What is Locomotive: Definition and 33 Discussions

A locomotive or engine is a rail transport vehicle that provides the motive power for a train. If a locomotive is capable of carrying a payload, it is usually rather referred to as a multiple unit, motor coach, railcar or power car; the use of these self-propelled vehicles is increasingly common for passenger trains, but rare for freight (see CargoSprinter and Iron Highway).
Traditionally, locomotives pulled trains from the front. However, push-pull operation has become common, where the train may have a locomotive (or locomotives) at the front, at the rear, or at each end. Most recently railroads have begun adopting DPU or distributed power. The front may have one or two locomotives followed by a mid train locomotive that is controlled remotely from the lead unit.

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  1. Astronuc

    Modern US locomotive design and operation

    Locomotives are a complex combination of mechanical and electrical systems. The video shows different parts of a locomotive and their function. A standard mainline freight locomotive develops 4400 hp (3.24 MW) with some developing up to 6000 hp (4.47 MW). The previous standard from the late...
  2. AspiringPhysicist12

    Conservation of momentum problem (sand-spraying locomotive)

    If I consider only the freight car's mass and the mass dm that's added to the freight car as part of the system, then I get this answer: https://ibb.co/QfKSqQ5 But if I consider the freight car's mass, the mass dm, and the locomotive car as part of the system (maintaining the locomotive has...
  3. E

    3D model I created of the largest steam locomotive ever built

    Here is a 3D model (blender 2.8) I created of the Chesapeake And Ohio Allegheny 1601 steam locomotive, which remains today the largest locomotive ever built.
  4. S

    Calculating Centripetal Acceleration of a Locomotive's Crank Pin

    Problem Statement: A locomotive is running at a constant speed of 100 km / h. The diameter of driving wheels is 1.8 m. The stroke of the piston of the steam engine cylinder of the locomotive is 600 mm. Find the centripetal acceleration of the crank pin relative to the engine frame. Relevant...
  5. E

    A train dragging coal while more coal is added into it....

    Homework Statement A locomotive is dragging empty freight cars, while coal is being dropped into them. It’s falling down into those freight cars with an efficiency (μ). Overall mass of the whole empty train is M. a) Calculate v(t) (velocity with respect to time), assuming that the force of...
  6. K

    Diesel Electric Locomotive formula

    What formulas do Diesel Electric Locomotive manufactures use when designing new Locomotives? Are there any good books on the subject? Locomotive meaning train engine. I want to understand freight engine designs not passenger. Thank you, Kevin
  7. Maor Hadad

    Position of a train engine (Locomotive)

    Hi, I have a question about where's the most efficient place for a train engine - Let's say a train has to do a some route back and forth, the route has curves and positive and negative slopes. In real life - What's the best position for the enginge? My intuition says it will be most efficient...
  8. N

    Using a motor or alternator to generate electricity

    I'm looking into building a 7 1/4 gauge Diesel Electric Locomotive I will be using 4x 1hp (or 1 1/3hp) 24vDC permanent magnet motors for the traction motors. What I am looking for is someway of generating 24vDC with a 100-150A max output. (Im using a 3cyl 16hp Diesel engine to drive a...
  9. joanlluch

    Can a Computerized System Improve Performance of Miniature Steam Locomotives?

    Hi, I wonder if someone has experience on steam engines or locomotives, even miniature ones. Some time ago I had the thought of applying a computerised system to miniature steam locomotive. The idea is to remove the traditional mechanism that drives the steam distribution valves (that's known...
  10. R

    Regenerative braking on Locomotives with AC transmission

    Many modern electric train locomotives have the option of regenerative braking. Most of these locos have HVAC power transmission. I'm wondering, when they brake in regenerative mode do they actually generate DC (I'm not sure whether modern electric locos prefer DC motors or AC motors or is the...
  11. R

    Hotel Load of train: Why separate generator & not locomotive

    While on a long distance train in India I noticed that there were two huge cars devoted to power generation, one at each end of the train (approx. an 18 car consist). A pic. below. Apparently diesel powered generators. Each car had two exhaust pipes on top (one at each end) so presumably these...
  12. Baluncore

    Can Einstein's Field Equations Explain the Sinking Locomotive in Bolivian Sand?

    Do the Einstein field equations explain why this locomotive is sinking into the Bolivian sand?
  13. G

    How Does Sand Transfer Affect the Speed of a Freight Car?

    Homework Statement (Kleppner & Kolenkow - Introduction to Mechanics - 3.12) A sand-spraying locomotive sprays sand horizontally into a freight car situated ahead of it. The locomotive and freight car are not attached. The engineer in the locomotive maintains his speed so that the distance to...
  14. F

    Locomotive accelerates 34-car train

    Homework Statement A locomotive accelerates a 34-car train along a level track. Every car has a mass of 6.2 × 104 kg and is subject to a frictional force f = 165v, where the speed v is in meters per second and the force f is in Newtons. At the instant when the speed of the train is 31 km/h, the...
  15. S

    Work-Energy Theorem locomotive Question

    Homework Statement A locomotive exerts a 20 000 Newton force upon a train. It propels four cards, each with a 15 tonne mass. The locomotive's mass is 40 tonnes and friction is considered negligible. Initially at rest, the train accelerates over a distance of one kilometer. a) What is the...
  16. Saitama

    Locomotive throwing sand in a car

    Homework Statement A sand-spraying locomotive sprays sand horizontally into a freight car situated ahead of it. The locomotive and freight car are not attached. The engineer in the locomotive maintains his speed so that the distance to the freight car is constant. The sand is transferred at a...
  17. N

    Locomotive question with three trains involving force and acceleration

    Homework Statement A locomotive (6.4 × 105 kg) is used to pull two railway cars (Figure 11). Railway car 1 (5.0 × 105 kg) is attached to railway car 2 (3.6 × 105 kg) by a locking mechanism. A railway engineer tests the mechanism and estimates that it can only withstand 2.0 × 105 N of...
  18. F

    How Much Force Does a Toy Locomotive Exert on a Caboose?

