#279 Crocodile Locomotive Ce 6/8 II

The Ce 6/8 II electric locomotive, which became known as the “Crocodile” due to its’ unique snout, integrated mechanical and electrical elements to produce an electric locomotive with large cargo capacity capable of negotiating tight curves on steep inclines close to the limit of wheel-rail friction.

Primarily designed to serve the Gotthard line, the key north-south rail link over the Alps in Switzerland, it was able to navigate steep inclines, and also provided a sensible solution to navigating the long tunnels that were often found along the route.

The Crocodile was the first large-scale application of a single-phase AC system for a main trans-Europe connection. It regenerated dynamic break energy (traction motors generating power instead of absorbing power) into overhead catenaries, the first successful application of this technology on a single-phase AC system.

The most remarkable feature of the Ce 6/8 II was its appearance. It had two low-profile bogies facing in opposite directions, each with three powered axles and one non-powered leading axle for guidance. The Crocodile became a favorite of model railroaders, earning more attention than most locomotives in history.

Landmark Location

Erstfeld, Switzerland

Landmark recognition date

October 2022

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