We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Long Hood?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The long hood on a locomotive is actually the rear of the machine. The diesel engine is located under the long hood as are the radiators, generators and exhaust. Many doors line both sides of the long hood and provide access to the engine and other critical components of the locomotive. Typically, when used as a solo power unit on a train, the long hood will be facing rearward; however, the locomotive can be hooked to the train and operate with this long end pointed forward. Often when joined in teams, locomotives will be attached to each other with the long hoods together to provide easy shared access to both engines.

Locomotives are typically operated with the long hood facing the rear to allow better vision for the train crew. Another reason the locomotive is operated with the long hood to the rear is for crew comfort. The diesel engine and exhaust are under the longer hood, and heat from the engine as well as noise and smoke would infiltrate the locomotive's cab, making it unpleasant for the crew to operate the train for any length of time in that configuration. When a train is seen operating in this manner, it is often due to the inability to turn the locomotive around, and it is usually on a small working train.

Small yard or switching engines are sometimes operated with the long hood forward to assist the crew with hooking and unhooking many cars in a shift. By eliminating the need for a switching crew to have to walk the full length of the locomotive both to and from every car coupling, a great deal of time and energy can be saved. Placing the cab of the engine closer to the working end of the locomotive allows the crew member to climb on and off much closer to the work area. This also places the engineer closer to the crew member coupling and uncoupling the train cars to the power unit.

Occasionally, a locomotive is operated long hood forward due to a safety reason. If the locomotive's headlight should go out on the short hood side, it may be operated long side first to utilize the headlight on the long side. This saves valuable time in stopping the train to make repairs. The engines can be easily switched at any spur track so the train can continue on its way with an operational headlight. Once back at the yard, the headlight can be repaired on the short side and the locomotive can resume operation in the traditional position.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.