Cab unit

Cab unit

A cab unit and a carbody unit are body styles of locomotives in railroad terminology. While closely related, they are not exactly the same. With both body styles, a bridge-truss design framework is used to make the body a structural element of the locomotive. The body rises above the locomotive frame, and extends the full width of the locomotive and along its length. The service walkways are inside of the body. This gives a cab unit poor rear visibility compared to a hood unit. For this reason, cab units are mostly used in situations where rear visibility is not important, such as power for through freight and passenger trains. Cab units are also more aerodynamic than hood units, and pulled many of the streamliner trains.

A and B unit

Cab units are carbody A units. In other words, a "cab unit" refers only to A units, while a "carbody unit" refers to both A units and B units. Therefore, a cab unit has to have a driving cab, or crew compartment. A carbody unit may not have one.

Cowl unit

In recent years, locomotive manufacturers have switched from cab units to cowl units when a full-width body is desired. Since all the structural support on a cowl unit is in the frame of the locomotive, rather than the body, manufacturers can easily create full-width locomotives from hood unit designs by building cowl units.

Great Britain

Some British diesel locomotives, e.g. the British Rail Class 37, are cab units but the term "cab unit" is not used in Britain. The Class 37, like most British diesel and electric locomotives, has a cab at each end.

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