How all trains work | Learn all about trains | Full Show | Lots & Lots of Trains

(techno music) (upbeat music) (train whistling) (“I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”) (train whistling) (train rumbling) (train whistling) (bell clanging) – Hello, my name is Carl Carl the train Conductor Are you ready to learn all about trains? Well, I hope so because trains are an important part of everyone’s life Including yours and mine In this video my train buddies and I will be telling you all about trains How they were invented How they work How fast they go What the different kinds of trains do Train safety and many other cool things about trains So, get ready to learn all about trains All aboard! (train steams loudly) (train whistling) (bell clanging) – I bet you’re wondering just what makes me tick How does a steam locomotive work? Let me show you Behind this steam engine is the tender, which holds the coal and water needed for the engine There are two people in the cab of the engine The engineer and the fireman While the engineer makes sure everything is running right, the fireman shovels coal into the firebox in the back of the locomotive The smoke from the burning coal goes out the smokestack and the heat from the coal boils water in a big tank in the engine called the boiler Just like a teakettle And what comes out of a teakettle when it gets hot? Steam, that’s right The steam builds up pressure just like air in a balloon That pressure pushes a piston at the front of the engine and that piston is connected to a number of rods These rods are connected to the driving wheels The steam pushes the piston, the piston pushes the rods, the rods push the driving wheels, and what do you know, the engine moves forward (train whistling) (bell clanging) – Hey, I’ a diesel locomotive I don’t work the same way that my steam buddy does Let me show you how a diesel engine works There’s a big fuel tank underneath the locomotive It holds diesel fuel which is kind of like the gasoline that makes cars run Now this diesel fuel powers a big diesel motor with pistons and a drive shaft and everything Again, just like car But here’s where it gets kind of neat The drive shaft of the diesel motor is attached to a generator And want to know what the generator generates? It’s electricity! The same kind of energy that lights up your lights and runs your computer and TVs and keeps the food cold in your refrigerator So this electricity from the generator goes to a number of electric motors attached to the wheels of the diesel engine At the same time, a fan at the top of the engine forces air down onto these motors to keep them cool You don’t want them to burn up, do you? These are called traction motors And when the juice hits them, whoo hoo The diesel locomotive moves forward It’s all kind of neat isn’t it (train whistling) (bell clanging) – Hi, remember me? I was the guy who showed you what made me tick But does a steam locomotive run by itself? Of course not Let me show you how I run Remember when I told you there are two people in the cab of the engine, the engineer and the fireman The fireman shovels coal into the firebox,

while the engineer makes sure everything is running right But what are all those dials and handles and knobs for? Let’s take a look The engineer uses three basic types of controls The throttle or regulator controls the speed of the train, how fast or slow it goes The reverser or Johnson bar as it’s sometimes called, controls the direction of the train, forward, neutral or backward Then there are the brakes, used to stop the train and keep it in one spot To get the train going, the boiler turns water into steam and that steam moves the pistons that move the wheels I showed you that last time In the cab the engineer moves the Johnson Bar into the forward position The whistle gives two short blasts to let everybody know the train is about to move The brakes are released and the throttle is slowly opened up Hey, we’re moving Actually, there’s a lot more to it, but that’s basically how it goes Stopping the train is the same but in reverse order The throttle is pulled back and the brakes slowly applied and we’re slowing down Once the train is stopped, the Johnson Bar is placed in the neutral position And that’s all there is to it So long (train whistling) (bell clanging) – Hey, how have you been? I’m the diesel locomotive that runs in a different way than my steam buddy does I already showed you how a diesel engine created electricity that feeds the motors that move the wheels But here’s how I’m controlled The engineer is in the cab Wow, look at all those dials and handles Now, those dials show things like air pressure for the brakes, how much electricity is being made and most important, the speed But there’s really only three things the engineer needs to use to make the train move The brakes, the reverser and the throttle The reverser which controls forward and back is moved to the forward position Now, there are a couple of brakes, one for the whole train and one for me, the locomotive They both are released The engineer gives two short blasts on the horn to let everybody know the train’s about to move The throttle, which has eight notches, is slowly moved forward, wow, here we go To stop the train, everything is reversed The throttle is slowly lowered, the brakes are applied, both the train brake and the locomotive brake Once the train comes to a stop, the reverser is placed in neutral You want to back up, the reverser is put into reverse, the brakes are released and the engineer gives three short blasts on the horn to let everybody know the train is backing up Then the throttle is slowly clicked into position Either direction, this train is on its way (train whistling) (bell clanging) – Hey, isn’t it awesome when a train goes roaring past Wow, that train must be flying Did you ever wonder just how fast that train is going? Wait, wait Before we talk about speed, maybe we should know what we’re talking about We usually measure speed in miles per hour Or MPH That’s how far you can travel in one hour The more miles per hour, the faster your speed It’s like this, when you’re traveling in your bus to school, you might be going about 30 miles per hour That means it would take you one hour to drive straight from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Trenton, New Jersey When you’re in the family car on the highway, you’re going about 60 miles an hour That means it would take you one hour to drive straight from Denver, Colorado to Colorado Springs, Colorado So, now that we know what speed is, we can talk trains Here, look at this When the locomotive was first invented way back in the 1820s, a steam engine called the Tom Thumb carried passengers at a speed of about 12 miles per hour By the 1850s passenger trains were going almost 25 miles per hour

