Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Freight Trains; Specialty Trains

This cool picture shows Bailey Yard, the largest railroad classification yard in the world. How trains are sorted and assembled is a question we'd never even thought to ask, but we loved learning about it!

This shows how the "hump" helps to separate and sort train cars

We also really liked looking through these pictures of types of freight cars.

We talked about some specialized trains like cable cars (we've always loved cable cars!) and trams (we've always loved trams!). Trams and Cable Cars are basically the same thing, in fact (though aerial trams can't usually ungrip from their cable), which is why aerial trams are sometimes called "cable cars" (like the one that goes across the Thames) . . . and streetcars are sometimes called "trams." See here, here, and here.

Just to keep things interesting, there is also the term "funicular"---a train which works the same as a cable car, except there are two cars that counterbalance each other as they go up and down a slope. Here are some beautiful pictures of a very steep funicular railway.

A video about how cable cars work

A video showing the cable car museum in San Francisco where the big motors are housed (we didn't get to go here when we visited SF, unfortunately---next time for sure!)

Rack-and-pinion railways, also called "cog railways," are different still (they are also used for steep slopes, though)---here's a video about rack-and-pinions.
And some beautiful pictures.

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