13 Difference between Electric and Diesel Locomotives Engine

railway electrification

As a part of the railway electrification technical series, in this article, I will explain Indian Railway electric and diesel-electric engines with specifications.

Also, will cover the following concepts such as…

  • What is the difference between the electric locomotive and diesel locomotive?
  • Which is better- diesel or electric locomotive?
  • Advantages and disadvantages of electric and diesel engines

Let’s begin,

Difference between Electric and Diesel Locomotives

#ContentElectric LocomotiveDiesel Locomotive
01SourceAs its name, the electric locomotive works on electricity. The diesel locomotive works on the diesel.
02Powered byThe engine of the electric train requires electricity through overhead lines.The engine of the diesel train does not require direct power or electricity from overhead lines.
03Power GenerationThis type of locomotive does not generate the own power. This type of locomotive generates self-power by using diesel fuel with a two-stroke or four-stroke engine. 
04RequirementsIt requires less equipment like a transformer, circuit breaker, compressor, etc. For power generation, more types of equipment like a piston, generator, radiator, etc are required
05WeightThe electric engine is lightweight.Usually, the diesel engine is heavy in weight.
06Effect The electric locomotive does not produce heat and noise as compared to a diesel locomotive.The diesel electric locomotive
produces heat and noise.
07ImpactThis electric train is pollution-free. This diesel train emits pollution.
08Maintenance It requires less maintenance.It requires more maintenance.
09Overhead SystemThe electric locomotives constantly require an overhead contact system. The diesel-electric locomotives do not require an overhead contact system. 
10Cost of electric & diesel locomotivesElectric trains are cheaper. Diesel trains are expensive.
11Electric & diesel train speedThe electric train speed is higher than the diesel-electric train. The diesel-electric train speed is lower than the electric train.
12Weather impactUnder weather conditions or terrains, an electric locomotive is not much beneficial than a diesel locomotive.Under weather conditions or terrains, a diesel locomotive is very beneficial than an electric locomotive. 

13. What are the parts of electric & diesel electric locomotives?

  • Locomotive Electric Engine Parts

Pantograph, Circuit breaker, Compressor, , Battery, Transformer, Cooling fan, Motor blower, Rectifier, Inverter, Insulators, Three-Phase AC Motors, DC-DC Converter, Bumpers, Coupler, Trolley Poles, Axle brush, etc are the most important parts of the electric train engine.

  • Locomotive Diesel Engine Parts:

Diesel engine, Fuel tank, Air intakes, Radiator, Radiator fan, Turbocharger, Alternator or generator, Rectifiers, Inverters, Air compressor, Electronic controls, Control stand, Sandbox, Gearbox, Traction motor, Air Reservoirs, Motor blower, Batteries, Driveshaft, Truck Frame, etc are the useful parts of the diesel-electric train engine.

This is all about the difference between electric and diesel locomotives in India railway.

These points also cover the advantages and disadvantages of the electric locomotive over the diesel-electric locomotive.

Which is better diesel or electric locomotives?

The electric and diesel locomotives have different specifications, as we already seen.

When considering speed, effect, power source, environmental condition, and performance, both locomotives have some benefits and drawbacks.

I have already briefly explained each point. We conclude that the electric locomotive is better than the diesel-electric locomotive. Day by day, the number of trains running with the electric locomotive engine is increasing.

If you want to include any points about the diesel vs electric locomotive India, you can drop the comment in below.

Read some related electric difference:

Thanks for Reading!

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1 thought on “13 Difference between Electric and Diesel Locomotives Engine”

  1. Hi Dipali
    It is great that you are interested in locomotives and how they work.
    In New Zealand we have diesel and electric but only about fifteen electrics.
    Good luck with your electrical engineering career.


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