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Semi OT. Is it possible for a bullet to stop a train ?

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  • Semi OT. Is it possible for a bullet to stop a train ?

    What is this nonsense? It seems part of the media (a large part) has gone off on a tangent about rocks or bullets or paper cups striking a train and causing it to derail.

    Should the question be, "is this possible", or is the question "are people this stupid"?

    Am I misunderstanding the laws of physics? Or perhaps the laws of probability with an object striking a moving train, causing some reaction with the operator, causing the train to speed up, causing the operator not to compensate, causing the de-railment?

    Is all this even remotely possible ? And do not "things" hit trains all the time? When I'm driving and a rock hits my windshield do I speed up and crash ? Does anyone?
    Gary


    Appearance is Everything...

  • #2
    Only if it hits the engineer in the head!!!
    Brian Rupnow

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    • #3
      if you leave out the "O gauge"...

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      • #4
        I'm not surprised. I don't think it's quite as high a percentage as it used to be, but somewhere around half of Americans believed that the earth, and humanity, were 6,000 years old. It's still am embarrassingly high percentage today though. I'm not joking when I say that it might be a higher percentage of congressman believe this.
        So they'll read a stone-age book and believe it just because the book itself says to believe it (or else), it's no surprise that folks will believe nonsense physics lies, or that health care in the US is "the best on earth", or that US elections are not fixed before they start, or that Iraq had WMDs, or that Islam is a religion of peace, or .....
        They call it "journalism". They check their facts and vest their sources, right? It has to be true, right?
        Riiiiiight.....
        Sell advertising and political ideas and it's a success.

        The general lack of doubt in people worldwide is a major problem. How to doubt well (call it analyze for truth if you prefer) should be a required class every year from K-12 and through college in my opinion.

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        • #5
          ..And does a Bullet train fire back?
          Max.

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          • #6
            How to doubt well (call it analyze for truth if you prefer) should be a required class every year from K-12 and through college in my opinion.
            ...taught by the same guy who "teaches the controversy" of evolution versus one particular creation story.

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            • #7
              only if the bullet is coming the other direction on the tracks.......bullet train that is!
              Location: The Black Forest in Germany

              How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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              • #8
                Very possible with a big enough bullet or small enough train. See size does matter.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AD5MB View Post
                  ...taught by the same guy who "teaches the controversy" of evolution versus one particular creation story.
                  Good point. But I would hope that only one or two years of the curriculum would be taught by "that guy". Plus, if they learned enough in previous years, then the students would have a few techniques in their arsenal to see the teacher's bias and flaws, and maybe even be able to do something about it.
                  It will never happen in my lifetime, but I'd sure love to see some effort that direction. All I see now is pushing from the ignorance team and politically correct pandering from those in office, with the real resistance in-between from the irate informed.

                  edit to add: ... then again, maybe I myself am misinformed and the chances are better than I think. I know there is a trend toward reason from a more vocal percentage lately. I can dream.
                  Last edited by tyrone shewlaces; 05-17-2015, 10:51 AM.

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                  • #10
                    I have yet to see a comprehensive timeline on this event, apart from the black box speed record. When did the "projectile" strike the train? There was a report of radio traffic between engineers about projectile strikes, heard by the conductor on the train. Was this a factor? When did the engineer suffer his concussion? Did the projectile strike the engineer or just the windshield? If it only struck the windshield, did it scare the engineer silly and cause him to react incorrectly? Seems if the engineer was commenting on the radio, he must have been somewhat rational. Why the sudden increase in speed rather than slowing for the curve?

                    More questions than answers, but little info of any value is coming from the media either.
                    Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                    ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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                    • #11
                      Well .... the NTSB will sort all that out and tell us the actual facts ....Isn't that what WE pay them for?
                      ......right.......

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                      • #12
                        Only if the "bullet" comes out of a 5"54 caliber rifle.

                        Rick

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                        • #13
                          If the bullet is fast and heat-resistant enough...
                          Mike
                          WI/IL border, USA

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                          • #14
                            It is possible that a bullet or that a hand thrown object caused the wreck.

                            The overhead crane I used to operate at Kaiser was is the same area as the stretcher for large plates of various alloys. Every once in while a piece would snap while being stretched. A piece of .500 gauge 7075 could be heard and felt throughout the entire plant. Having moved up to the overhead from the floor operated crane that handled the plates for the big stretcher, I knew what the sound was, and that it was simply a very loud noise.

                            But being a brand new crane operator (and one afraid of heights) up there I was doing everything I could to make sure I didn't kill anyone down on the floor. So there I was, a full load of coils (about 60,000 lbs) traveling down the tracks, watching, watching, looking, and more looking. So very deep in concentration that when a plate snapped I was suddenly and very strangely caused to first, try to figure out the foul taste in my mouth, then to try to find my hands, then to try to somehow do something, anything to bring back into focus what the hell I was in the middle of doing. The crane itself was traveling down the building towards a section of old punch presses that if I did not trolly the load towards myself the fully loaded tray of coils would collide with very large punch press. I did not make the jog. But I also did not hit the press. But it was all I could do to get the lever controlling direction into neutral and with all my strength stand on the brake and stop just a few feet short of a disaster.

                            So ask yourself this, what would it be like to be going 60 mph and have a piece something very hard hit your windshield? You are a liar if you say you would not take a variable amount time for your brain to react in any way. And then as part of that reaction what would your action be? How long would it take you to find yourself? People have recalled their reactions and then had to ask themselves, why did I do that?
                            Gene

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                            • #15
                              I opined too soon...

                              http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/fbi...g?ocid=DELLDHP
                              Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                              ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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