OT- Why do trains have solid axles?
I know there are quite a few people here involved with the railways, so I thought I'd throw this question out there?
I recently came across a little tidbit in reading where it said that trains need more power to pull through corners as the wheels on the carriages are mounted to solid axles. As a result the inside wheel needs to slip, resulting in increased power requirements, tyre and wear.
First of all I need to confirm this is in fact correct, and then the obvious question is why? Why not have a non-rotating axle and the bearing in the wheel, just as in road transport? In this day it seems like a terrible waste to require extra energy to haul, and I'm sure that would add up quickly on anything other than dead straight track. One way or the other there needs to be a bearing(s) in there.