## Friday, February 10, 2023

A train negotiating a curve presents a dramatic sight. However, negotiating a curve with rigidly fixed wheels is not as simple as a car turning on a curved road. Here I show how ingenious railroad wheel engineering allows a train to negotiate a curve despite fixed wheels.

Have you ever watched a train roll by? If so, you might have wondered how the train is able to stay on its tracks. The secret lies in the train's wheels. Although they seem cylindrical at first glance, when looking more closely you will notice that they have a slightly semi-conical shape.

This special geometry is what keeps trains on the tracks.

At turning:

Inner wheel rolls on smallest circumference while outer wheel on largest circumference (this is possible only due to conical shape of wheel) this helps the outer wheel to cover more distance in same time than inner wheel.

A train negotiating a curve presents a dramatic sight. However, negotiating a curve with rigidly fixed wheels is not as simple as a car turning on a curved road. Here I show how ingenious railroad wheel engineering allows a train to negotiate a curve despite fixed wheels.

Have you ever watched a train roll by? If so, you might have wondered how the train is able to stay on its tracks. The secret lies in the train's wheels. Although they seem cylindrical at first glance, when looking more closely you will notice that they have a slightly semi-conical shape.

This special geometry is what keeps trains on the tracks.

At turning:

Inner wheel rolls on smallest circumference while outer wheel on largest circumference (this is possible only due to conical shape of wheel) this helps the outer wheel to cover more distance in same time than inner wheel.