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From Our Berlin Correspondent.

30th July 1908, Page 9
30th July 1908
Page 9
Page 9, 30th July 1908 — From Our Berlin Correspondent.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

The Schlettstadt Hohenkonig-sburg Motor Company, which carries on work between Schlettstadt and the Royal Palace, finds itself in the happy situation of haying to put on two more omnibuses in order to cope with the growing traffic.

Electric Omnibuses on Trial by the Berlin Motorbus Company.

About two years ago, there was some talk of electric omnibuses being put on Berlin's streets, yet the matter did not get beyond the " talk " stage. At the back of this experimental enterprise M posse was, if I recollect aright, the Accumulatoren-Fabrik A ktiengesellschaf t. Subsequently, in 1907, Messrs. Siemens and Schuckert were mentioned as about to place at the disposal of the MotorOmnibusgesellschaft an omnibus propelled on the " mixed " system; and, whereas Engineer Valentin, of Siemens and Sehuckert, stoutly denied any intention of his house to do anything of the kind, Chief-Engineer Otto, of the Moe-e--Omnibusgesellechaft, gave me to understand that— But why dwell on discrepancies of statement? Nothing came of the rumour, anyway, so it does not matter.

Now, however, I have to record something tangible in the realisation of the Accumulatoren-Fabrik Aktiengesellschaft's experimental scheme. On Tuesday, the 21st instant, I not only saw two, brand-new, electric buses, hut also made a short trip in one. The vehicles had just been passed for traffic by the police, when, thanks to information supplied by the foreman of the MotorOmnibusgesellschaft's repairing shop, I managed to discover them charging up at the Berlin Electric Cab Company's yard. They will not be worked commercially until -a staff of four drivers have been -sufficiently trained for that purpose.

To begin with the carosserie : they are double-deckers, built to carry 40 persons in all, including the necessary personnel. The outside seats, arranged on the usual_ herring-bone pattern adopted in Berlin, number 18; the rear platform gives standing accommodation for three passengers, while 16 more find comfortably-cushioned seals inside. In the plan of the inside seats, we get the scheme applied by the Motor Omnibusgesellschaft to its petrol-driven vehicles, namely, a seat for four occupying the entire width of the body at the end, two double-seats on the left, and two quadruple-seats on the right, passengers sitting back to back, singly or in pairs. Six rooflamps, three on each side, light up the interior : these are, as might be styposed, electric; so, too, a couple of front lamps in the panel at the back of the driver, also the large head-lamp on the front of the dashboard, which is constructed as a convex box for holding tools.

Chassis et c'etera : here we have a hind-wheel drive, a Lohner-Porsche electromotor driving, and constituting the nave of, each wheel. This electmmotor is now made exclusively by the Vienna Mercedes-Gesellschaft, whose representative, JJerr Ober-Monteur Paul Sieder, supplied me with a few technical data. On the brake, the two motors give a h.p. of 25. Allowing for 40 passengers, each omnibus turns the scale at some 9 tons, and can be propelled at a maximum rate of zo miles an hour. There are five speeds, and three reverse positions. In addition to the electric brake, two independent mechanical brakes form part of the equipment. The battery comes, of course, from the Accutnulatoren-Fabrik Aktiengesellschafi, being their " type 6 " for vehicles of large size, namely, an So-cell battery with a capacity of 293 ampere-hours on a discharge of 59 amperes, weighing approximately 30 cwt. and having a working radius of 30 miles. It is slung. underneath the body, between the two pairs of wheels, held up by four double-hooks, also by steel-wire bands with looped ends passing over four trunnions at the bottom of the battery-case. The main object of these bands, which pass over drums revolved by two, detachable, exterior cranks on the left side, is to lower the

case when the cells require re-charging. In a subsequent conversation with one of the managers of the Accumulatoren-Fabrik Gesellschaft, 1 learnt that omnibus batteries suspended in thesame way have already been sold by the undertaking to some London concerns; hence, I refrain from giving more than a rough description of the battery and the method of suspension.

Officials of the Motor-Ornnibusgesellsohaft at Leipzig-er Platz are not strikingly sanguine as to the economic success the only success that concerns them—of the new omnibuses. The Gesellschaft is the daughter-company of the Grosse Berliner StrassenbalmGesellschaft, which, at the beginning of its mechanical-propulsion career, burnt its fingers horribly over batteries. Still, the conditions were not the same years ago, and, besides, one may confidently assume that some little advance has been made since then inthe creation of serviceable accumulators. I may add that the electric busesare shod with Continental solid-rubber tires, single in front and double behind (with anti-skids).

Trial Run for Subsidised Automobiles in Prussia.

On the 8th instant, a trial run---a qualification trip over 1,575 kilometres —for subsidised freight-automobiles was commenced, the vehicles starting from Berlin in the early morning. The circuit included Kottbus, Dresden. Gera, Saalfeld, Hildburghausen, Vacha, Minden, Harz, Braunberg, Wernigerode, Magdeburg, Genthin, Brandenburg, and back to Berlin. Bussing, Nacke, Stoewer, Eisenach, Narnag, Scheibler and Diirkopp were each represented by a vehicle. A Bussing automobile, fitted up as a repairing shop, brought up the rear, and a Bussing lorry led the way, travelling at some 12 miles an hour. Each automobile carried the regulation load and drew a trailer. The run was organised by the Transport Department of the War Office, and non-commissioned officers of the department acted as observers.

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