Steam Engines And Locomotives - Are They The Same Thing?
The term ‘engines’ often causes confusion with beginners to the hobby. Why? Because, the word engine can mean different things to different people. Some in the hobby refer to the engine as being just the motor that drives the locomotive and makes things move (like the engine in a automobile). However, it is also common to here the entire locomotive being referred to as the engine. So, at a model train show you might hear a model railroader say, “my engines are an ATLAS 8768 and a Bachmann 60605.”
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Let’s not be too pedantic about it. As long as you understand what people mean, it probably doesn’t really matter which definition is technically correct. It is only since the invention of the deisel locomotive that some have started to question the term ‘engines’, because prior to that, most people just talked about steam engines (referring to the locomotive or even the entire train). The main thing is to enjoy your involvement in the hobby and not get too worried about the ‘rights or wrongs’ of what people say.
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