Is it a bird, is it a plane? Is it a loco, is it a train?

You may know it as a locomotive or as a train. But is there really a difference between the two?

The answer is... yes!

A locomotive is used to haul the train and is often referred to as the ‘engine’ or ‘loco’. A locomotive on its own, or ‘light engine’, is still only a locomotive and not a train. When more than one vehicles are coupled together, such as a passenger carriage or a freight wagon, it becomes a train.

A locomotive's purpose is to provide power to the carriages or wagons behind it.

Historically, locomotives would be attached at the front of the train. Today, modern passenger trains are built with driving positions at both ends to allow the driver to drive from either end. This removes the need to uncouple the locomotive and attach it to the other end of the train.

Fun fact: a train doesn't just mean a set unit you see on rails. Trains come in various forms such as a road train often found at theme parks.

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