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FAST TRAIN TRIVIA

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OLDGUNNER
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FAST TRAIN TRIVIA

#1 Post by OLDGUNNER » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:20 pm

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... ge-s-toll/
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On the news this morning was a train wreck incident in Washington...In a morbid sort of way it was laughable, based on what has so far been shown on TV...in my opinion caused by incompetence and stupidity.
My first job out of high school was with the ‘Northern Pacific Railroad,” when I was 17. My Social Security Number starts with a ‘7’.
One of the first things that I noticed was as we were running along on the tracks in a little motor car at 30 to 40 mph, the wheels 30 % of the time was 2 or 3 inches above the tracks, especially in the mornings. One of the main laws in physics is, ” An object in motion tends to stay in motion.”
When track rails are laid, usually the Section Boss will have a watch and a thermometer. When he gets up in the morning the first thing that he does is look at his thermometer, and then goes out for the day of rail laying. We know that a rail will shrink in cool weather and lengthen as the day warms up and it depends on the weather, overcast...sunny, etc. just how much these rails will lengthen as the day goes on. These rails are laid with an expansion ‘joint’ between them so that they will not butt up against each other and buckle the rail bed as seen in the pictures of the attachment...called ‘SUN KINKS’. The idea is to lay these rails as close together as possible and still not let them touch in the hottest part of the year. The boss will have an assortment of hardwood shims of various thicknesses and give them to his ‘Straw Boss’ though out the day and with his watch and thermometer and judgment call on his part, use these as spacers to control the space between the rails when laid. With the modern long welded rails this is handled in a different way. But usually an inspection car will periodically check the rail bed with special reading instruments and check the levelness of the tracks and road bed and will crank out a ‘speed limit’ for different types of trains. and this is usually done by a guy called by the, “Road Master,” or at least it used to be. And when I was kid we had a neighbor that was a, “Track Walker.” His sole job was to walk the the roadway and look for obvious faults.
Back to the news...I understand according to the news Medea that this new ‘High Speed’ rail way was only checked by short inspection cars and Speed Limits were determined by just runs of this car. And this morning at six in the morning left Seattle with a number of cars and passengers and told the engineer that it was good for speeds up to 79 MPH. For The VERY FIRST RUN. Now if this is all correct, is this incompetency or not? A good example of, “Good help is hard to find.”
The heavier locomotive could have caused the outside rail on the curve to role out a bit and the following cars would have nothing to roll on, or ‘split’ a rail. Did you know that the higher the design speed of a locomotive, the higher the CG, Center of Gravity, should be. Most might think that it should be the other way around.

This may be called, “Believe it or not,” Trivia...or something else that you may call it.

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