Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2024 Joshua Forde. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. For all other uses, please contact the copyright holder.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Engineering Department

First Advisor

Lynne Molter


A prototype of an automatic braking system for a locomotive was designed and implemented for the purpose of adding an emergency fail safe for trains nationwide. An ultrasonic sensor detected environmental conditions in front of the train, while a connected relay communicated with a servo powered brake to change brake position. An O scale model train was mounted with an onboard sensor, microcontroller, and servo-powered brake to test the effectiveness of an automatic braking system for locomotives. A rubber-like material was used as the brake pad to slow and ideally stop the train on command. Arduino IDE was used to program the microcontroller with a state system that was used to switch between states that controlled the position of the brake. This project was successful at stopping the model train under low speed conditions and slowing the train under medium to high speed conditions. A realistic extension to actual locomotives is discussed in the Conclusion section.

Included in

Engineering Commons