Abstract

Axles for aircraft, automobiles, and horse wagons do not rotate. From the chariot of around B.C. 2,000 to horse wagons of the wild west, axles for vehicles have not rotated except for the railroad. Why and when railroad axles started to rotate is the subject of this report.

Stevens’ locomotive exhibited in the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is called the first locomotive to run on a track in America in 1825 and has stationary axles. On the other hand, Locomotion by Stephenson in England, which is the first train on a public railroad in England in 1825, has rotational axles. In the US, all axles seem to have started to rotate around 1834, when the Mississippi was inaugurated.

This report tried to investigate the time and reason for the beginning of railroad axle rotation. As a result, the axles for wheel drive locomotives are considered to be needed to rotate with wheels from the viewpoint of maximum friction power. However, the reason of axle rotation for the trailing wheel at the beginning of the railroad is not explicit. Further investigation is required.

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