# How can a train locomotive generate enough traction to pull all the coaches?

Sorry for posting what may be an obvious question but we just learning about friction at school and my teacher couldn't explain well enough to me and I would appreciate your inputs.

Consider the following 3 cases:

1) A load of mass $m_2$ lies on a surface. The coefficient of friction between the load and the ground is $\mu$. You need to exert a force $F=\mu\cdot m_2\cdot g$ to pull the load, right?

2) A driver, e.g. locomotive of mass $m_1$ sits on the same surface and has the same coefficient of friction $\mu$ to it. The maximum force that this can exert is $\mu\cdot m_1\cdot g$, right?

3) Now, how can the locomotive pull the load at all? After all, it can just about pull itself? Now, I know that locomotives are able to pull their loads without issues. I mean, I am not getting some important concept here. Does the maximum traction that a locomotive can achieve increase if we hang a large load at it's back? That seems counterintuitive to me.

I would appreciate your help in understanding this. And thanks for your patience with a physics newbie.

Regards, Victor