Wheel arrangementWheel arrangement
, in the field of railroad
locomotives, is how the wheels of the locomotive are arranged by type, position, and connections. There are several notations used to describe wheel arrangements. In the United States
and Great Britain
, the Whyte notation
is generally used for steam locomotives
. In Europe
, the UIC classification
scheme is generally used, especially for diesel
and electric locomotives. British practice uses a slightly simplified form of that notation for diesels and electrics; the US uses an even more simplified version for such purposes.
Especially in steam days, wheel arrangement was an important attribute of a locomotive, because there were many different ones, each optimised for a different use. Modern diesel locomotives are much more uniform.