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Quiz Archive

About Quiz # 353: 1903 Renard Road Train


1903-Train-Renard-1
This was a difficult quiz as we received only a few correct answers. We didn't give any clues, only if you looked close enough, you could see the cardan shaft, which could drive several wagons. The Road train was invented by Colonel Charles Renard, who used a 1903 Darracq for his demonstrations. Of course jury members (and experts in early transport) Ariejan Bos and Mike Tebbett recognized it and three others, Jak Guyomar, Craig Gillingham and Yannick Garcia also came up with the right answer. Now we have also a problem. All three were quite enthusiastic in their descriptions, and used more than 100 words. Now, what to do? Let's make an exception for once. We always look for the not so obvious and this we found in the answer by Jak Guyomar, whose family actually owned such a Renard Road Train! See Read More for his story and the other correct answers. Congratulations, Jak, with your second win!

The winning answer by Jak Guyomar: This looks like a Renard Road Train of 1903. Invented by Captain Charles Renard of the French Engineering Corps. The Prime Mover is a Darracq & it was shown on the stand at the 1903 Paris Salon. It hauled up 60 4 or 5 trailers behind it. The trailers were of 6 wheel layout. The centre pair were driven from the Prime Mover via a cardan shaft that connected to the worm drive of the Prime Mover & thence to a worm drive on each trailer which was fixed to the trailer chassis. The final drive from this differential unit was via double chains, as was the Prime Mover. The 2 pairs of other wheels were steered via a complex system of levers & cables. This system was designed in such a way that each trailer in turn when it came to a corner followed exactly in the wheel tracks of the Prime Mover. This eliminated the truncating of corner turns that would happen if the trailers were only steered by a simple towbar system. Capt. Renard I think died around 1907 & Daimler of England bought the rights to the Renard design & made their version of it.
How do I know all this-------My family had a 1908 Daimler Renard Road Train which they purchased from The Queensland Railways around 1930. The Railways purchased it to transport wool bales from the remote outback stations to the railheads. It was NOT a success!! The cardan shaft universal joints did not allow enough change of direction when the road train negotiated creek beds slopes & they locked over & being of only cast iron they broke all the time. My family used the Prime mover to tow a large trailer that they used to move complete houses to new locations. Our 1908 model had a 100hp poppet valve 4 cylinder engine of T fixed head configuration.
7 1/4" bore by 7 1/4" stroke for around 19 litres. The valves had 3 3/4" diameter heads. The later engines had sleeve valves. I passed on the remains of this Renard to a local enthusiast only last year. I still have photos of it in its heyday. There are a full set of trailers from one of these sleeve valve Renards at Ilfracombe in Central Queensland. Also there is a complete Renard existing in South Australia.

The answer from Graig Gillingham: This is the motor of a Renard Road Train (Le Train Renard). The inventor was a French military engineer, Colonel Charles Renard. The idea is that the motor powers a series of trailers through a propshafts and uni joints. The trailers were either 4 or six wheel, with only one axle being driven. I think the motor shown is one of the French built versions from 1905-06, the 50hp Type DL. Daimler took up a license to build them in 1907. They were built to their own design with some improvement, and a larger radiator to help with cooling in tropical climates. There is a 1908 Daimler-Renard in Australia, as well as another couple of driven trailers. Four, possibly five came to Australia, one to South Australia, the rest went to Queensland. The only known existing outfit is the one that was used in South Australia, unfortunately, the original engine is missing from that one, only the crankshaft and flywheel remain (they used a sleeve valve engine). This one was sold at an auction in 2010. Other Daimler-Renard Road Trains were used in India, Egypt, South America, Canada. Is the original quiz photo dated?

And also the answer from Yannick Garcia: le quizz n°353 est un train Renard. Son inventeur est le colonel Charles Renard, né ? Damblain (Vosges) le 23 décembre 1847, mort ? Meudon le 5 avril 1905.
Polytechnicien, colonel et directeur (1877) du centre aérostatique militaire de Chalais-Meudon il a consacré toute sa vie aux dirigeables et ? l'aviation. Aussi ? l'origine de la normalisation des valeurs numériques utilisées en syst?me métrique pour la construction mécanique.
En 1903 il dépose un brevet de « train routier ? traction continue ». Le but est d'augmenter la charge ? transporter en répartissant les masses sur plusieurs véhicules.
Un seul véhicule tracteur étant insuffisant (il lui aurait fallu un poids égal ? la masse transportée) l'idée est de transformer le tracteur en source d'énergie, répartie ? chaque voiture, via l'attelage associé ? un cardan. Chaque voiture est motrice. Le train est donc en progression continue.
De plus chaque voiture reste dans la trace de la précédente sans déport. C'est « le tournant correct »
A l'aide d'un moteur de 50 ch. un train destiné ? l'armée transportait une charge utile de 36 tonnes en se dépla?ant suivant le terrain ? des vitesses entre 12 et 72 km/h.
Les ch?ssis des voitures étaient ? 4 ou 6 roues ? suspension « grande flexion » pour les marchandises et ? « suspension compensée » pour les voyageurs.
N'importe quel moteur pouvait ?tre appliqué sur le train Renard, ? explosion, ? vapeur chauffée au pétrole, au coke, au bois ou aux huiles lourdes.
L'exploitation civile a été tr?s développé en France (Société fran?aise des Trains Renard 1907) ou ? l'étranger : Hollande, Hongrie et Iran... Entre autre fondée en 1907, la "Renard Road and rail transport Corporation" avait passé un accord avec la Société Daimler (Coventry). 200 trains Renard y seront construit jusqu'en 1914. L'un d'entre-eux, restauré est visible actuellement en état de marche pr?s d'Adéla?de en Australie.
Pour le plaisir, en fran?ais, voir le site suivant pour de belles illustrations d'une évolution ? transmission par chaine (la Nature 1907):
cnum.cnam.fr/.../...
P.S. : plus de 100 mots c'est vrai...
.

Comments 

 
#1 2013-09-16 10:07
From the photo, the 1903 Darracq version did not have chain drive anywhere, pulled three twin axle trailers of which the first and third appear to have driven rear axles, but the second (centre) trailer appears to have a dead rear axle. There is no evidence of the "complex system of levers & cables" to steer the device.
See http://www.historicphotographs.com.au/searcher.asp?systemsearch=1&sitemode=2&property=50 for a contemporary pic of the Daimler version.
 

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