Description Edit

Learn the basics of how train brakes work.

Objectives Edit

  • AUTO BRAKE: Set the Auto Brake to FULL SERVICE
  • GO TO LOCOMOTIVE: Head over and climb aboard adjacent locomotive.
  • AUTO BRAKE: Set the Auto Brake to FULL SERVICE
  • AUTO BRAKE: Set the Auto Brake to RELEASE

Controls Edit

There are no new controls in this Tutorial.

Task Log Edit

  • This is where you'll learn all about train brakes and how they work.
  • On this locomotive there are three braking systems available to the Engineer.
  • Dynamic.
  • Auto.
  • And Independent.
  • Dynamic brakes work by reversing the polarity of the traction motors. When the train is moving, this action causes resistance against the turning axles. As this system only works when the axles are turning, then this means the Dynamic Brake cannot stop a train, only slow it down.
  • Train, or 'Auto' Brakes work by controlling air pressure in a 'Brake Pipe' that runs the entire length of the train. This pipe connects to Brake Cylinders located on each individual car. In turn, these cylinders push directly onto the wheels to slow them down.
  • Locomotive, or 'Independent' brakes are similar in operation to the Auto Brake, however, this brake only affects the locomotive itself, not the entire train. The Independent Brake is used when switching cars in a yard or for holding a stopped train on level or low grade.
  • When the Auto Brake is applied, it directly affects something called the Equalizing Reservoir [ER]. Think of this read out as the 'target' pressure, for the air contorlled brakes on the train.
  • Next to it is the Brake Pipe Pressure [BP]. This indicates the overall brake pressure along the train.
  • So, as the Engineer, you set a desired pressure via the Equalizing Reservoir and then the brake system will react to match this target.
  • Perform a brake application on this train of 20 cars, to see this process in action.
  • Using the Auto Brake, reduce the Equailsing Reservoir. Watch for the Brake Pipe pressure indication to change, matching this reduction, and applying the brakes on the train.
  • Now let's see this same process on a much larger train. Head over to the adjacent locomotive and climb into the cab.
  • This train has 100 cars. Let's see what difference this has on the reaction speed of the brakes. Repeat the Equalising Reservoir reduction from before, again using the Auto Brake. Watch how long it now takes for the Brake Pipe pressure to match. The skill of the Engineer is knowing when to start braking.
  • Now that we have seen the brakes apply, let's see how long it takes to release them.
  • Using the Auto Brake, set the Equalizing Reservoir back to its' previous position.
  • This action triggers the Brake Pipe along the train to begin recharging.
  • When the Brake Pipe begins to re-pressurize, the Brake Cylinders holding the wheels will vent their air completely to the atmosphere. This is a one way trip. There is no way to partially release these brakes.
  • It's a lot to take in, so that's all for now. The key aspects to remember are: Brakes take a while to apply, so plan ahead and be patient, and the Brake Pipe will only begin to recharge when the Auto Brake is put into the Release position.
CSX Heavy Haul
Locomotives AC4400CW - GP38-2 - SD40-2
Rolling Stock BethgonII® Coal Gondola - Husky Stack® 53-foot Container Car - 89-foot Bi-Level Auto Rack - 5201-Cubic Foot Covered Car - 30,500 Gallon Tank Car - 50 foot Plate C Boxcar
Locations Cumberland - Sand Patch - Shaw Mine - Rockwood Mine
Operators CSX Transportation
Tutorials Intro Sequence Tutorial - Yard Switching - Locomotive Turntable - Locomotive Refuelling - AC4400CW Introduction - Coal Loading - Train Brakes: Theory - SD40-2 Introduction - GP38-2 Introduction
Scenarios Sand Patch Summit - A Helping Hand - Clear Cut - Fully Fuelled - Cumberland Charge - Ice and Snow - Powering America Part 1 - Powering America Part 2 - Cumberland Switchback
Miscellaneous History - Signalling