handbrake provides a smoother operation and is more easily controlled by the person operating the brakes. The
gear on the end of the vertical shaft is the pinion gear. It meshes with a gear attached to the shaft upon which
the chain winds and unwinds as the gears turn.
Handbrakes are mandatory equipment for all railway cars. They are operated manually and provide a
means for slowing and stopping the cars. They work in conjunction with the airbrake system. Handbrakes are
used primarily by trainmen when the cars are being switched in rail yards. They are classified as either
horizontal or vertical depending upon the position of the handwheel. Of the two types, the geared handbrake
provides a smoother operation than does the straight shaft. However, the operation of both types is similar.