Klien-Lindner axle

Klien-Lindner axle

The Klien-Lindner axle (German: "Klien-Lindner-Hohlachse") is an mechanical component that was designed by the German engineers, Ewald Klien and Heinrich Lindner, of the Royal Saxon State Railways ("Königlich Sächsischen Staats-Eisenbahnen").

It uses a sort of twin-axle, one inside the other. It has a hollow axle ("Hohlachse") on the outside, connected at its centre by a type of Cardan joint to a fixed driving axle running through it. The Cardan joint comprises two spherical elements that are interlinked - a solid one on the fixed axle and a hollow one on the outer hollow axle, each oriented at 90° to the other - that transfer the driving forces from the rigid axle to the hollow one. The hollow spheroid acts as a sort of link motion. In this way the hollow axle can be turned by the fixed axle. In addition the connecting link is shaped such that the axles can can slide relative to one another, parallel to their axes, to a small extent. The degree to which the hollow axle can swivel is set by the outer diameter of the fixed axle and the internal diameter of the hollow one.

This system is used on steam locomotives with fixed outer frames and coupled axles. Typically the conventionally driven wheels are in the centre and there are outer Klien-Lindner axles, front and rear. In this way the wheels, which are fixed to the hollow axles, are 'steered' by shafts that pivot on the frame when the locomotive is curve running. Coupling rods from the conventional driving wheels in the centre act on drive cranks on the inner axles fixed to the frame.

Such locomotives were sometimes assessed as having an jerky running quality as a result of the resistance forces that can arise from this type of Cardan joint.


* Deutsches Reichspatent DRP 27.892 und 68.932, 1893
* Lionel Wiener: "Articulated Locomotives" Kalmbach Publishing Co., Waukesha 1970

External links

* [http://www.dself.dsl.pipex.com/MUSEUM/LOCOLOCO/klienlindner/klienlindner.htm English description with clear photographs and diagrams]
* There is a relevant English-language forum at [http://germanrail.8.forumer.com/index.php Railways of Germany]

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