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With the highly efficient and high horse power diesels available now days, even pure electrics are having a hard time competing. Steam will never come back. Forget it.
 

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Posted By Moleman on 02/27/2009 6:13 PM
My .02,
The main reason that diesels won out over steam wasn't efficient or power, they were in fact inferior. It was the fact that a diesel could be started from a cold start and run in MUCH less time than any steam engine could.
My 21st century steam engine would be a turbine electric using atomic power to heat the boiler. It would require a condenser to prevent radioactive steam escaping, and absolutely NOBODY would allow it in their backyard.


Actually they were so much more efficient that thousands of boiler workers, pipe fitters, etc eventually lost their jobs. Steam is maintenance intensive. It is also much less fuel efficient. Plus diesels could mu making it possible to put together any horsepower arrangement without the expense of double heading. And an electric motor is much smoother than steam and can be overloaded for short periods of time. A good example is Cheyenne on the UP. In the steam days there were 5,000 people working there. Now there are 20 and that only because of their steam program. Multiply this all over the country at every division point. Think about it, no more water tanks, no more coal docks or oil tanks, no more roundhouses, no more shops, no more firemen on the locomotives. The diesel is the reason that railroads still exist today. Without it they would be with the stagecoach.
 
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