Although electric locomotives have been in service in the US since 1895, the high capital cost of converting tracks to electric transmission have prevented their widespread adoption. Since the 1950s, however, most US locomotives have been built with diesel engines. Usually the axles are driven by electric motors mounted on the trucks, the main diesel engine driving a generator which supplies power to the motors (diesel-electric transmission). Elsewhere in the world, particularly in Europe, much greater used is made of electric traction, the locomotive usually collecting power from overhead cables via a pantograph. Although some gas-turbine locomotives are in service in the US, this and other novel power sources do not seem to be making much headway at present.
Related category TECHNOLOGY
Home • About • Copyright © The Worlds of David Darling • Encyclopedia of Alternative Energy • Contact