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
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Three-year-old boy shoots pregnant mother and father in New Mexico
- 2 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 3 Jewish community urged to boycott Cornwall village after residents vote for 'Hitlers Walk' sign to be reinstated
- 4 Benedict Cumberbatch's Alan Turing gay-rights campaign snubbed by Prince William and Kate Middleton
- 5 Kim Sears responds to swearing controversy with 'parental advisory' T-shirt at Andy Murray's Australian Open final
Daniel Radcliffe deemed 'not marketable' without his English accent
Gorillaz Phase 4: Cartoon supergroup is back as new artwork is unveiled
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
As Better Call Saul launches, here are the other spin-off shows we need to see
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
President Putin is a dangerous psychopath - reason is not going to work with him
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign