Electric Locomotive

The electric locomotive as the name suggests is a locomotive that is powered by electricity. The external source of electricity which powers the train could be in the form of an overhead line, battery or third rail. The electricity generated could be using any source like wind energy (windmills), hydroelectric power or diesel. The electric locomotive uses alternating or direct current and stores it in huge batteries or ultracapacitators which is then used to power the train forward. The machinery is then operated and wheels moved using this stored electricity. The very first electric locomotive was made by Robert Davidson, a Scottish man in the year 1837.This electric locomotive was powered by batteries or galvanic cells. However, the batteries could not store much electricity and therefore, it was not possible at the time to use it in the mainline.

Electric locomotives have been preferred considering their several features like being more efficient, having low maintenance costs and the like. They are comparatively very quiet. The electric locomotive is low maintenance and thus, helps in making a major saving in terms of cost.

Electric locomotives are very fast and thus, are best suited for aiding the movement of passengers, goods and services from one place to another. Electric locomotives have been preferred over diesel locomotives as they are much faster and more efficient. The electric locomotives are also more reliable.

The only disadvantage of the electric locomotive is the huge initial infrastructure cost. However, the advantages of the electric locomotive far outweigh its disadvantages. Once the initial cost has been incurred you could continue to reap rich dividends for years to come. Thus, due to its several advantages the electric locomotive has remained an integral part of the railway system.

Today hybrid versions of the electric locomotive are also used which are even superior to the traditional electric locomotive. This is a result of the latest technological developments. For instance, the diesel electric locomotive uses the diesel engine to produce electricity which in turn runs the train. This locomotive combines the benefits of both the diesel and electric and has come to occupy an important place in the recent times.