- It is a type of civilian vehicle, a train, and a groundcraft.
- It operates on train networks.
- It is an element of infrastructure.
Diesel locomotives that have internal combustion engines using hydrocarbon fuel are better described as diesel-electric locomotives. Their engines don't drive the wheels directly, instead powering an electric generator. This in turn powers electric motors that are connected to the wheels and are capable of rapidly generating very high levels of torque.
- Diesel locomotives typically operate on railroad and monorail networks.
- They are operated using mechanical controls.
- They carry an onboard fuel supply.
Large low-speed internal combustion engines (as used in locomotives and maritime vessels where the overall engine weight is relatively unimportant) can reach high effective efficiencies. As such they remain an important element of infrastructure throughout the TL:4-6 tech epoch.
- Suitable hydrocarbon fuels with the correct volatility and makeup are typically obtained from refined fossil sources, produced from carbonaceous materials including organics, or extracted from planetary atmospheres and surfaces. They are widely available and relatively cheap.
Because of their power and efficiency, diesel locomotives are used to move passengers and large quantities of cargo between widely separated locations. Long freight trains, headed by one or more diesel locomotives and hauling hundreds or even thousands of tons of cargo, remain a common sight across the Imperium.
- Diesel locomotives may be cog locomotives.
- They may be designed as the power unit for a light rail network.
- The use of the term diesel loco or simply diesel specifically dates to the Second Imperium, where it was shorthand for almost any non-steam, non-electric internal combustion locomotive. The term remains common within the Imperium and the Solomani Sphere.
Expected Train Development Sequence
- Network Type: Land Train → Railroad Train → Monorail Train → Funicular Train → Subway Train → Atmospheric Train → Hover Train → Maglev Train → Sky Train
- Motive Power: Steam Locomotive → Cog Locomotive → Light Rail Locomotive → Internal Combustion Locomotive → Diesel Locomotive → Electric Locomotive → High Speed Locomotive
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