in 1912, operating with electric locomotives from the very outset. The first locomotive to operate on the line is on show at the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum).

The 1060 series was built by the Floridsdorf Locomotive Works together with AEG. Coupling rods were still used to transfer the power from the large drive motor to the wheels, as they had been on steam locomotives. A modern design element was the two driver’s cabs at the front of the locomotive, providing an unobstructed view of the track. On steam locomotives the view was impeded by the boiler.

The new powerful drive technology came into its own on mountain sections in particular. Had it been operated with steam locomotives, the Mittenwald Railway would have had to have gradients of less than 36 o/oo, making a cost-effective service impossible.

The electrical energy required was generated at the purpose-built Ruetzbach hydroelectric plant. The power plant was decommissioned by the ÖBB (Austrian Federal Railways) in 1984. Today it is used for the public electricity supply. An original machine aggregate is on display at the Technisches Museum, close to Locomotive 1060.001.

After World War I Austria no longer had access to cheap coal from Moravia. So the decision was taken to tap into the hydropower of the Alps and electrify the railway lines. So by the end of the First Republic all the alpine railways had been electrified. The lines to Vienna were next, after World War II. Today more than 90% of the railway traffic is powered by electricity.

The first electric locomotive operated in Berlin in 1879. With his small experimental vehicle Werner von Siemens demonstrated that the railways could be operated using electricity. Tramcars and mine railways were the first to be powered by electricity. The first locomotives were built around 1900. By then the advances made in electrical engineering were such that the large power lines needed for railway operations were manageable.

Inv.Nr. 40335/1

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