Air Braking Systems Used In Railroad Yard

railroad yard air systems

The standard railroad yard braking system is always going to be using a certain amount of compressed air. Strict monitoring systems are usually in place to ensure that all operating railroad yard air systems will be error proof. This much may be true because you hardly ever hear of major railroad accidents in your city or country these days. Still to this day, modern railway systems and their trains are using the original design that was developed by one George Westinghouse during the second half of the nineteenth century. The systems in use today remain in universal practice. Air pressure is being used to charge air tanks installed on each railroad car.

Full air pressure signals are being created. These are required to allow each railroad car to release its brakes. The reduction of air pressure is a sign that the car can apply its brakes. The compressed air can be likened to the providing of a cushioning effect. The most basic braking system is simply known as the straight air system. In this case compressed air will be pushed on a piston in a cylinder. The piston is connected via a mechanical link to brake shoes. These rub onto the train’s wheels. Friction is being created and this helps to slow down the train. An even distribution of force needs to be created from a pressurized air cylinder to as many as twelve different wheels.

Pressurized air arrives from an air compressor. It is channeled from car to car via a train line that is made up of pipes underneath each car, as well as hoses between each car. The loss of air pressure leads to the loss of force when applying the brakes. And the inability to apply the brakes is what could lead to the runaway train.