Train Moving pulling two boxcars

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In summary, the question asks for the force strength, in Newtons, with which the first boxcar pulls on the last boxcar in a train consisting of a 4000 kg locomotive and two loaded boxcars with masses of 12,000 kg and 16,000 kg, respectively. Using the equation F=ma, the mass of the last boxcar, 16,000 kg, is multiplied by the acceleration of the train, 0.4 m/s2, to find the force acting on it, resulting in an answer of 6E3 Newtons. The mistake made in the previous attempt was using the total mass of the last two boxcars, instead of just the mass of the last boxcar,
  • #1
Jordash
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Homework Statement


A train consists of a 4000 kg locomotive pulling two loaded boxcars, the first with a mass of 12,000 kg and the second with a mass of 16,000 kg. Assume that the boxcar wheels roll without friction and ignore aerodynamics. The acceleration of the train is 0.4 m/s2.

With what force strength, in Newtons, does the first boxcar pull on the last boxcar?


Homework Equations



F=ma

The Attempt at a Solution



I thought the mass should be the total of the last two boxcars which would be 12000 plus 16,000 =28,000 so I tried 28,000*0.4m/s^2 which came out to 11,200 which is obviously wrong the answer to the question should be 6E3, what am I doing wrong?
 
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  • #2
If the train is accelerating then what force is accelerating just the last car?
 
Last edited:
  • #3
Jordash said:

Homework Statement


A train consists of a 4000 kg locomotive pulling two loaded boxcars, the first with a mass of 12,000 kg and the second with a mass of 16,000 kg. Assume that the boxcar wheels roll without friction and ignore aerodynamics. The acceleration of the train is 0.4 m/s2.

With what force strength, in Newtons, does the first boxcar pull on the last boxcar?


Homework Equations



F=ma

The Attempt at a Solution



I thought the mass should be the total of the last two boxcars which would be 12000 plus 16,000 =28,000 so I tried 28,000*0.4m/s^2 which came out to 11,200 which is obviously wrong the answer to the question should be 6E3, what am I doing wrong?
You should be using Free Body Diagrams (FBD). What you have calculated is the the pulling force of the engine on the first boxcar, not the pulling force of the first boxcar on the last boxcar. The easiest way to do this problem is to look at the last boxcar only in a FBD of that last boxcar. Identify the force acting on it, and solve for its value using Newton 2.
 

Related to Train Moving pulling two boxcars

1. How does a train move and pull two boxcars?

A train moves and pulls two boxcars through the use of an engine, which generates power to turn the wheels and propel the train forward. The engine is connected to the boxcars through a series of couplers and chains, which allow the train to pull the weight of the boxcars behind it.

2. What is the maximum weight that a train can pull?

The weight that a train can pull depends on a variety of factors, such as the number and size of the engines, the condition of the tracks, and the slope of the terrain. On average, a single locomotive can pull around 4,000 tons, but some trains can pull up to 20,000 tons.

3. How does the weight of the boxcars affect the train's speed?

The weight of the boxcars can greatly affect the train's speed. The heavier the load, the more power the engine needs to exert to move the train forward. This can result in a slower speed and a longer braking distance.

4. How does a train stop when pulling two boxcars?

A train stops when pulling two boxcars by using the brakes on the engine and the boxcars themselves. The engine's brakes are controlled by the engineer and can slow down or stop the train. The boxcars also have their own brakes, which can be activated by the engineer or by a mechanism called a "deadman's switch" in case the engineer is unable to do so.

5. What safety measures are in place to prevent accidents when a train is pulling two boxcars?

There are several safety measures in place to prevent accidents when a train is pulling two boxcars. These include regular maintenance and inspection of the tracks and equipment, strict speed limits, and communication between train crews and dispatchers. In addition, trains are equipped with emergency brakes and safety systems, such as automatic train control, to prevent collisions and derailments.

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