an example of a cowcatcher

The Cowcatcher (also known as a pilot or cattle catcher) is the most important device mounted at the front of a locomotive to deflect obstacles on the track that might otherwise derail the train.

They are design to successfully deflect an obstacle hit at speed; the ideal is to push it upwards and sideways out of the way.

In the snowy areas the pilot also has the function of a snowplow.

Some Cowcatchers have couplers on theme just in case the engines can push the cars.

Most type of locomotives have cowcatcher on steam locomotives, diesel locomotives but not electric locomotives.

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