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Electro-diesel locomotive: Wikis


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An Electro-diesel locomotive (also referred to as dual-mode locomotive) is powered either from an electricity supply (like an electric locomotive) or by using the onboard diesel engine (like a diesel-electric locomotive). For the most part, these locomotives are built to serve regional, niche markets with a very specific purpose.

Electro-diesel locomotives should not be confused with the far more common Diesel-electric locomotive, which use a diesel engine to power electric motors, which in turn power the wheels; in this type of locomotive, the diesel engine and electric motors operate simultaneously.



An electro-diesel locomotive may be designed mainly for electric use (e.g. British Rail Class 73) or mainly for diesel use (e.g. EMD FL9). In the first case the diesel engine is small and is intended only for low-speed operation. In the second case the diesel engine is large enough for high-speed use.




Bombardier has built dual-mode variants of its AGC series for the French operator SNCF; the electricity is collected by means of a pantograph.

  • B 81500multiple unit trains using 1.5 kV DC catenary, in service since 2005
  • B 82500 – multiple unit trains using both 1.5 kV DC and 25 kV AC catenary, currently still being built


In Russia, a number of electro-diesels were built which had both pantographs and diesel motors; these locomotives were actually multiple-units, with distinct electric, diesel, and motor sections. These included:

  • ED16 (ЭД16), ED18 (ЭД18), and TEU1 (ТЭУ1) narrow gauge models
  • OPE1 (ОПЭ1), OPE2 (ОПЭ2), NP1 (НП1), PE2(M) (РЭ2(М)), and EL20 standard-gauge locomotives used mostly in quarries


  • FEVE 1.900 Series, 1500 V DC overhead wires. This series is a rebuild of FEVE 1.000 Series locomotive.
  • CAF Bitrac 3600, 3000 V DC overhead wires. October 2007 order for 9 freight Co-Co locomotives. Available in Bo-Bo and Co-Co wheel configuration, 1435mm or 1668mm gauge, and as freight or passenger versions of 120kph and 180kph maximum speeds respectively.


  • RhB Gem 4/4, 1000 V DC overhead wires (Bernina railway)

United Kingdom

An experimental electro-diesel locomotive, DEL120, was built by London Underground in 1940 but was not a success. Only two other types have been built. In both cases, their electricity source was a 750 V DC third rail.

North America

United States

In the US, three dual-mode locomotive types have been built. These operate off a 750 V DC third rail in electric-only mode. The primary function for these models is to provide a one-seat ride between diesel territory and the New York City terminals of Grand Central Terminal and New York Penn Station, which have ordinances prohibiting locomotives from emitting smoke within the tunnels. See Metro-North Railroad.

  • EMD FL9 – primarily diesel-electric, third-rail electric mode for short-term use only; nearly (2006) retired from passenger service
  • P32AC-DM – dual-mode version of the GE Genesis, electric mode only used for first four miles of travel.
  • EMD DM30AC – specific to the Long Island Rail Road

A planned dual-mode locomotive for overhead supply is the Bombardier ALP-45DP.

Hybrid locomotive

Main article: Hybrid locomotive

A specialized type of electro-diesel locomotive is the Hybrid locomotive. Here, the electricity comes from a battery (charged by the diesel engine) rather than an external supply. An example is the Green Goat switcher [1].

See also


  1. ^

External links


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