    A 2.1 kg toy locomotive is pulling a 1.7 kg caboose. The frictional force of the track on the caboose is 0.51 N backward along the track. If the train is accelerating forward at 3.4 m/s2, what is the magnitude of the force exerted by the locomotive on the caboose?
  19. lpetrich

    Feasibility of a Nuclear-Powered Locomotive

    In another messageboard some time ago, that question came up: how feasible it is to power a locomotive with a nuclear reactor. Yes, that kind of railroad vehicle. It would work much like a diesel-electric locomotive. That kind of locomotive works by a diesel engine turning a generator, which...
  20. N

    Dc brushless motor in locomotive is it possible?

    hi guys homework r u? I have zis question about locomotives Is it possible to drive locomotive by brushless dc traction motor?
  21. B

    Non-Uniform Circular Motion: Locomotive Rounding a Curve

    Homework Statement As a locomotive rounds a circular curve of radius 2.10 km (which would be 2100 m to keep all the units the same), its speed is increasing at a rate of 0.440 m/s2. An instrument in the cab (an accelerometer) indicates that the magnitude of the locomotive's total acceleration...
  22. J

    Calculating Time for a Locomotive to Reach 33 m/s from 1.7 m/s2

    A locomotive is accelerating at 1.7 m/s2. It passes through a 20.0-m-wide crossing in a time of 2.8 s. After the locomotive leaves the crossing, how much time is required until its speed reaches 33 m/s? I really don't know how to approach this equation, I feel like it will involve more than...
  23. C

    Solving a Locomotive Dilemma: Step-by-Step Guide

    Homework Statement The picture shows the unfortunate situation in which two locomotive drivers found themselves. The trains are driving in opposite directions on the same track. The only aid is one short spur line. It can take one engine or one wagon at a time. There is only one engine and...
  24. S

    Can locomotive engine fenders be modified to prevent human and animal accidents?

    Hi Engineering guys, why you can't think about modifying the locomotive engine fender to push away human beings and animals from track. You know, each day there are hunderds of human beings are getting trapped under the wheels of locomotives. Can you guys think about modifying the fender -...
  25. C

    Calculating Locomotive Force: Tension in 2nd & 3rd Cars

    Homework Statement A locomotive is pulling 15 freight cars, each of which is loaded with roughly the same weight. The mass of each can be taken to be 37,000 kg. If the train is accelerating at 0.72 m/s^2 on a level track, what is the tension in the coupling between the second and third cars...
  26. nismaratwork

    Is Ghost Hunting on Train Tracks a Deadly Mistake?

    Maybe I'm cynical, bitter, and tired of this paranormal "hunter' ****, but I find this absolutely hilarious. I'm sorry for the death, but the manner of death is Darwin Award material. http://www.necn.com/08/28/10/Ghost-hunter-killed-on-railroad-tracks-i/landing.html?blockID=299563&feedID=4207
  27. S

    What is the tension between two connected train cars in a toy locomotive system?

    Homework Statement A child pulls on a toy locomotive of mass 0.979 kg with a force of 3.25 N to the right. The locomotive is connected to two train cars by cables. Friction in the axles results in an effective coefficient of kinetic friction between the floor and the train which is 0.110...
  28. F

    How Long Does It Take for a Locomotive to Reach 32 m/s After Crossing?

    1. A locomotive is accelerating at 1.6 m/sec2. It passes through a 20.0-m-wide crossing in a time of 2.4 s. after the locomotive leaves the corssing, how much time is required until its speed reaches 32 m/s?
  29. X

    Locomotive, friction, and speed question

    Homework Statement A 4.6×104 kg locomotive, with steel wheels, is traveling at 14 m/s on steel rails when its engine and brakes both fail. The coefficient of friction is 1.6×10−3. 1.) How far will the locomotive roll before it comes to a stop? Answer in meters using two significant...
  30. J

    Newton's second law and a locomotive

    Homework Statement A 50,000 kg locomotive is traveling at 60.0 when its engine and brakes both fail. How far will the locomotive roll before it comes to a stop? I'm completely lost and i don't know how to get started on this question
  31. O

    Tension in the coupling between the locomotive and the first car

    A 97 250kg train pulls two freight cars. The first car has a mass of 51 355 kg and the second has a mass of 18 400 kg. The whole train accelerates at .01750m/s^2. What is the tension in the coupling between the locomotive and the first car? A. I used Ft=ma and took (51355)(.1750)= 8987.1 N...
  32. P

    Calculate Tractive Effort & Draw-Bar Pull for Locomotive A,B,C

    Hi all, Another teaser that I have been attempting is the following: A Locomotive (A) pulls two tracks (B) and (C). The masses of A,B & C are 80, 25 and 20 tonne respectively. The train starts from rest and accelerates uniformally to cover 2KM in 8 minutes. Assume the resistance to motion...