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10

You need to consider what happens if a hose bursts, and your spring-applied brake locks the wheels on one or more cars - how do you get that train back to the depot? There could be a manual brake release lever, but this would have to be on the brake cylinder, and there are many circumstances where crawling under the train to access this lever would be ...


3

Because the system has worked for a long time and railroads don't want to spend money on improving a technology is time tested. Most railroads run locomotives that is over 25-50 years old. (Most north american railroads still have a fleet of EMD GP-40's that were manufactured in the late 60's to 70's). Most railroads cut corners to save a dime so I don't see ...


10

This answer addresses the following sentence: So I'd expect to see the brakes applied by a spring that is capable of stopping the wheels of a fully loaded car, and a single-acting cylinder that works against that spring to release the brakes. IMHO, one very basic reason against using the spring is the fatigue and the degradation of the elastic properties ...


4

With an "spring apply / air release" system the spring pressure may not be enough to apply adequate braking force. Using compressed air to apply the brake allows much higher braking forces. The reservoir system when discharged allows rough shunting of the cars without the trouble and delay of having to couple the cars completely. Hump shunting ...


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