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Question:

Do passenger train cars have individual brakes in case of emergency?

Alright, so I‘m writing a book and there is a big train wreck scene. But the Hero needs to figure out how to stop the car that she‘s in. So I was wondering, do trains have individual braking systems in the cars in case one happens to go astray? If not, then how could she stop it before she dies?

Answer:

Every wheel of every train car has a brake. There are two ways brakes are applied - manually or through air. The air brakes are designed for normal braking as controlled from the locomotive. In addition to this, should a car coupling fail and the train should break in two, or a derailment as in your case, all the trains brakes would immediately go into emergency application via the air system and remain that way until the brake system was restored. The manual brake is primarily intended to hold an unattended car or cars while parked. But it can also be used to stop a rolling car. The manual, or hand brake would be accessible at either vestibule (car end platform). Like Squeaky said, it could either be a ratcheting lever type or the wheel type. Hmmm. I don't know how you could spin your story so that a single car could roll away after the rest of the train was on the ground. All the cars would have automatically gone to emergency braking and stayed that wayUNLESS! (Ah Ha!!! I just thought of this.) Unless somehow, someone pulled the bleed rod. The bleed rod is simply a 3/8 inch diameter steel rod under the car and is perpendicular to the car - as are the axles. The bleed rod protrudes out past the side of the car just a little bit. Enough to be slightly visible for a walking trainman who is looking for it. The bleed rod connects to a small pneumatic valve under the car that will bleed all the air pressure out of the cylinder that has the brakes applied. Once given a sharp pull, the hissing sound of the escaping air can be heard until the cylinder is empty - usually 15 to 30 seconds. Then the brakes will release. Good luck with your writing project, and never stop til it's done.
May 28, 2018
If you leave the car connected so that the air brakes stay off, you could have a broken emergency brake valve handle so that the hero can't use air at all and has to run down the entire train setting the parking brakes manually on all the cars and the locomotive. Better yet, have the brake shoes worn out so the train won't stop until the last second. And throw in a hotbox (axle bearings on fire) or two and maybe have that lead to fires or snapped axles. That would be fun.
May 28, 2018
Each passenger car has a hand brake, usually at one end of the car and activated by turning a wheel or a handle on a vertical column. This is normally used when stationary to park the car. It would work as an emergency brake if the car were somehow rolling on its own, but if it became detached from the rest of the train the air brake would kick in and bring the car to a stand anyway.
May 28, 2018
if they dug all nukes underground and set them off then maybe
May 28, 2018
No one would know because everyone would die lol.
May 28, 2018

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