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"The wide cab and narrow body typical of American diesels look odd..."

This narrow body style is the "hood" locomotive design favored by American railroads. Early American diesel-electric locomotives--and current engines--have the "cab body" or "carbody" design, where the locomotive body is the same width as a regular freight or passenger car, and the shell of the body is part of the structure of the engine. This allows the engineer to access the engine and electrical parts whilst being out of the weather, but it also makes it somewhat more difficult to do major repairs such as engine replacement.

The hood design is now almost universal in American freight locomotives, with a distinctly narrow body surrounding the engine and other components and a walkway outside. However, with the advent of the "safety" cab for the driver, the wide part of the locomotive has gotten longer, and the ever-larger cooling apparatus has produced large "wings" on the latest versions.

by asdf on Sun Jul 5th, 2009 at 12:08:59 PM EST
What I meant as odd was what you didn't quote: a second hood closing the other end. Then again, I see the two coupled locos on the photo in your comment give the same look, in the end.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jul 5th, 2009 at 03:23:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting to think about how the big steam engines were driven from the rear for decades--only since diesels has it become mandatory that the engineer be able to see where he's going!
by asdf on Sun Jul 5th, 2009 at 05:21:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Europe, there was an increase in maximum speeds in parallel; but, I suspect that simply a greater public attention to safety was the prime mover on both continents.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jul 6th, 2009 at 06:17:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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