Selected Sources and Recommended Reading

John H. Armstrong, The Railroad: What It Is, What It Does (Simmons-Boardman Books, Inc., Omaha, NE, 1998). See chapter on locomotives.

Association of American Railroads, “The Environmental Benefits of Moving Freight by Rail,” June 2017.

Association of American Railroads, “Freight Railroads Help Reduce Greenhouse Gases,” background paper, April 2016.

Association of American Railroads, “Railroads and Coal,” background paper, July 2016.

Association of American Railroads, “US Rail Crude Oil Traffic,” background paper, November 2015.

R. Barton and T. McWha, Reducing Emissions in the Rail Sector: Technology and Infrastructure Scan and Analysis, National Research Council Canada, September 2012.

Aviva Brecher, Best Practices and Strategies for Improving Rail Energy Efficiency, Office of Research and Development, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, January 2014.

California Air Resources Board, CARB Draft Technology Assessment - Freight Locomotives, April 2016.

Center for Transportation Research, Railroad and Locomotive Technology Roadmap, Argonne National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, TN: U.S. Department of Energy, 2002).

Classic Trains magazine, Diesel Victory, special edition (Kalmbach Publishing, Waukesha, WI, 2006).

Federal Railroad Administration, Comparative Evaluation of Rail and Truck Fuel Efficiency on Competitive Corridors, November 19, 2009.

Charles F. Foell and M.E. Thompson, Diesel Electric Locomotive, New York, NY (Diesel Publications, Inc), 1946.

W.N. Fritts, Diesel-Electric Locomotives, International Correspondence Schools-Scranton, PA, 1947 edition.

Sean Graham-White, GE Evolution Locomotives (Voyageur Press, 2007).

David L. Greene et al., “Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from U.S. Transportation,” Pew Center on Global Climate Change, January 2011.

William Hay, Railroad Engineering (John Wiley and Sons, 1953). See chapter on diesel-electric locomotives in more recent editions of this book.

Michael Iden, Engines of Change & Future Fuels for US Freight Locomotives, presentation to the Faster Freight Cleaner Air 2008 Conference, Los Angeles, CA, February 25-27, 2008.

Michael Iden, “Freight Railroad Energy: Alternatives and Challenges,” presentation at RAILTEC Conference, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, February 15, 2013.

Michael Iden, “2015 Motive Power Review,” Locomotive 2015, special edition of Trains magazine (Kalmbach Publishing, Waukesha, WI, 2015).

Johannes Kech, “How Does Exhaust Gas Recirculation Work?,” MTU Report, June 17, 2014. Note also available from Dr. Kech and MTU are these other excellent short white papers: “Turbocharging: Key Technology for High Performance,” “How Does Selective Catalytic Reduction Work?,” “How Does Common Rail Injection Work?,” and “How Does a Diesel Particulate Filter Work?”

J. Parker Lamb, Evolution of the American Diesel Locomotive (Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, 2007).

Greg McDonnell, Locomotives: The Modern Diesel & Electric Reference (Boston Mills Press, Richmond Hill, Ontario, 2008).

William D. Middleton, When Steam Railroads Electrified (Kalmbach Publishing, Milwaukee, 1974 and 1976).

Bill Moyer et al., Solutionary Rail: A People-Powered Campaign to Electrify America’s Railroads and Open Corridors to a Clean Energy Future, 2016.; Solutionary Rail Video.

Karen Parker, How a Steam Locomotive Works, (TLC Publishing, Inc, Forest, Virginia, 2008). This excellent book is out of print though copies can occasionally be found on eBay or available through interlibrary loan, e.g. Cumberland County Public Library.

Chris Pinney and Brian Smith, “Cost Benefit Analysis of Alternative Fuels and Motive Design,” Transportation Technology Center, sponsored by the Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, April 2013.
Progressive Railroading magazine,

Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RAILTEC), “Transitioning to a Zero or Near-Zero Emission Line-Haul Freight Rail System in California: Operational and Economic Considerations,” University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Spring 2016.

RailServe, A Comprehensive guide to 19,000 railroad websites.

http://Railway Age magazine,

Railway Educational Bureau, Diesel Theory – Principles Explained (Simmons-Boardman Books, Inc., Omaha, NE, 2007).

Railway Gazette,

Mohammad Rasul et al., Future Power Technologies - Final Report, CRC for Rail Innovation, Australian Government Initiative, 2013.

Mark Reutter, The Diesel Revolution, special issue of Railroad History, Railway and Locomotive Historical Society, 2000.

