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Great photos and article, as usual! Some of them look like those pictures you see in model railroading magazines, where there is a mountainous village with multiple trains all adjacent to each other.

Unrelated question: I read recently that one reason it takes freight trains so long to stop under emergency conditions is that the brakes are adjusted so that when the car is empty, full emergency braking will still not cause the wheels to lock and get flat spots. Is that really the case?

The ratio between full and empty on a coal gondola, for example, is about 6:1. (140 tons laden, 22 tons empty, for aluminum gondolas as used over here.) That would suggest that you only get roughly 15% of the potential braking effort when the cars are loaded. Seems pretty sub-optimal...

by asdf on Fri Aug 23rd, 2013 at 05:47:04 PM EST

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