Resistance Due to Gradient

When a train moves on a rising gradient, it requires extra effort in order to move against gravity as shown in Fig. 25.2.

Resistance due to gradient
Fig. 25.2 Resistance due to gradient

Assuming that a wheel of weight W is moving on a rising gradient OA, the following forces act on the wheel.

(a) Weight of the wheel (W), which acts downward

(b) Normal pressure N on the rail, which acts perpendicular to OA

(c) Resistance due to rising gradient (R4), which acts parallel to OA

These three forces meet at a common point Q and the triangle QCD can be taken as a triangle of forces. It can also be geometrically proved that the two triangles QCD and AOB are similar. From A QCD,

It may be noted here that when a train ascends a slope, extra effort is required to overcome the resistance offered by the gradient. The position is, however, reversed when the train descends a slope and the resistance offered by the gradient helps in the movement of the train.

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