All Aboard! Exploring the Newfoundland Railway


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Diesel Engine

Learn more about train engines in Newfoundland!

Below is an image of a Diesel train engine. See the diagrams below the image to discover more about the numbered regions of the engine!

The diesel engine in a locomotive is very much like the one in a big semi-trailer truck. Diesel oil is burned inside cylinders. The pistons slide back and forth and generate electric power. The electric power turns the drive wheels and the train moves. Several diesel locomotives supply the electric power to pull long trains.

Unlike a steam engine, a diesel engine does not usually drive the locomotive's wheels directly. Instead, it generates electricity, which then is used to turn the wheels.

View of Diesel Train Engine components

  1. Engine: The Diesel Engine turns the generator to produce an electric current, which drives a motor which turns the wheels.
  2. Bogie (truck): A bogie is a strong metal frame that connects the wheels and axles of a train. They keep the wheels, motors, brakes and suspension coils or springs in place. Two bogies can support a car.
  3. Fuel tank: The huge fuel tank in the underbelly of the locomotive holds 2,200 gallons (8,328 litres) of diesel fuel. The fuel tank is compartmentalized, so if any compartment is damaged or starts to leak, pumps can remove the fuel from that compartment.
  4. Cab: The cab of the locomotive rides on its own suspension system which helps to isolate the engineer from bumps. The seats have a suspension system as well.
  5. Fan / Batteries: Fan cools the generator and the locomotive has eight 8-volt batteries each weighing over 300 pounds (136 kg). These batteries provide the power needed to start the engine as well as to start the electronics in the locomotive.

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