• Railroad Skates

  • General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment
General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment

Moderator: John_Perkowski

  by bgreen
Could someone offer an in-depth explaination as to what railroad skates are; if they are still used in the rail industry; how they are used; and whether or not anyone can offer a link to view a picture of them. I know that they are a metal device set upon the top of the rail to stop rail cars from moving, however, that's about all that I know about the topic.

  by bml1149
Here is a website that will show you a picture of a rail skate. http://www.nolancompany.com/ I have used them some where I work. I don't like them for preventing cars from rolling. I think a wheel chock works better. I have used them for controlling how a car rolls. We had to move a car on a siding with a locomotive on the main with a cable and the skate kept the car from rolling too fast and kept the cable tight. I have also heard of them being used on yard tracks where cars are kicked to prevent them from rolling too fast when they reach the skate.

  by crij

Basically the way a skate works is, that the car wheel rolls up onto the tounge of the skate and hits the back of the skate, at this point the wheel stops moving. After the wheel stops moving up the skate, there is still the inertia of the car, so the force is transfered to the skate and the whole unit slides down the rail acting as a large automatic brake shoe.

As you can see by the photo below, the larger skates have a peak about half way down the tounge, so that the car is less likly to roll off the skate and go back up the rail.

Hope this helps,