Summary: Trains are large machines that may seem complicated to maneuver but proper safety preparation can make operating one less overwhelming.
It should come as no surprise that larger pieces of equipment may be a bit more complex and could require a good attention to detail to safely use. Failure to understand how best to use complicated equipment could lead to damaged property, lost profits, physical injury, and potentially even death.
While both are operated on the ground, simply understanding how to drive a car is not enough to prepare you for the railroads. Keeping some basic railroad safety tips in mind can prepare you for various situations you may run into while working with such heavy machinery.
Room to Stop
Physics tells us that the heavier an object is, the harder it is to stop it once it is in motion. Keeping this in mind, we can better understand just how difficult it can be to stop a train in an emergency situation. A railroad locomotive starter can make it easy to start a train in a short period of time but stopping said train in a short period of time is another story.
If you have ever had to slam on the breaks of your car while driving, you may have noticed that, even though you have enabled the breaking function on your car, the wheels skid for a distance before the vehicle can come to a complete stop. A train with dozens of connected cars, weighing millions of pounds in total, is much less capable of stopping quickly. If an emergency occurs when you are conducting a train, keep in mind that it can take the train over a mile to come to a halt.
Car collisions can either lead to minor property damage or serious physical injuries, depending on how fast the cars involved are moving. If you are lucky, you can walk away from a car crash with minimal harm. No matter how the train is started, be it from a Start Pac starter or other means, once it starts picking up speed it can be incredibly tough for it to stop. It is for this reason that you should not try to risk driving over the train tracks before the train passes. The average train weighs much more than the average car and will easily destroy it upon impact. Even if the train is in the distance and it looks like you have enough time to cross, simply play it safe and wait your turn.