When a train passes by, it’s easy to spot the powerful locomotive, and, with some luck, a charming caboose, that iconic vintage car that historically indicated the end of the train. But what are all of those railcars in the middle?
On a passenger train, various types of cars cater to riders’ needs, ranging from cafe cars to sleeper cars. In the case of a freight train, there might be dozens of boxcars, stacked containers, or tanks transporting cargo.
They rush past in a blur or sway gently as they clickity-clack by. But those aren’t the only train cars riding the rails.
In this delightfully comprehensive video, Practical Engineering host Grady Hillhouse lists different kinds of railcars, from all types of passenger cars to a surprising amount of freight cars. His animated examples and notes about how they’re used might help you recognize them.
Hillhouse also shares photos examples of rail-ready machines and vehicles that railroad companies use to keep things working smoothly.
How many of these railcars and machines have you spotted before? Download the corresponding Practical Engineering Railcar Checklist (.pdf) to keep track.
Previously on TKSST: Every Construction Machine Explained in 15 Minutes.
Plus, enjoy a few more train videos:
• Why do autumn leaves cause train delays?
• How to replace railway ties without pulling up the rails
• Epic stunts by a toy Thomas the Tank Engine
• Pachelbel’s Train Horns
• The biggest model railroad in the Northwest