Le Tourneau Logistical Car VC-12 Tournatrain

VC-12 Tournatrain. First tested in February 1953. The new version in February 1954, maximum payload of 140 tons. Each wheel was powered by a separate electric motor.
In the 1950s, the U.S. Army experimented with a 13-car, 600-foot-long wheeled train that could haul more than a hundred tons of supplies over sand or snow.
But let's start from the beginning of it all...
Originally conceived to assist logging in trackless wilderness, LeTourneau, a company specialising in heavy equipment, experimented with diesel-electric transmission. Famed for its earthmovers, they devised the first of theyr land trains. The VC-12 Tournatrain, in 1953-1954 with a lead cab and three trailers. A 500hp Cummins diesel powered a generator that then fed electric motors at each wheel, thus spreading the power application across 16 wheels to enhance traction. A later iteration of the Tournatrain added a second Cummins and four more trailers to put 32 drive wheels to the ground.
Tournatrain in downtown Longview
The overland train concept first developed as a way to haul trees out of the bush, without the need to prepare a road capable of supporting a traditional truck. A truck would need to have a surface flat and strong enough for its driven wheels, normally four at the rear of the cab, to gain traction needed to climb any grades. With multiple driven wheels, LeTourneau's 6x6 diesel-electrics were an obvious solution, but they were too small to justify their purchase costs. The solution was to turn the 6x6 into an extendable design, using flexible connections to allow any number of driven wheels to be added, as needed.
The first of these designs was the VC-12 Tournatrain, which consisted of a power truck with a 500-hp Cummins VT-12 engine, and three 20-ton trailers. Each wheel was powered by a separate electric motor, four to each vehicle, including the locomotive. First tested in February 1953, after several months of testing, a second engine was added to the rear trailer for more power, and an additional four "trailers". The new version was completed in February 1954, and supported a maximum payload of 140 tons.
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