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Why were steam engines replaced by electric engines?

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When multiple steam locomotives were used on the same train, every one had to have both a fireman and engineer on board to operate them, which increased costs for train and engine crews per trip. The main savings provided by the diesel locomotive were, besides fuel efficiency, the elimination of jobs and personnel on the railroad which saved them money. read more

According to the designers, diesel engines could run faster and work longer than steam locomotives. They were more fuel-efficient; they didn’t require frequent stops to replenish coal and water. Instead of generating steam in an enormous boiler, the diesel burned oil to power a generator that, in turn, powered electric motors on the wheels. read more

Electric engines don’t need even 10% of the maintenance a steam locomotive needs. They are quiet, clean, easy to run, not temperamental. They are environmentally friendly, unlike a coal-burning locomotive. read more

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