THE WETLI MOUNTAIN RAILROAD AND ITS DISASTROUS TRIAL TRIP
Too Long; Didn't ReadAmong the various means proposed of late years for building lines of railroad on the steep slopes of mountains, that of M. Wetli, of Zurich, Switzerland, has attracted considerable attention from European engineers. We have already laid before our readers the system of central toothed rails used on the Righi and other mountain roads in Europe. In the Wetli system, instead of this rail and the pinion on the vehicle engaging it, there is a drum having a helicoidal thread which engages with triangular rails. This drum is attached to the locomotive. The construction will be readily understood from the illustrations given herewith, which we take from La Nature. The thread on the drum is precisely that which would be formed could a rail similar to one of the central angular rails be wrapped around it; so that it always is in contact with the mid rails, and necessarily prevents any bodily sliding or rolling of the vehicles over the regular track when the drum is held motionless. The V-shaped mid rails are securely fastened to horizontal iron ties, which rest on wooden traverses. The angle of the V is 50°; the distance between any two traverses is 2.8 feet.