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How would a train stop? Metal wheels and metal track no friction. How do they stop?

There IS friction. Without friction, the locomotive could not apply tractive effort to start the train rolling.

The contact area between the wheel tread and the rail is small and depends on the weight of the railroad car to maintain that contact, up to a point. Despite the appearance of two very hard metal surfaces, there is some elastic deformation at the point of contact to increase that contact area. Past that point, the wheel slides which can damage the wheel(s) by rubbing flat spots--I've seen wheels that literally melted away and had to be scrapped.

Contamination of the surface by water, oil and things like wet leaves can significantly reduce friction, at times to the point the train can't get up a grade, or stop in a reasonable distance. Locomotives have a supply of sand that can be applied to the rail ahead of its driving wheels to temporarily increase friction. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

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