Operating at normal power line frequencies, universal motors are often found in a range rarely larger than 1000 watt. Universal motors also form the basis of the traditional railway traction motor in electric railways. In this application, the use of AC to power a motor originally designed to run on DC would lead to efficiency losses due to eddy current heating of their magnetic components, particularly the motor field pole-pieces that, for DC, would have used solid (un-laminated) iron. Although the heating effects are reduced by using laminated pole-pieces, as used for the cores of transformers and by the use of laminations of high permeability electrical steel, one solution available at start of the 20th century was for the motors to be operated from very low frequency AC supplies, with 25 and 16.7 Hz operation being common. Because they used universal motors, locomotives using this design were also commonly capable of operating from a third rail or overhead wire powered by DC. As well, considering that steam engines directly powered many alternators, their relatively-low speeds favored low frequencies because comparatively few stator poles were needed.