How does train derailment happen?
Many of us have heard of the case when a train falls off its tracks and either lands out somewhere in the middle of no where or ends up causing massive destruction. While not all derailments are catastrophic, there are forces in place that cause this derailment to happen. Here we explore the different factors.
To start off, a derailment of a train does not necessarily means that it has fallen off the tracks. In fact, many derailments are minor. Typically, the derailment of a train is caused by a collision with the mechanical failure of the tracks like broken rails, mechanical failure of the wheels, or the train hitting another object. Of course, there are many other possibilities of why a train would go into derailment…such as a tornado sweeping it up or a cow standing in the way..but those are more extreme instances.
Let’s explore these cases a little deeper.
Rails are traditionally made up of two rails. They are, as one would assume, a fixed length apart in order for the train wheels to ride on them. A broken or even cracked rail can cause a train to go into derailment. How do the breaking or cracking of the track occur? There are many possibilities, such as excess speed, extreme weather, misalignment of rails, etc.
If you have been driving a car for sometime you probably know how important wheels are to the vehicle. Unlike car wheels, train wheels go defective when there is a collapse of plain bearing s due to deficient lubrication and failure of leaf springs. There are of course protocols to avoid this type of occurrence.
Unusual track interaction
If there is an irregularity that is cyclical on the track that goes against the natural frequency of the route, it can lead to possible derailment. This becomes the most dangerous when a cyclic roll is set up by cross level actions, but vertical cyclical errors also can result in vehicles lifting off the track.
There are many other reasons for derailment such as improper operation of control system, harsh train handling and more. Proper maintenance of a train is the best way to keep a train from derailment, that is, maintenance that is in the control of the company maintaining.
If you have questions about injuries sustained during some type of train accident, derailment, or incident of any type, give us a call. We can help OR send you to the right person.