Paul E. Rhine, Fuel-Saving Techniques for Railroads: The Railroader’s Guide to Fuel Conservation (Simmons-Boardman Books, Inc., Omaha, NE, 2007).

Brian Solomon, The American Diesel Locomotive (MBI Publishing Company, Osceola, WI, 2000).

Brian Solomon, Field Guide to Trains – Locomotives and Rolling Stock (Voyageur, Minneapolis, MN, 2016).
Brian Solomon, GE and EMD Locomotives (Voyageur, Minneapolis, MN, 2014).

Brian Solomon, Modern Locomotives: High Horsepower Diesels 1966-2000 (Crestline, New York, 2002).

Trains magazine (Kalmbach Publishing, Waukesha, WI).

Trains magazine, Locomotive 2017 , special edition, (Kalmbach Publishing, Waukesha, WI). See other Trains locomotive annual issues as well.

Trains magazine, Our GM Scrapbook, (Kalmbach Publishing, Waukesha, WI, 1971)TRL and Ricardo, Great Britain Rail Powertrain Improvements, prepared for the UK Department of Transport, March 14, 2012.

William Vantuono, All About Railroading (Simmons-Boardman Books, Inc., Omaha, NE, 2006). See chapter “The Power that Moves Freight Trains.”

Jeff Wilson, Guide to North American Diesel Locomotives (Kalmbach Publishing, Waukesha, WI, 2017).

Jeff Wilson, The Model Railroader’s Guide to Diesel Locomotives, (Kalmbach Publishing, Waukesha, WI, 2009).


On Climate Change

Al Gore, Truth to Power: An Inconvenient Sequel (Rodale Press, New York, NY, 2017).

James Hansen et al., “Assessing ‘Dangerous Climate Change’: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature,” PLOS ONE, December 3, 2013.
James Hansen, Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity, Bloombury USA, 2009.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fifth Assessment Report, 2013-2014.

Elizabeth Kolbert, Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change, 2015.

Michael Mann and Lee R. Kump, Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change – Visual Findings of the IPCC (DK Penguin Random House, New York, NY, 2016).

Joseph Romm, Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford Press, New York, NY, 2016).

U.S. Global Change Research Program, Climate Science Special Report – Fourth National Climate Assessment, Wuebbles, D.J., D.W. Fahey, K.A. Hibbard, D.J. Dokken, B.C. Stewart, and T.K. Maycock, eds.), Washington, D.C., 2017.

World Wildlife Fund et al., “Power Forward 3.0: How the Largest Companies Are Capturing Business Value While Addressing Climate Change,” 2017.


Videos of Interest

Big Power, Trains magazine (Kalmbach Publishing, Waukesha, WI, 2007).

Conrail/EMD SD80MAC Operator Familiarization, Railroad Video Productions, available from Anchor Videos,

Locomotive 2017: From Vintage to Modern, North America’s Motive Power, Trains magazine (Kalmbach Publishing, Waukesha, WI, 2017).

Power & Speed: Diesel Locomotive, Trains magazine (Kalmbach Publishing, Waukesha, WI, 1997).

YouTube, (Numerous excellent diesel-electric locomotive videos are posted.)


Websites of Interest

American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association,, See section on diesel locomotives.

Association of American Railroads,

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen,

Coordinated Mechanical Associations,

Diesel Era magazine,

Diesel Locomotive Technology,


The Diesel Shop,

Federal Railroad Administration,

Index to Railroad Historical Societies,

Locomotive Wiki,

Midwest High Speed Rail Association,,
Model Railroader magazine,

National Railway Historical Society,

Norfolk & Western Historical Society,

Passenger Train Journal magazine,

Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society,

Progressive Railroading,

Railfan and Railroad magazine,

Rail Passengers Association,

Railroad Model Craftsman magazine,

Railroad Workers Union,


Railway Age,,

Railway Gazette International,

Railway Supply Institute,

Railway Technical Website,

Railway Technology Website,

Steel Interstate Coalition,
Steve’s Railroad Pages,,

Trains magazine,

Website for Energy Efficiency Technologies for Railways,

Wikipedia is an excellent source of information about diesel-electric locomotives, component technologies, and energy issues.


Amtrak and Class I Railroad Websites



Canadian National Railway,

Canadian Pacific Railway,


Kansas City Southern,
Norfolk Southern,

Union Pacific,


Locomotive and Trainset Manufacturers




GE Transportation,



Progress Rail Services Corporation - Electro-Motive Diesel,