By 1900 trains moved at nearly 50 miles per hour Today, it’s important to make sure everyone on the train and around the tracks is safe So trains have speed limits, just like cars on the streets and highways In America freight trains can’t go any faster than 80 MPH And trains with passengers can’t go any faster than 90 miles per hour Usually when you’re waiting at a railroad crossing, the trains are going about 40 or 50 miles an hour In other parts of the world some trains run on special magnetic tracks called maglev At times they can travel at speeds as fast as 370 MPH Wow, that’s crazy Well now you have some idea of just how fast the trains you see are going Remember, be safe When you see, tracks, think trains So long (train whistling) (bell clanging) (train horn hooting) – Hi, trains like me make a lot of noise The loud motor that helps me move the cars behind me, along with those cars and the clickety clack of their wheels But the noise you probably hear the most is my horn when it blasts out (horn hooting) You know, years ago before trains had radios in them, whistles and horns were the only real way the engineer and other people on the train could talk with other trains Now, even though all trains have radios, they still use the horn to communicate with anyone near them Did you know there was a code to all those horn blasts? What can they mean? The engineer uses short blasts and long blasts of the horn in combinations to mean different things For example, (train horn hooting) one long blast means stop, the brakes are on (train horn hooting) Two longs mean release the brakes and go ahead (train horn hooting) Three short blasts mean get ready, the train is backing up (train horn hooting) Four shorts mean repeat your signal, I didn’t understand (train horn hooting) Here’s one you probably hear all the time Two long, a short and a long means the train is approaching the signal crossing Like when the gates are down and your sitting in the car waiting for the train to go by (train horn hooting) Many short blasts means danger, there are people or animals on the tracks and they must get off immediately Trains also have a bell that rings When they’re getting ready to move, approaching a crossing or a passenger station, when going through a tunnel or passing another train on the track next to it So the next time you see a train and hear the horn, you can tell everyone that you know just what it’s saying (train horn hooting) (train whistling) (bell clanging) – Hello, trains are cool and fun to watch, but you have to be careful whenever you and your family are around trains and train track Safety is important You know every three hours a person or vehicle is hit by a train So, when you see tracks, think train There are all kinds of signs and signals to let you know when and where there are trains around Want to see them? Okay, just look at me When you see a round yellow sign with a big black X on it, that means the road you’re on has train tracks up ahead

