• Shashank Raj

How do Trains take a turn at curves ???

Updated: Jan 16

Have you even wondered how train manages to take turn at such high speeds with carrying huge loads and passengers. Well, if not then I would be explaining it today.

So let me first tell you how this question arose in my mind, well last month I was learning Newton's laws of motion well more specifically circular motion. So this question came to my mind and when I searched internet I could not find adequate answers or simulations for the same, but was able to deduce my answers from my book.

Well the secret of this lies in the wheels of the trains, which at the first sight appears to be cylindrical, but in reality they are frustum of cone,

Image Credit: ByteBlogs © 2021

Now, in physics we draw free body diagram of a body to study the effect of various forces acting on the body, but sticking to the basics I have just tried to mark important things on this image.

Let us now imagine that our train is travelling in straight line after few time image the track is tending or curving inwards towards right, now at this moment of time at the simplest an outwards force is exerted (Centrifugal Force, more about this later), that pushes the wheels on the track towards left, so the wheels towards right of the train need to cover shorter distance than the wheels on left (Remember why the track and field athletes have different starting points, this is simply for this obvious reason only that all need to cover equal distances).So, I guess you might go the core concept of what I was talking about.

Just feel the simplicity and the brilliance of the amazing concept that is pretty much used every time, and remember there are various parameters for the curve to set (even during banking of road, building expressways etc.), but in this blog I have covered the basic aspect of it. Rest it's upon your interest.

Video simulation for better understanding,

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© 2021 by Shashank Raj