Archive | 6:17 AM


1 Apr

I had the terrible luck of getting held up by a train on the way home. . .  Again.  And while I was waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting for the train to pass by, I was wondering

1.)  Why there isn’t a law that mandates “gates”?  Cool says that’s what the little stick dealies that go down and flash and block the train track when a train is coming are called.  Anyway, the intersection nearest out apartment has none.  It just has a line painted on the road then the tracks. . .

2.)  I was also wondering how long the average train is, what each car and the entire train weighs, what force the train would hit something with, how long it takes a train to stop, and so on.  So once I got home (20 fricken minutes later) I looked these things up on the internet.

Turns out, trains require a lot of physics and mathmatics, neither of which I love or am exceptional at.  But here is as close as I can figure:

An empty train-car wighs about 30 TONS.  A loaded car can weigh 140 TONS.

Amtrack passenger trains average 48 MPH, but trains are capable of 100+ MPH.  A bunch of political stuff is the reason why trains must go so slow instead of going fast and thinking of their bottom line.

A good average number of cars per train is 110.  Per some train conductor that was nice enough to answer someone Yahoo (or something of that nature) question.

So that means (if I used the right online calculator and numbers) that just one train-car exerts a minimum force of 144714.35 pounds!!!!

Which means a train with fully loaded (140 ton) cars (x110) going the maximum speed (100 mi/hr) has a force of 154769066.46 pounds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But I’m no mathematician or physicist so the accuracy of my numbers may be questionable.  All I know is that is a LOT, and you wouldn’t want to pull your car too far forward when there are no gates.  A train.  Would fuck.  You.  Up.  Real big.  And I didn’t look up regulations, so I guess you should be careful on Mission.  Don’t park across the tracks.  Even though you are able.