It means you should slow down, and look and listen for any trains that might be coming There are also big marking painted on the road that also warn of train tracks ahead And where cars should stop safely At the railroad tracks there’s a cross buck, a big white X with the words railroad crossing on it Just like me, the yellow warning sign, it means to look and listen for a train before crossing the tracks There might also be a sign below it showing how many sets of tracks are the crossing Nearby there should also be a rectangular blue sign with a phone number on it If your car should get stuck on the tracks, get out immediately and call this number This is the first number you should call, but if this sign isn’t around, call 911 Many railroad crossings have lights and a bell along with the cross buck When a train is coming, the red lights flash, the bells rings and if there are gates, they come down across the road It is illegal to drive around lowered gates, not to mention very, very dangerous Some roads with a lot of traffic have an additional set of flashing lights mounted up high on what’s called a cantilever This lets everyone, cars, buses and trucks, to see when there’s a train coming Safety is important even if you’re walking or riding your bike or skateboard Never walk on or along railroad tracks It can take a train more than a mile to stop when it’s running So if you can’t get off the tracks for any reason, you could be in big trouble Whew Anyway, railroad tracks, rail yards and trains are private property and you’re not supposed to be on them anyway Never dash across the tracks as soon as the train passes There could be another one coming from the other direction and you’d never see it until it was to late Wait until the gates go up and the lights are off before crossing the tracks Trains are fun to watch and they carry people and all sorts of goods all over the country But being to close to them can be dangerous So when you see tracks, think train (train whistling) (bell clanging) (train horn hooting) Hi, I figured you might also like to know what all those different cars are that you see a big engine pulling in a freight train I can show you, just look At the front, you’ve all seen the big diesel engine It’s big and powerful and pulls all the cars behind it And, here’s what used to pull train cars years ago It’s a steam engine Instead of a diesel motor, it uses steam to power it’s big wheels This is a hopper car It can be covered or open Covered hoppers can carry dry foods, like sugar, rice and flour Open top hoppers have lots of room to carry coal, gravel and sand When they unload a hopper car, doors open underneath to free up the stuff they’ve been carrying This is a Gondola car It’s open up top and is used to carry thousands of pounds of scrap iron and other raw metals The Gondola can also carry logs, lumber and other cargo We’ve all seen the boxcar It has doors on the side that allow the loading and unloading of all kinds of things The boxcar can carry everything from dog food and paper to canned goods and beds Sometimes the loads can be as much as 100 tons A different kind of boxcar is the refrigerated boxcar Just like the refrigerator in your kitchen, this boxcar keeps foods cold They can carry fresh fruits and vegetable, meats, seafood and cheese The tank car holds all kinds of liquids It can carry thousands of gallons of chemicals, water, fuel like gasoline and diesel and even molasses This is the flat car It can carry pipe, logs, lumber, tractors, steel plates and beams and rails How big are flat cars? They can be anywhere from 60 to 90 feet long Wow, that’s big Special flat cars are called container cars These container, which hold all kinds of cargo,

are transferred from trucks to trains and back again That process is called intermodal This is an auto rack It carries cars and vans and trucks They’re usually covered so the vehicles don’t get hit with rocks and other things along the way A full auto rack can carry more than 18 vehicles at one Here’s a special car called a centerbeam It carries heavy building supplies like lumber, wallboard and fencing materials The centerbeam keeps the materials safe and unbroken along the way For many years the last car of a freight train was the caboose It was kind of a traveling office for people who worked on the moving train It was also like a home away from home for those workers There was simple cooking and sleeping facilities, perfect for long trips across the country But around 1980, technology and computers made a caboose no longer necessary Instead, a small radio called an EOT, End of Train, is attached to the last car and automatically checks things like brake pressure Well, that’s a lot of train cars But the next time you’re watching a train go by, you’ll know what each of those cars are and what each one is carrying Remember, be careful and be safe around trains So long (train whistling) (bell clanging) – If you live in a big city, and even if you don’t, you’ve probably seen trains like this They’re called rapid transit trains When the tracks go underground it’s the subway When the tracks are up over the streets it’s the elevated or el train In the late 1800s America saw a couple of big changes One, bigger business meant the growth of big cities like New York, Boston and Chicago Two, many of these urban areas became electrified That meant more business, more people and more traffic The problem was, how to move all these people, quickly and efficiently Horse drawn streetcars were slow, smelly – You stink! – And held a limited number of riders Also, more and more gas powered cars clogged the streets, making the problem of moving many people harder One answer was to get off the streets and go under them In 1894, Boston started the first subway system in America New York soon followed Tunnels were dug under the city streets with rails laid for electric powered train cars Around the same time Chicago figured why not go up as well They built and elevated system called the el, in the downtown area known as The Loop The tracks were over the streets allowing road traffic as well as rapid transit Everybody knows a train runs on two tracks, but guess what Rapid transit trains have a third rail Why? That’s where they get they’re power to run These trains run on electricity Hundreds of volts that move through a contact shoe that drive electric motors attached to the wheels And that third rail is dangerous Stay away from it Two or more cars make up a train They move from station to station where passengers hop on or get off, going to and from school, work, shopping and more The riders have to be quick The train stops, the doors open and in less than a minute, they close The train heads off to its next stop Today, many cities all over the world rely on mass transit systems to move people from one place to another, quickly and safely In America, cities like Washington D.C., San Francisco, Detroit and Salt Lake City, along with long timers like New York, Boston and Chicago, all proudly boast about their subway and elevated trains Rapid transit, come on and get onboard (train whistling) (engine roaring) (train whistling) (bell clanging) (electric music) – Hi, how are ya doing?

