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Thread: Train Wheels

  1. #1 Train Wheels 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    I was stopped at a railway crossing the other day and as I waited the railway cars passed by. One of them was an open flatcar carrying train wheels. Now when I looked at these wheels they appear to be one solid steel axle with matching steel wheels at each end. I got to wondering just how a train equipped with these wheel sets actually works when rounding a curve in the tracks. I would think that the outer wheel would have farther to travel than the inner. How does it do it without creating some type of drag or skidding?

    All I know is what a friend told me, the bevelled shape of the wheel actually allows the wheels or car to shift sideways enough to permit smoother cornering. Is this true?


    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Yes. The wheels are conical so that the outside is larger than the inside. Therefore as the outer wheel shifts toward the outside of the curve, its rolling radius is increased so the outside wheel travels farther than the inside wheel, per each revolution of the common axle.

    http://www.esveld.com/Download/TUD/E...1_2columns.pdf


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Yes. The wheels are conical so that the outside is larger than the inside. Therefore as the outer wheel shifts toward the outside of the curve, its rolling radius is increased so the outside wheel travels farther than the inside wheel, per each revolution of the common axle.

    http://www.esveld.com/Download/TUD/E...1_2columns.pdf
    Maybe train wheels weren't invented by one, but I would consider this pure genius. At least I now know why train wheels look the way they do.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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