A load box is just a set of resistor grids that a locomotive can be hooked up to. It shows the amount of current being generated by the main alternator or the generator. By using a simple set of calculations a mechanic can tell if the prime mover and the electrical system is generating the rated HP. This is done after a locomotive is repaired to make sure that the repairs did in fact work. Most if not all modern (1970s and up) locomotive have a self test feature that uses the dynamic brake grids to load test.