Scientific Services

Railways are all about the practical application of scientific theory. Every so often, the Moseley Railway Trust gets to participate in the advancement of science. We have recently participated in two such experiments. Adam, the son of the MRT’s Permanent Way Engineer, has been developing a spray weedkiller system as part of his college course. This particular system, rather conveniently, is designed to mount onto one of the Trust’s wagons – this one came from the former nursery railway at Poppelton, near York. But how to demonstrate that it evenly distributes the spray across the formation? The answer was to conduct a series of careful tests. An area was marked out, and a bar placed across. Filter papers were then attached to the bars. The sprayer was then towed across the marked area using a locomotive. The filter papers soak up the spray, and hence a distribution can be plotted of the amount of spray against the position transverse across the track formation. His PhD is, we feel, virtually in the bag.

Meanwhile, atop a workshop not unadjacent to this activity, another experiment is taking place. How many times have you lain in bed, unable to sleep, your mind racing as you consider the Question – What has the greater form drag – a 40HP Protected Motor Rail, or a WDLR Water Tank Wagon? Well, for your slumbering enlightenment, one of the MRT’s talented members has designed an experiment which will allow this Question to be answered.

It also tells you which way the wind is blowing.

For deeper scientific discussions, such as how many loco names can be spelt using the contents of a tin of Alphebetti Spaghetti, join the MRT and read our magazine, Moseley Matters. Four times a year, and easier to digest than “A Brief History of Time”. Contact us here for further details. Or come along to Apedale and see what the team of brilliant scientists are up to. For further enlightenment of life’s great unanswered questions, see here.