How heavy is the average train?
As in, if you weighed the whole thing. Also, how fast can they go and how many cars does the average train (in the US) have attached?
- Samurai HogheadLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
"Trailing tonnage" (the entire train including weight of cars) on average is probably in the 8,000 to 10,000 ton range, but can be much higher in certain types of unit train service. Here tonnage gets close to 16,000 tons and intermodal trains in the 6,000 ton range on the lower end. (This does not include the weight of the locomotives. 200 tons each for those, so 5 locomotives means adding another 1,000 tons, for gross tonnage of 17,000.)
But these are just numbers. Let us put them into perspective. Naval destroyers of the type found in WWII tipped the scale at around 3,000 tons. So, when talking 17,000 tons, we are talking about five and two thirds navy destroyers, on roller bearings, with minmum friction where wheel meets rail, going 40 mph.
That is what takes us so long to bring the train to a stop. It means the stopping distance is even greater if on a descending grade. It also means that if I am running a train and you come into my view, it is already too late for the both of us. Me to stop. You to live.
Stay outta the way and stay safe.
- ballejosLv 43 years ago
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