Diesel locomotive

locomotive powered by a diesel engine

A diesel locomotive is a locomotive powered by a diesel engine. The diesel engine drives the locomotive's wheels through a transmission system. Diesel locomotives are very popular worldwide, due to their ease of use and reliability. They can be more powerful than steam locomotives and do not need an expensive power grid like electric locomotives.

A diesel locomotive
Former diesel locomotive in Kenya

Transmission systems

Mechanical transmission

Through a gearbox, shaft or chain (diesel-mechanical)

Electric transmission

By generating electricity which is in turn used to power the wheels (diesel-electric). This is the kind most used.

Hydraulic transmission

By using a hydraulic transmission system (diesel-hydraulic)