Speed - time Curve of Train

The curve between speed in km per hour ( Y – axis ) and time in second on X – axis is known as speed – time curve of the train.

Importance of speed time curve

  • It gives completes information regarding motion of the train.
  • It gives information about speed of train at particular time.
  • It gives information about acceleration time, free running time and retardation time of the train.
  • The area covered by the speed – time curves gives information about distance covered by the train. 
  • The speed time curve mainly consists of

Constant acceleration ( 0 to t1 )

  • The current is maintained approximately constant and voltage across motor increases step by step during notching period ( 0 to t1 ) . 
  • As the tractive effort remains constant during this period, the acceleration also remains constant.


Acceleration Running period ( t1 to t2 )

  • The voltage across motor is kept remains constant and current starts to decrease with increase in the speed according to characteristic of DC motor. 
  • The current taken by the motor remains constant after some time.

        N α ( Eb / Ia )

Free running period ( t2 to t3 )

  • The train attains maximum speed at the end of time t2
  • The train runs with constant speed after time t2
  • The motor draws constant power from the supply.

Coasting ( t3 to t4 )

  • The power supply is cut off and train is allowed to run under its own momentum after free running period ( t2 to t3 ). 
  • The speed of the train starts to decrease due to resistance of motion of train. 
  • The rate of decrease of speed during coasting period is known as coasting retardation.

Retardation ( t4 to t5 )

  • The brake is applied to train at the end of coasting period ( t4 ). 
  • The speed of train decreases rapidly and finally reduces to zero during retardation period.

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