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Totally off-the-wall idea: A bogie/truck with its own power built right in. Just add diesel and control feeds.

True, it is very unlikely to happen for non-electric power, but life is for having fun and dreaming big, right?

Just FTR, these are Subaru (think Fuji Heavy Industries, which did build rail vehicles) EE20 flat-four diesel engines.


Hello, unsprung mass.

Secondary suspension is critical to reduce track wear. Concentrating all the mass in the bogie would probably be a problem.

You also probably want bogie commonality between bi-mode and electric trains (thinking Class 800 sort of situation) because they're easy assemblies to keep spares of. In that case running a few cables (even thick ones for traction current) to the bogies is not such a big deal.

Another concern: Packaging. You still need to get heat out of the engine and you still need to have a not insignificant quantity of electrical control modules. You need a place to put your air compressor.

Also engines and bogies need servicing at vastly different intervals. Do you want to have to crawl around an engine every time you change a brake pad or wheel bearing? No sir.


That is why I said it would be very unlikely to happen. Will a 120-kW diesel-powered bogie be lighter or heavier than an equivalent electro-powered one? Can it be made as sturdy and reliable as needed? And, of course, can it compete on value?

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