Railway Adhesion

Railway Adhesion

Adhesion railroads can climb grades of only 4 to 6 % with short sections of 9% (Harter, J 2005). Adhesion railway is the most common form of railway, whereby the application of power is through driving some or part of the locomotive wheels. It normally relies on the friction between the steel rail and the steel wheel. The old steam locomotives used to be driven only by drivers, which were connected on the locomotives side rods. The old steam locomotives and the modern diesel have tubes of sand meant for depositing some amount of dried sand to the heads of the rail straight in front of all or most of the axles (Harter, J 2005). In case the engine slips when a heavy train is starting, the sand applied in front of the driving wheels would help in friction effort; thus, the train would lift and commence with the motion that the engine driver intended.

The reduction of friction can happen when the rails are greasy, because of oil, rain, or the decomposing leaves that have compacted into hard, slippery lignin coating. Most locomotives on adhesion railroads usually have a sand containment vessel. Sand properly dried usually dropped on the rails so that to improve the friction under the slippery floors. The application of the sand usually occurs using compressed air. Measures that can be used to reduce adhesion because of leaves may include applying sandite, which is a gel sand mix. This can be done by sanding trains, jets, and scrubbers specialized for that purpose.  Adhesion railroads behavior usually determined by the forces, which arise between two surfaces that have come into contact.


Harter, J (2005). World railways of the nineteenth century JHU Press


Is this your assignment or some part of it?

We can do it for you! Click to Order!

Order Now

Translate »

You cannot copy content of this page