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Common questions

# How do steam train wheels work?

## How do steam train wheels work?

When heated, water turns to an invisible vapor known as steam. The volume of water expands as it turns to steam inside the boiler, creating a high pressure. The expansion of steam pushes the pistons that connect to the driving wheels that operate the locomotive.

## How do train wheels move?

The wheels on each side of a train car are connected with a metal rod called an axle. This axle keeps the two train wheels moving together, both turning at the same speed when the train is moving.

How do steam locomotives change direction?

The left pedal, when fully released, allows the engine to move the car forward as the throttle is opened to apply steam to the engine. When the left pedal is fully pressed and held to the floor while the throttle is opened to send steam to the engine, the engine moves the car backwards.

How many wheels does a train locomotive have?

If we consider a train to be a minimum of a locomotive and a carriage, then it’s at least eight wheels (four on each). If the definition of a train can be extended to include a single powered railcar then it can be as few as four wheels.

### How many wheels does a steam locomotive have?

The three types of wheels: The first thing to recognise is that steam locomotives have three basic types of wheels; Leading Wheels, Driving Wheels and Trailing Wheels.

### How does a train start moving?

The train has a big engine in it. Right? This engine makes the wheels turn to pull the rest of the cars. If we consider the train and wheels as the system, the force that changes its momentum is the static friction force between the wheels and the rail.

How does a train turn around?

Trains don’t technically turn around. The train operators simply move from the operator’s cab at one end to the cab on the other to reverse direction.

How do train locomotives work?

The ignition of diesel fuel pushes pistons connected to an electric generator. The resulting electricity powers motors connected to the wheels of the locomotive. A “diesel” internal combustion engine uses the heat generated from the compression of air during the upward cycles of the stroke to ignite the fuel.

## Can steam locomotives reverse?

Steam engines generally could run in either direction as well. They also had a reverser handle. Many diesel locomotives will have a small “F” or “R” letter on each end to indicate which end is the “forward” or “reverse” end.

## How does Walschaerts valve gear work?

When greater power is necessary, e.g. when gaining speed when pulling out of a station and when ascending a gradient, the Walschaerts valve gear enables the engine driver to set the cutoff point near the end of the stroke, so that the full pressure of the boiler is exerted on the piston for almost the entire stroke.