SBB Ae 3/6 I - SBB Ae 3/6 I

SBB Ae 3/6 I
Ae 3/6 I seen from the side with the Buchli drive
Ae 3/6 I seen from the side with the Buchli drive
Numbering: 10601–10714
Number: 114
Manufacturer: SLM Winterthur
BBC Baden, MFO Zurich
SAAS Genève
Year of construction (s): 1920–1929
Ausmusterung: 1974–1994
Axis formula : 2'Co1'
Length over buffers: 14'760 mm
Height: 3825–4140 mm
Service mass: 92–96 t
Top speed: 90–110 km / h
Continuous output : 1600 kW (2120 PS )
Drive: Buchli drive

The SBB Ae 3/6 I is a Frame - Universal locomotive with Einzelachsantrieb for alternating current of 15,000 volts 16 2 / 3 Hz. It was used in the years 1920 to 1929 for the then newly electrified railway lines of the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) in the lowlands [1]Ordered in several lots and put into operation in a brown color scheme. A relatively large number of the 114 machines delivered were last used in green by the mid-1990s. With a service life of over seven decades, it was one of the longest-lived SBB locomotive series and achieved high mileages. The Ae 3/6 I with the Buchli drive is the model of the E16 [2] of the Deutsche Reichsbahn at that time , the two PO E 501 and 502 , which were delivered to France as prototypes in 1925 and which were rebuilt in several lots by French industry, as well the SBB Ae 4/7 built from 1927, which is basically an Ae 3/6 I extended by one drive axis .

The locomotives were commissioned on the structural basis of the Be 2/5 Viktor , the original Midi E 3301 from 1910, which was converted in 1918 into a test locomotive with a Buchli - as well as a Tschanz single-axle drive, whereby the Buchli -Drive was given preference. The following construction lots were also based on experiences from the test locomotive Ae 4/8 Grandmother from 1922.


The serious coal shortage towards the end of the First World War led to a decision in 1918 to electrify the SBB in order to become independent of the foreign energy supplies in the form of coal . This decision was supported, Switzerland was considered a pioneering country in electrical engineering [3] , by the fact that at this time hundreds of kilometers of mostly meter-gauge road, overland, mountain and mountain railways were already being driven electrically, probably primarily with direct current, But the basis for extensive rail line electrification using alternating current of 15,000 volts 16 23 Hertz was provided by the electrically operated Lötschberg mountain linegiven, and the electrification of the Gotthard mountain line was about to be completed.

At the beginning of the first electrification stage in 1920, the SBB had drafts for a flatland universal locomotive drawn up. Only a few points were required, including: three drive axles , an output of 2000 hp, a top speed of 90 km / h and a maximum axle load of 20 t. The three Swiss electrical companies Brown, Boveri & Cie (BBC), Maschinenfabrik Oerlikon (MFO) and Société Anonyme des Ateliers de Sécheron (SAAS) otherwise had a largely free hand. The following drafts were submitted and then also procured: BBC: Ae 3/6 I , MFO: Ae 3/6 II and SAAS: Ae 3/5 .


Yes 3/6 I

The mechanical part of all locomotives came from the Swiss Lokomotiv- und Maschinenfabrik (SLM) in Winterthur . The electrical part of the first 86 locomotives, the 10601 to 10686, came from BBC, which had also developed these locomotives. 26 locomotives, the 10687 to 10712, had electrical equipment from MFO, and the last two delivered, the 10713 and 10714, one from SAAS.

Much resembled the steam locomotives, such as B. the asymmetrical arrangement of the running axes or the arrangement of the driver's desk on the right side in the driver's cab .

mechanical construction

The three drive axles are mounted in an outer frame. Each axle is driven by its own traction motor housed in the locomotive body . Power is transmitted via Buchli drives , which are attached to one side of the locomotive in front of the drive wheels. The same drive was later used on the Ae 4/7 .

On the driver's cab side I a running bogie is arranged, which takes the additional weight of the main transformer ; on the driver's cab side II only one Bissel axle is attached. The locomotive had good running characteristics, so that its top speed could be increased gradually from the original 90 km / h to 100 km / h.

Electric Construction

Upon delivery, the locomotive was equipped with two pantographs and a main oil switch , which was housed under a superstructure in the middle of the roof. The main transformer is arranged between the running bogie and the first drive axle. The voltage on the traction motors is regulated with a flat step switch . The reversible pole shunt resistors of the traction motors are located in the small stems on one side and the compressor on the other .

The locomotives were not equipped for multiple control.

