Origins Of Important Railroad And Yard Components

The railway and the railway yard from which it begins its journey is a complex network of events. It is worthwhile and quite fascinating to examine just how railroad yard air systems originally started out. The railway tracks require installed railway air brakes. It is a railway brake power braking system essentially. It utilizes compressed air as its operating base. Today’s new trains are running on time and safely owing to an error-free air braking system that is based on a design that was patented all those years ago by one Mr. George Westinghouse.

railroad yard air systems

After an air brake company was set up in his name, Mr. Westinghouse’s brainchild went on to be adopted universally. The Westinghouse system is using air pressure to charge the tanks installed to the different railway cars. A full air pressure signal tells the car to release its brakes. But a reduction of air pressure tells the car to put on the brakes. It does so by using the compressed air stored in its tanks. 

Mr. Westinghouse invented a system in which each piece of railroad rolling stock would be equipped with an air tank, as well as a triple valve. Contrary to the straight air system, the Westinghouse system applies a reduction in air pressure to allow a train to apply its brakes. The triple valve carries out three functions. It charges air into a tank that is ready to be used. It supports further actions. It will hold the brake application.

It will allow the exhaust of brake cylinder pressure, as well as the recharging of the tank after pressure is released. The triple valve includes a poppet valve feeding tank air to the brake cylinder. Today, railroad yard air systems are still using these original methods.