Description: The Swiss heavy haul
Original artwork by Mad Dog Graphix /
Made the Swiss heavy haul locomotive
the "Krokodil" from scratch in
CorelDraw. The details and dimensions
might not be correct but this was not
important for the intended purpose. The
card stock was created to make the
artwork more "retro" for the
About the Swiss locomotive "The
The Crocodile electric locomotives are
so called because they have long "noses"
at each end, reminiscent of the snout of
a crocodile. These contain the motors
and drive axles, and are connected by an
articulated center section. The center
section usually contains the crew
compartments, pantographs and
transformer. The name was first applied
to Swiss locomotives. Sometimes the term
is applied to locomotives in other
countries of a similar design.
History / Rhaetian Crocodile in
The original "Crocodiles" were the
series SBB Ce 6/8 II and SBB Ce 6/8 III
locomotives of the SBB, Swiss Federal
Railways, built between 1919 and 1927.
These locomotives were developed for
pulling heavy goods trains on the steep
tracks of the Gotthardbahn from Lucerne
to Chiasso, including the famous
Gotthard Tunnel in Switzerland
The electric motors available at the
time were large and had to be
body-mounted, but flexibility was
required to negotiate the tight curves
on the Alpine routes and tunnels. An
articulated design, with two powered
nose units bridged with a pivoting
center section containing cabs and the
heavy transformer, met both requirements
and gave excellent visibility from
driving cabs mounted safely away from
any collision. These locomotives,
sometimes called the 'Swiss Crocodile'
or 'SBB Crocodile', were highly
successful and served until the 1980s.
Several are still in operation as
preserved historical locomotives.
Very similar locomotives were used in
Austria as Austrian Federal Railways (Österreichische
Bundesbahn) classes ÖBB 1089 and ÖBB
1189, and are often known as 'Austrian
After the Swiss and Austrian standard
gauge Crocodiles, the best known are the
Rhaetian Railway (RhB)'s metre gauge
locomotives of class Ge 6/6 I, the
Rhaetian Crocodile. Several of these
still run on passenger trains on special
occasions. They are also used on freight
trains in busy periods. The Bernina
Railway (later merged with the RhB) also
built a single Crocodile type, the Ge
4/4, nicknamed the 'Bernina Crocodile'.
This locomotive survived and is being
restored to operating condition.
Two Swiss narrow-gauge railways also
have locomotive nicknamed Crocodiles;
the BVZ Zermatt-Bahn (BVZ) (which merged
with the Furka-Oberalp-Bahn (FO) in 2003
to form the Matterhorn-Gotthard-Bahn)
uses series HGe 4/4 I, known as the
Zermatt crocodile, while the Chemin de
Fer Yverdon-Ste. Croix owns a solitary
class Ge 4/4 #21. Neither of these
locomotive types have an articulated
body, which leads some rail fans to
nickname them "false crocodiles".
The German classes E 93 and E 94, also
used by the ÖBB as series 1020, are
sometimes called 'German crocodiles'.
They are sometimes nicknamed
"Alligators", instead, because of their
broader, shorter snouts.
The French DC 25 kV CC locomotives of
series 14000 and 14100 of the SNCF, used
mainly for iron ore trains on the
Thionville-Valencienne line, were also
Crocodile locomotives were also used in
India. These locomotives, of series
WCG1, were used from 1928 between Bombay
and Pune, and were all built to the
Indian broad gauge of 5 ft 6 in. The
first 10 locomotives were built by Swiss
Locomotive and Machine Works. Vulcan
Foundry of Great Britain constructed a
further 31 examples for this line.
copyright 2011 Mad Dog Graphix /
All content on this website is protected
by Canadian, U.S. and international
copyright laws and is the property of
MadDogGraphix.com and/or the providers
of the content under license. By
"content" we mean any information, mode
of expression, or other materials and
services found on MadDogGraphix.com.
This includes text. graphics and any and
all other features found on the site.
Please contact us for any further
information. - MadDogGraphix.com