Mythbusters: Train Suction

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by nolatron, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    While watching Dirty Jobs tonight, I saw a promo for tomorrow's new episode of Mythbusters. One of the myth's they'll be testing deals with suction as a train runs by a platform. Might be an interesting watch.

    Episode 66: Concrete Glider
    In "Concrete Glider," Adam and Jamie test the old engineering challenge that like a lead balloon, you can't make a concrete glider fly. There's nothing like a challenge to focus the MythBusters' massive minds! Who will fly into history as champ and who will plummet like a stone? Tune in to find out. In the meantime, Kari, Grant and Tori go to amazing lengths to find out just how dangerous it is to stand too close to the edge of a train platform.
    Premiere: Nov. 8, 2006 @ 9pm ET/PT
  2. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I like that show. I'll try to remember to watch this train related one. I always stand back on platforms myself! :)
  3. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

  4. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    TiVo'd! As usual.
  5. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    I heard about this one too last night while also watching Dirty Jobs, which is my favorite showsign1 sign1

    I also like mythbusters and will be watchingit tonight, Thanks for the post Shaun
  6. nolatron

    nolatron Member

  7. All trains moving at speed create air turbulence. This would not usually suck you in while the train is passing but there will be something of a vacuum (lowered air pressure) behind the train. If you're on a footplate level platform (as we have here in the UK) an intermodal train with empty flats intersperced with loaded ones might cause rather more problems.
    The bigger risk is anything in the form of a hanging load.
    The solution all round is to stay back from the track.

    keep safe!
  8. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    Many years ago, when I was a kid (maybe 11 or 12?) I remember standing on the New Carrolton Amtrak station (outside of DC). At the time it was a dump, I recall maybe an underpass to kind of metal building shelter, with a relatively narrow platform. A Metroliner came by, and it sure FELT like you could get sucked in. Maybe it wouldn't actually happen, but as a kid it was pretty convincing!
  9. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

    Of course it can suck you up. It is called drafting and racers in the indy and grand prix, truckers in convoys, etc have been using that priciple for years to save gas etc. If it can help pull a car it can pull you in.
  10. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Man that youtube video was scary!!!!
  11. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    Ted the dummy sure looked scared!!!

    I was wondering who would allow their railroad to participate. . . NMRX? Who are they?
  12. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    It was the new New Mexico Roadrunner commuter service out of Alberquerque. I was involved with a PBS documentary when they were setting that episode up and was in the office of the General Manager of one of our local shortlines filming when they called to see if they could shoot there and was told "No thanks". The funny thing was, he referred them to Sierra railroad (I mean they *are* the movie railroad), but SERA trains couldn;t do 11 MPH if they were going down hill, not much vortex possibility there. He sure wished he could have helped out, but, the owners (UP & BNSF) of his shortline would have had kittens over it.
  13. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

  14. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I just watched mythbusters and they proved that you can't pee on the third rail without getting electrocuted, by using an anatonomical dummy.
  15. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member


    I just watched that ep and it got me thinking.. They tested for a commuter train whipping by in the wide open outdoors.. But what about in a subway tunnel?

    I rode the New York City subways daily for 8 years, and I do vaguely remember seeing a train whipping by the platform in an underground tunnel station, and the fast-moving train would be sucking garbage strewn on the tracks behind it for quite long distances. I'm thinking the enclosed tunnel might exaggerate the vacuum effect behind a speeding subway train more than on a train in the wide open.

    Then again, all this time in New York I have also never heard of anyone getting sucked onto the tracks either.. :D

    BTW lots of people hated the GE AMD103 Genesis's looks when Amtrak started using them.. Then I saw those NMRX F59PHIs tonight on the Mythbusters and wondered what's with the one-upsmanship on making wierdo-looking engines LOL.. peasoup
  16. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    That was a cool Mythbusters

    I also liked the concrete glider myth to

    Great episode
  17. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Last night on Myth Busters they busted the myth about whizzing on the 3rd rail and getting shocked in the process.sign1
  18. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    I saw that one, not last night but a few months back. They tried and tried but just could not get it to worksign1 sign1
  19. Relic

    Relic Member

    In the days of my youth ,the "'ol swimmin' hole" was under the RR bridge {deck girder} and as a rite of passage sort of thing the local greasers wouls sit in the side as trains went by. Sure was loud.
  20. Haven't seen the episode but having worked with the 3rd rail all my working life I can explain it in three words.

    It can kill.

    Messing with it is like Russian Roullete... only the odds are stacked against you.
    Having seen burnt flesh scraped off the (isolated) 3rd rail and seen the police officers who are going to go and tell the family I would recomend staying away from the 3rd rail.

    Heck, stay off of the track unless you have to be there for your job.

    All the pics and details anyone ever needs can be got with a camera (with a long lens if needed) from a safe distance.

    I'm not a kill joy. The 3rd rail is a killer.

    If you do collect a shock off the live rail it is likely to be 750volts DC. If it doesn't kill you it will leave a small high intensity burn where it goes into you and a large intense burn where it goes back out to earth. These will hospitalise you for some time and probably leave you scarred for life. If a hand is involved it may burn your fingers off or destroy the motor function.

    I have had near misses with the 3rd rail and know guys who have survived touching it live. We breathe a sigh of relief we don't go round bragging about it. Most contacts don't go round anymore period.

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