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Diesel locomotive transmission types

Diesel locomotive unlike steam engines, internal combustion engines require a transmission to power the wheels. The engine must be allowed to continue to run when the locomotive is stopped.

A diesel engines transmission in a fashion is similar to that employed in most road vehicles. This type of transmission is generally limited to low-powered, low speed shunting/switching locomotives, lightweight multiple units and self-propelled railcars.

The mechanical transmissions used for railroad propulsion are generally more complex and much more robust than road versions. There is usually a fluid coupling between the engine and gearbox, and the gearbox is often of the epicyclic/planetary type to permit shifting while under load.

Various systems have been devised to minimize the break in transmission during gear changing. Continue reading about the diesel locomotive


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