Prime mover (locomotive)

In locomotives, a prime mover is the primary source of power to run the locomotive.

In Diesel-electric locomotives, prime mover refers to the Diesel engine that drives the generator or alternator to produce electrical power, fed to the traction motors to produce motion. A prime mover can also be a gas turbine in the same way as for a diesel electric. In this case, the traction motors are considered part of the power transmission system rather than prime movers themselves.

In rarer diesel-mechanical, or steam locomotives, the prime mover is simply the diesel or steam engine.

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