Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 6 - Think and Discuss: 88

Answer

If the trains were tightly coupled, the entire train would begin to move at once (i.e., over a short time interval), requiring a large force that the locomotive may be unable to supply. By loosely coupling the cars, the locomotive delivers the traincars' required impulses in a train (heh heh) of smaller impulses, over a longer time.
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