A Visit to the West Coast Railway Heritage Park - What You Will See

Operating Diesel Electric Locomotives

WCRA currently has a fleet of four operating diesel electric locomotives which make appearances from time to time at the Heritage Park. All are based at our operating shops across the street from the Heritage Park, but these will appear for switching, operating trains and events and are often on display as well.

Diesel Electric locomotives were widely introduced starting in the mid 1940's and were responsible for the rapid end of steam engines in railway service. They were easy to operate, much more efficient, and much lower in maintenance and operating cost. Canada's two major railways dieselized in just ten years - with steam operations ending in Western Canada by 1958 and country wide by 1960.

Diesel Electric technology refers to the fact that each locomotive has a diesel engine that drives a large generator, this in turn generates electricity to the electric motors located on each axle of the locomotive that actually power the train.

This technology remains dominant today on our railways, with modern freight locomotives typically generating 4,400 horsepower. They can connect together and be operated by a single engineer thanks to Multiple Unit (MU) technology.



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The West Coast Railway Association is a charitable organization
committed to preserving British Columbia's railway heritage.

West Coast Railway Association
PO Box 2790 Stn. Term.
Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3X2

Charitable business number: 119292480 RR0001