You know, it doesn’t matter whether you live in a small town out in the country, in the suburbs of a big city or that big city itself There’s all kinds of train cars that carry people back and forth every day Would you like to see them? Here Years ago, before jets flew in the skies, passenger trains took people from one side of the country to the other The trip took several days, but the travelers ate the best of foods in the dining car, slept in comfy beds in the sleeper car and enjoyed the view from the observation domes Today a cross country train trip still takes three days But most likely the passenger trains you see are taking people on shorter trips, from one area of the country to another These are called Regional Routes or Commuter Lines For example, folks in central California have Caltrain The route of 80 miles runs from south of San Jose up to San Francisco More than 60,000 people ride Caltrain every day Going to work, to shop, even to see the San Francisco Giants play baseball The passenger car usually has two levels, upper and lower On commuter cars like Caltrain, there are rows of seats for people to visit, read or just look out the window People usually get on through doors in the middle of the car And you can go from car to car through doors at the end With passenger cars, you might have a coach car It has rows of seats, much like a jet airplane has As many as 60 people can sit in the coach car The lounge car has chairs where travelers can relax and look out from the upper level The dining car is just like a restaurant on wheels It has tables where folks can eat and a full kitchen to cook their food The sleeper car has seats that fold down at night into beds, where people fall asleep to the clicking of the rails If you haven’t done it already, maybe you can take a ride on a passenger car, across the city or across the country It’s a great way to travel See ya (train wheels clicking) (train whistling) (bell clanging) (engine roaring) Hello there, let’s talk trains We all know that trains run on tracks Would you have any idea how many miles of tracks there are in America? Guess 5,000 miles? No 10,000 miles? No 100,000 miles? No But you’re getting warmer There’s more than 200,000 miles of railroad tracks in the U.S Wow, that’s almost enough track to stretch from the earth to the moon Well how do those tracks get there? Nobody woke up one morning and poof, the tracks were just there Somebody had to build them Here, let’s take a look Usually a mound of gravel has to be laid first That’s called ballast Then wooden or concrete cross bars are put down, they’re called ties in America, but they’re called sleepers in Europe Then steel rails are laid down across the ties and fastened down It’s hard work and takes a lot of time Back in the 1800s teams of workers did everything by hand They would drop the ties on the ballast, then drop the rails down and fasten them with spikes These men were known as gandy dancers In the late 1800s a man named Robert Hurley designed a machine that laid ties first, then laid track But even with a machine, as many as 25 or more workers were needed to get the job done Today, machines still do the heavy work A tractor pulls the first flat car which lays down the ties at just the right spacing Then rails from a second car are fixed onto the ties As many as 10 ties per minute are laid down And these huge machines will lay down as much as one mile of track in a day Pretty cool huh? Machines just like these are used to fix and replace tracks too So, next time you see a train go roaring by,

