Letter: Runaway trains
Friday 20 August 1999
Almost all trains in this country use a compressed-air braking system which is designed so that, if a train should divide, the brakes will be put hard on, in both bits. That will happen automatically when the brake hoses are pulled apart.
But if "Networker" trains come uncoupled, that does not happen. The automatic couplers used between the two- or four-coach units have self-sealing connections.
As recent events have shown, if this happens the front part carries on with the driver unaware of what has happened. But what happens to the back part?
The severance of the control circuits will ensure that its traction power is cut off, but do the brakes come on? Or does it just roll on, driverless and brakeless?
And if the front part is stopped, what is there to prevent the back part from crashing into it?
Dr ARTHUR TARRANT
tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods
tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
comedy Erm...he seems to be back
tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
Doctor Who series 9: Jenna Coleman to stay on for whole season as Clara Oswald
Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
Doctor Who Christmas special, review: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader