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Steam Locomotive (Railcraft)
Steam Locomotives are a form of Minecart added by the Railcraft mod. When provided with fuel and water they will move on their own, clearing any mobs from on the tracks in front of them. They accept any burnable fuel, from Sticks to Coal Coke, and need Water to run. It burns the fuel and consumes the water to build up heat. Once its heat has passed 100°C, it will begin building up Steam, which is consumed to move.
They have an internal water tank of 6 Water Buckets. Water can be added to the tank using a Liquid Loader, by right-clicking the locomotive with a Water container in hand, or placing a Water container in the top-right slot of its GUI. The locomotive will also draw water from a linked Tank Cart to fill its internal tank.
The Steam Locomotive has three modes: Shutdown, Idle, and Running.
Shutdown will stop the Locomotive, finish burning the current piece of fuel, and then reduce the Locomotive's heat. It is best to put locomotives into shutdown when (and only when) they will be idle for significant periods of time. Due to the long and expensive warm-up period, rapidly cycling between Shutdown and Running can use more fuel than simply setting the locomotive to "Idle".
A Locomotive that is hotter than 300°C and doesn’t have any water left in it will explode if you place more water in, so be careful. When in this condition, put it into Shutdown, as described below - that means that typically locomotives will only explode when a player manually puts water into them.
Idle will stop the Locomotive, but continue to burn the fuel and consume the water at a significantly reduced rate. Idling is recommended for locomotives that are likely to be moving again in the near future.
Running is the mode where the Locomotive can move. It has five different speed settings, denoted with arrows (including a single reverse speed). Locomotives that are not set to "running" can only be moved by whacking the rear of their train with a crowbar - they are otherwise completely immobile. This means that making a train move typically requires the locomotive to be running and provided with fuel.
Trains & Rails
Locomotives are best used to pull Minecart Trains. They can be linked to other carts with the Crowbar, just like all Minecarts in Railcraft. Smacking a Locomotive with a Crowbar will reverse its direction. (This only works correctly if the Locomotive has been moved since it was placed.) Trains of long lengths induce drag, reducing the Locomotive’s top speed; adding more Locomotives to the train can combat this.
The Locomotive can be painted with Dye in a crafting Table. The Dye on top of the Locomotive will color its hull, the Dye below it will color the footplate. Two Dyes must be used to paint the Locomotive. Locomotives whistle when they travel over Whistle Tracks, when the player presses the Whistle key while riding in a linked Minecart, or periodically at random. The Whistle can be tuned with a Whistle Tuner.
Locomotives can be controlled by Limiter Track and Locomotive Track. When it runs over one of these track types, the Locomotive’s speed and operation mode (respectively) are changed, as defined by the track. The track needs to be active to have an effect on passing Locomotives.
A locomotive cannot move a Tunnel Bore if linked to one, under any circumstances.