you can tell everyone just how those tracks got there Remember, be safe When you see tracks, think trains See ya! (train whistling) (train wheels clicking) (train car whistling) (bell clanging) – Hi, it’s Carl the train conductor I’d like to tell you all about my job First you’ll know I’m the conductor by my uniform I wear a hat and usually have a name badge My job is to make sure the train runs the right way, according to rules Like making sure I’m alert and pay attention to the train when I’m on the job And, I watch for signals along the rails (radio chattering) By using a radio I keep in touch with the engineer, other conductors and crew members and the stations along our route I also collect everyone’s ticket and call out the names of our stops so you won’t miss yours Above all, I make sure everyone on the train and around the train is safe Being a train conductor is a great job, and I hope to meet you the next time you take a train ride (train whistling) (bell clanging) – Hi, here we are, talking all about trains You may hear people say, hey, keep it together On trains that’s easy To keep all the cars together, they use what’s called a coupler Let’s take a closer look A couple is a mechanical device that connects two cars to each other They’re safe and sturdy, wouldn’t want a big box car to come loose somewhere along the tracks When trains first crossed the country back in the 1800s, the first coupler was called the link and pin A big iron link was held in place to the car on one end by a strong metal pin The car would be nudged close to the next car where the link slipped into a socket on the end Another metal pin was placed into the socket holding the link in place But the link and pin was dangerous Someone, usually the switchman, had to get between the cars to insert the pins in the sockets You can just imagine all the accidents that happened (man groaning) in those days In 1879 a man named Eli Janney invented what he called the knuckle coupler Why knuckle? Because the device looked like the knuckle of the finger Over time a number of people worked to improve on Janney’s invention But it basically has stayed the same all these years The knuckle coupler is safe The switchman doesn’t have to get in between the cars A lever on the side of the car releases the coupler How much does a couple weigh? They’re about 80 pounds Wow, that’s about as much as four big watermelons And what do they cost? A modern day coupler is between three and $400 So now you know just how those long trains keep it together, with couplers See ya! (engine roaring) (train whistling) (bell clanging) – Hello there, I’m Roy I’m a cable car in the great city of (bell rings) San Francisco, California Ever wonder how street cars and cable cars like me run? Just look Once upon a time street cars were found all over the country As cities grew, people needed a way to get around Street cars, also called trolley cars or interurban transit, took folks to work, to shop or to school How does the street car work? Rails are set into the streets The street car has wheels, like a train that fit into the rails Where does the power come from? It’s electric A pole gets power from overhead wires That power runs an electric motor on each set of wheels

While not every street has rails, the street car goes wherever the tracks go A cable car also runs on tracks, but it’s moved in a completely different way Along with rails in the street, a steel cable is set in a groove The cable is pulled by big motors in what’s called the powerhouse When I grip the cable, I get pulled in the direction the cable is going The cable car reaches the turn around, where it’s turned around by hand and goes in the opposite direction These San Francisco cable cars have been part of the city for more than 140 years In fact, cars just like me were made a National Historic Landmark in 1971, joining others like Hoover Dam, Pike’s Peak and the Empire State Building While you might have to come out to California to ride me or the other cable cars, the street car is still around many parts of the country today Cities like Boston, Cleveland, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Seattle, Atlanta and many more have them Street cars and cable cars are a great way to travel around the town See if you can find one and hop on (bell ringing) (train whistling) (bell clanging) (engine roaring) – Hi there, I’m Kirby Kirby Caboose I used to be part of every freight train that ran in America But not anymore I got replaced by a little red light But hey You can still find me on train layouts and toys all over the place I’m right there on the end But, you know what they say Save the best for last That word caboose, it sure is funny Where do you think it came from Well, it came from Europe Back in the 1700s a caboose was the galley or kitchen on a sailing ship When trains started crossing the country in the 1800s, the word caboose was given to a small shack on a flat car That’s where food was cooked for the train’s crew, just like on the sailing ships Before long the caboose was a traveling office for the conductor, brakeman and flagman who rode the trains In the 1860s someone got the idea to add the cupola, a second story to the top of the caboose From there the conductor could see the entire train in front of him Along with being a kitchen and office, the caboose had sleeping bunks for the long trips through the country You gotta admit, there were a lot of uses for these cabooses (laughing) (audience booing) (Kirby clearing throat) Around 1980 technology spelled the end for the caboose Brakemen and flagmen were no longer needed on trains, thanks to electronics and computers As trains become longer with more cars, the conductor couldn’t see all the way to the engine anymore Instead of the caboose at the end of the train, a blinking red light is now seen They call it FRED Flashing Rear End Device But it sure doesn’t look like any Fred I’ve known The radio device is also called an EOT, End of Train And is attached to the last freight car The engineer gets all the info he needs about the entire train from the EOT Today, cabooses can be found at railroad museums across the country Many offer tours that show how trainmen lived and worked many years ago See if you can check one out Tell them Kirby Caboose sent you Bye (engine roaring) (train whistling) (bell clanging) – Hello everybody, this is Carl the Conductor, thanking you for letting us help you learn all about trains All aboard! (train whistles) (“I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”) (train whistling)

(wheels clicking)