View random article

What Is a Cow Catcher?

A cow catcher is not a person but a device. It is a contraption attached to the train’s front side. The cow catcher’s function is to clear any obstacles that may litter the train track. The cow catcher was invented in 1838 by Charles Babbage, a British engineer. The cow catcher is still in use today in North America. The device is not used as much in Europe anymore because the modern European railway systems now have tracks that are fenced off. This makes it less likely to get any kind of obstacles or objects on the tracks. A cow catcher is also known as a pilot.

The cow catcher’s shape is generally a shallow wedge with a V shape. The design is to maximize the deflection of any kind of object that may get on the tracks but perform it in such a way that it will not affect the speed of the train and also push the objects to the side easily. The cow catcher’s shape will allow the object to be lifted up and then pushed towards the sides of the train. The earliest cow catchers were made of a number of metal bars welded on to a frame. But over the years the construction of the cow catchers has changed. It is now made of sheet metal or cast steel because it performs its functions more smoothly.

With the popularity of steam powered locomotives, cow catchers received additional new innovations. For example, the front coupler is a device that was employed in attaching railroad cars to one another. The design of the coupler was made in such a way that it will hinge up and out in order to clear itself off obstacles.

Featured in Autos