Technology moves forward as people look for cheaper and faster ways to do things. In recent years, environmental impact has also entered the conversation. The search for green alternatives to things like diesel fuel has some train enthusiasts wondering if electric trains will replace diesel engines.
The Rise of Diesel’s Popularity
Diesel became the popular choice for powering trains in the middle of the 20th century. By that point, trains were losing a lot of money as people switched to motor vehicles and freight transportation. One reason diesel became popular is that it drastically cut the costs of train operation, saving the industry from disappearing altogether.
Why Replace Diesel Trains?
The number one reason that people want to replace diesel engines is to reduce their effect on the environment. Diesel exhaust is full of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are poisonous to humans and animals. In large amounts, it also contributes to problems like acid rain that contaminate the local water supply.
Another factor that could motivate lines to switch power sources is if electric power becomes cheaper than diesel. Fuel is a huge overhead expense that costs companies hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Alternatives to Diesel Locomotives
It’s possible that, in the near future, electric trains will replace diesel engines. Instead of the current electrical trains that use overhead power lines and rely on fossil fuel electricity, trains of the future may carry huge battery packs. Some people have also experimented with solar panels mounted on train cars.
Will Electric Trains Replace Diesel?
Electric technology gets more energy-efficient with each passing year. Diesel technology, on the other hand, does not move as quickly. It’s extremely likely that more hybrid and electric-powered trains will appear in the world of transportation very soon.
If you love the nostalgia of diesel trains, you might enjoy building model trains from the Diesel Era. It took place from roughly 1945-1970, making it the perfect time period for lovers of mid-century modern design.