Why Trains Crash

Can new crash prevention technology help us avoid deadly train accidents?

Air Date 2/21/17

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PBS' premier science series helps viewers of all ages explore the science behind the headlines. Along the way, NOVA programs demystify science and technology and highlight the people involved in scientific pursuits.
Upcoming Air Dates
  • #4406 — Why Trains Crash |
    Monday, Feb 27 at 10:30pm TPT 2
  • #4406 — Why Trains Crash |
    Tuesday, Feb 28 at 4:30am TPT 2
  • #3911 — Why Ships Sink |
    Monday, Mar 20 at 10:30pm TPT 2
  • #3911 — Why Ships Sink |
    Tuesday, Mar 21 at 4:30am TPT 2
  • #3911 — Why Ships Sink |
    Sunday, Mar 26 at 9pm TPT LIFE
  • #3911 — Why Ships Sink
    Are you safe aboard a modern cruise ship? Twenty million passengers embark on cruises each year, vacationing in deluxe "floating cities" that offer everything from swimming pools to shopping malls to ice skating rinks. And the ships just keep getting bigger: The average cruise ship has doubled in size in just the last ten years. Some engineers fear that these towering behemoths are dangerously unstable, and the recent tragedy of the Costa Concordia has raised new questions about their safety. Now, NOVA brings together marine engineering and safety experts to reconstruct the events that led up to famous cruise disasters, including the ill-fated Concordia, the Sea Diamond, and the Oceanos. Are we really safe at sea-or are we on the brink of a 21st century Titanic?
    Monday, Mar 20 at 10:30pm TPT 2
    Tuesday, Mar 21 at 4:30am TPT 2
    Sunday, Mar 26 at 9pm TPT LIFE
    Monday, Mar 27 at 3am TPT LIFE
  • #3913 — Secrets of the Viking Sword
    The Vikings were among the fiercest warriors of all time, known for creating the ultimate weapon of their era: the Ulfberht sword. Using cutting-edge science, NOVA reconstructs the Ulfberht to reveal the secrets of a sword both feared and prized.
    Wednesday, Mar 29 at 8pm TPT 2
    Thursday, Mar 30 at 2am TPT 2
    Sunday, Apr 2 at 8pm TPT LIFE
    Monday, Apr 3 at 2am TPT LIFE
    Monday, Apr 3 at 10:30pm TPT 2
    Tuesday, Apr 4 at 4:30am TPT 2
  • #4112 — Escape from Nazi Alcatraz
    Colditz Castle, a notorious prisoner of war camp in Nazi Germany, was supposed to be escape-proof. But in the dark days at the end of World War II, a group of British officers dreamt up the ultimate escape plan: in a secret attic workshop, they constructed a two-man glider out of bed sheets and floorboards. Their plan was to fly to freedom from the roof of the castle, but the war ended before they could put it to the test. Now a crack team of aerospace engineers and carpenters rebuild the glider in the same attic using the same materials, and they'll do something the prisoners never got a chance to try: use a bathtub full of concrete to catapult the glider off the roof of the castle. As the hair-raising launch 90 feet up draws near, the program explores the Colditz legend and exposes the secrets of other ingenious and audacious escapes. Then, after a 70-year wait, the team finally finds out if the legendary glider plan would have succeeded.
    Monday, Mar 27 at 10:30pm TPT 2
    Tuesday, Mar 28 at 4:30am TPT 2
  • #4304 — Himalayan Megaquake
    Dramatic eyewitness footage reveals the shocking quake that rocked Nepal in April 2015. Join scientists as they examine why this earthquake was so devastating, how the victims are rebuilding and whether another earthquake looms on the horizon.
    Wednesday, Apr 5 at 8pm TPT 2
    Thursday, Apr 6 at 2am TPT 2
  • #4406 — Why Trains Crash
    Trains are essential for moving freight and people throughout the world, but they are far from accident-free. Follow investigators as they probe the wreckage of infamous accidents and watch safety experts test the latest crash prevention designs.
    Monday, Feb 27 at 10:30pm TPT 2
    Tuesday, Feb 28 at 4:30am TPT 2
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