Conversion for use in front of light express trains

As early as the 1930s, the offer on the east-west axis, which is particularly important for Switzerland, was continuously expanded. From the timetable change in 1935, light express trains were used between Geneva and Zurich . These trains were put together from the newly acquired lightweight steel wagons . Their light weight allows higher accelerations and thus shorter travel times. The Ae 3/6 I were used to drive these trainsLocomotives from number 10637 onwards prepared: the performance of the motors was increased by 10% and the restoring force of the bogie centering was increased. As a result, the permissible speed in the curves could be increased by 5 km / h and the maximum speed set at 110 km / h. These changes received 78 locomotives from the year of construction 1925. The 36 locomotives delivered first were not adapted because the traction motors were not suitable.

Modernization from 1965

From 1965, 15 locomotives received new cabling and nozzle ventilation grilles. In some of these, the main oil switch was replaced by a DBTF main compressed air switch, a pantograph was removed and the reversible pole shunt resistors were moved from the stem to the roof.

Further modifications / improvements during use

  • after 1926: construction of pantographs with double rocker . In the originally installed pantographs with a single rocker , both pantographs had to be lifted to the contact wire, which can be seen in old pictures.
  • from 1950: bronze bushings in the Buchli drives reduce wear
  • To avoid drafts in the driver's cab , the right door is welded shut and the corresponding step removed
  • from 1960: An improved pinion suspension with rubber rollers further reduces wear in the Buchli drives
  • Removal of the transition plates over the buffer beams
  • Replacement of rod buffers by sleeve buffers

Operational use

Two Ae 3/6 I (foreground) in the main workshop in Zurich

The locomotives were designed for an hourly pulling force of 88 kN at 65 km / h and for the transport of a 720-ton train on a 10 - ‰ - gradient. After delivery, it was mainly used in front of express trains in the Central Plateau. From 1935 to 1946, the locomotives were also in front of the light-speed trains between Geneva and Zurich used before in these services through the Re 4/4 I were displaced. The locomotives continued to be used in front of passenger and freight trains throughout Switzerland with the exception of the Gotthard route. After the introduction of the clock timetable in 1982, the locomotives were mostly in front of regional trains in Toggenburg , Glarnerland, used on the Aargau Southern Railway and in Studenland . From 1987 they also ran the regional trains on the Herzogenbuchsee - Solothurn - Lyss route . In 1993 , one year before the scrapping, the regional trains Winterthur - St. Gallen were pulled by the Ae 4/7 and the Ae 3/6 I , equipped with light steel wagons or standard wagons I. Shortly before the decommissioning, the locomotives were to be found in front of mail and local freight trains.


The first Ae 3/6 I was scrapped in 1970 due to its poor condition. The delivery of Re 4/4 II and Re 6/6 in the 1970s led to the retirement of 22 locomotives. From 1982 the other Ae 3/6 I were also displaced by the delivery of newer locomotives and the NPZ multiple units .

The two locomotives with the numbers 10664 (Rapperswil depot) and 10700 (Bern depot) have been preserved by the SBB as operational historic vehicles and are now owned by the SBB Historic Heritage Foundation (SBB Historic). Three other locomotives belong to private individuals who are part of the Swisstrain association - the 10601, 10639 and 10693 are parked in Le Locle and Payerne.

Locomotives 10650 and 10693 are at the Mikado 1244 club in Brugg. The 10650 was taken over by SBB Historic in November and was relocated. The 10693 is being processed.


The Ae 3/6 I were in service from 1921 to 1994, that is 73 years. There were no other locomotives at SBB that were used for so long and without major modifications. When they were scrapped, many vehicles had a mileage of 5 to 6 million kilometers.

See also


  • The electric and diesel traction vehicles of the SBB. Volume 1: Hans Schneeberger: years of construction 1904–1955. Minirex, Lucerne 1995, ISBN 3-907014-07-3 .
  • Franz Eberhard, Hansueli Gonzenbach: Fascination Ae 4/7. A witness to the great Swiss locomotive architecture (= LOKi. Spezial. 22). Goldach trade press, Zurich 2003, ISBN 3-85738-073-X .


Commons : SBB Ae 3/6 I - Collection of images

Individual evidence

  1. Where is the plain? , a radio broadcast by Swiss Radio and Television (SRF) from Sunday, March 4, 2012, 9:15 a.m., accessed on December 12, 2019
  2. Quiet and balanced, the E 32 passenger locomotive and the E 16 express locomotive as their big sister, in Eisenbahngeschichte (magazine), No. 97 of December 2019 / January 2020
  3. History, Unter Strom - how Switzerland was electrified, by Stefan Boss , an article from July 8, 2018 in (SWI), accessed on December 12, 2019