December 4, 2023


Put A Technology

Retrotechtacular: The Power To Stop


In day to day lifestyle, the largest shifting item most persons are probably to come upon is almost certainly a educate. Viewing a practice rolling together a keep track of, it’s tough not to be impressed with the large amount of money of power desired to set what may well be a mile-prolonged string of hopper cars and trucks carrying megatons of freight into movement.

But it is the other aspect of that coin — the engineering essential to maintain that prepare less than management and at some point get it to cease — that’s the matter of this gem from British Transportation Films on “The Electricity to Cease.” On the encounter of it, stopping a coach isn’t particularly higher-technology the technique of urgent solid-iron brake footwear in opposition to the wheels was mainly unchanged in the 100 yrs prior to the earning of this 1979 movie. The interesting issue right here is the discovery that the metallurgy of the iron used for brakes has a massive effects on braking effectiveness and protection. And provided that British Railways was heading as a result of about 3.5 million brake shoes a 12 months at the time, anything that could make them last even a little for a longer time could consequence in substantial financial savings.

It was the basic safety of railway brakes, however, that led to analysis into how they can be enhanced. Noting that forged iron is brittle, prone to speedy wear, and liable to generate showers of hazardous sparks, the investigate arm of British Railways undertook a review of the phosphorus content of the cast iron, to uncover the ideal blend for the career. They turned to an impressively energetic brake dynamometer for their checks, the place it turned out that rising the quantity of the trace ingredient drastically lessened wear and sparking whilst lowering braking situations.

Whilst we’re all for security, we have to admit that some of the rooster-tails of sparks thrown off by the reduced-phosphorus sneakers were being rather magnificent. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see just how a great deal assumed and exertion went into optimizing one thing so seemingly straightforward. Think about that the up coming time you look at a prepare go by.


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