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Difficulty: MediumPuzzle Details

How do trains turn? Their wheels are on a solid axle, so when one wheel turns a turn, so to will the other. We know that the inner rail of a curve is shorter in the curve than the outer rail. Some people think that perhaps one wheel slips, but with the weight a train puts on a wheel, there is no appreciable slippage. So how do trains turn?

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[Ref: ZXHS]  

Answer: The edges of train wheels are bevelled. So, by sliding slightly from side to side, the distance covered by one wheel in a single rotation can be different from the distance covered by the other wheel. This does impose a limit on how sharply a train can turn, but that's not usually a real world problem.


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