As passengers, we can’t wait to get to our train stop. But, amid occasional platform overshoots and safety reminders to stay off the tracks, few of us know how complicated stopping a train can be. And that each stop starts long before the brakes are ever applied.
For passengers, the effort of arriving at a GO station amounts to gathering up any bags and stepping onto the platform. It can burn, if lucky, about five calories.
But for the GO train, and those at the controls, it’s an exertion of brain and braking power. In fact, the amount of energy required to stop a loaded 12-car GO train, weighing just over 1,100 metric tonnes from a speed of 80 mph (129 km/h) could power the average Ontario household for eight days.
And the mental effort behind that stop may make that mechanical output seem rather modest.