Articulated car


Articulated car

Articulated cars are rail vehicles which are much longer than single passenger cars because they combine a number of smaller, lighter cars which are semi-permanently attached to each other and which share common trucks.

Passenger cars

Articulated passenger cars are becoming increasingly common in Europe and the US. This means that the passenger cars share trucks and that the passageways between them are more or less permanently attached. The cars are kept in "trainsets" and not split up during normal operations. There is a safety benefit in that if the train derails, it is less likely to jackknife (though modern construction techniques thankfully prevent telescoping).

Freight cars

Manufacturers such as Gunderson make articulated, low-floor "well" cars, articulated trailer carriers and articulated autoracks.

Advantages and disadvantages

Articulated cars have a number of advantages. They save on the total number of wheels and trucks, reducing initial cost, weight, noise, vibration and maintenance expenses. Further, movement between passenger cars is safer and easier than with traditional designs. Finally, it is easier to implement tilting schemes such as the Talgo design which allow the train to lean into curves. The trucks of the Pendolino are entirely under the coach. The trucks of the LRC passenger cars built by Bombardier Transportation are entirely under the cars as well.

Disadvantages primarily relate to lesser operational flexibility. For example, additional cars cannot readily be added to an articulated trainset to accommodate peaks in traffic volume and a mechanical malfunction in one car or power unit can disable an entire trainset.

ee also

* Bogie
* Jacobs bogie
* Stadler GTW
* TGV
* Air brake
* Vacuum brake
* Railway brakes
* Articulated vehicle
* Articulated trams


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