My dancing girl

All the ferroviphiles (French for Railway Amateurs) know that the dancers are the Alsthom BB with single-motor bogie, series 16500, 17000, 8500, 25500, etc., because they are somewhat prone to dancing on the track!

My dancer’s first name is BB 16794. We met for the first time in Paris-Nord station on a beautiful spring day 1967, waiting for the train to take us home. The idyll was short: this train started a quarter of an hour later.

My dancer was not very beautiful, short-legged, with a flat face. Everything to be jealous of its sister 16000. But, as an advertisement says, for once I think intelligent: if you don’t like your defects, someone will like them for you. Plus, it was the youngest of the family!

First portrait

Here is a first document dated 1968, but which certainly evolved over a few years. There are various gear box drawings, one of Picasso Jouef style, the other with transverse motor (I think it was a Nanoperm found in an RC model catalogue). You will notice the very high placed pivot point which would have absolutely required low traction bars; otherwise, rearing and insured derailments!

Motorization design of the 16794

We also see on this drawing a lighting by luciol lamps, still used today by Roco! There is an accumulator battery in the transformer trough, and a draft study of motorized pantographs. There are sometimes obsessions…

Other study of a gearbox

Here is another gearbox project, based on a worm from a Joustra Boeing 707 with friction mechanism: this worm gear was therefore reversible (not self-locking) to allow launching the engine flywheel, that’s why it had three threads. But it gave an insufficient reduction; I therefore added a stage with spur gears.

Gearbox design for the 16794

At the time, I did not know yet the graphic gear representation! I don’t tell you the time spent drawing all that! And we still find the little “tournebroche” motor Jouef, the same as in the Record 64 slot cars! I doubt it could have driven the machine. As for the worm, I still own it: actual technological relic!

Joustra worm and gear

Portrait in majesty

Here is at last the most precise diagram I have ever drawn of this mythical (for me!) loco. The original is in A3 size.

BB 16794 diagram

Hey! I just noticed that I deprived the loco of its corner windows. It means that I was then aware of the cabin modifications operated on these locomotives. The date of drawing must therefore be around 1972.