why increasing gauge on curve..?


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A vehicle normally assumes the central position on a straight track and the flanges of the wheels stay clear of the rails. The situation, however, changes on a curved track. As soon as the vehicle moves onto a curve, the flange of the outside wheel of the leading axle continues to travel in a straight line till it rubs against the rail. Due to the coning of wheels, the outside wheel travels a longer distance compared to the inner wheel. This, however, becomes impossible for the vehicle as a whole since the rigidity of the wheel base causes the trailing axle to occupy a different position. In an effort to make up for the difference in the distance travelled by the outer wheel and the inner wheel, the inside wheels slip backward and the outer wheels skid forward. A close study of the running of vehicles on curves indicates that the wear of flanges eases the passage of the vehicle round curves, as it has the effect of increasing the gauge. The widening of the gauge on a curve has, in fact, the same effect and tends to decrease the wear and tear on both the wheel and the track.

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