GMAT Problems on Trains

Problems on Trains

If you are practising to ace competitive exams like GRE or GMAT then logical reasoning is one section that you really need to focus on. Logical reasoning is a part of almost every competitive exam and students usually have a hard time solving that section of the question paper but with correct tricks and proper guidance and practice, you can easily solve that section in no time. Problems on trains are among the popular examination questions, every entrance exam usually has a few questions that involve problems related to trains, their speed, direction, and length. This blog will try to simplify and explain this section of the paper in order to give you a basic idea of how to go about problems on trains. 

Things to Keep in Mind While Solving Problems on Trains

While solving the section related to problems on trains it is important to keep certain things in mind to ensure efficiency and accuracy. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind:

  • Make sure all the units are the same, if not don’t forget to change them.
  • Read the questions carefully and keep in mind the concepts of speed and relative speed.
  • Remember the basic formulas
  • Be clear about all the concepts. 

Problems on Trains: Concepts and Logics

The problems on trains follow a certain format that revolves around some fundamental concepts, these are:

Distance and time

The question based on trains usually includes concepts like relative motion, speed and time. If you are good in physics or even if you remember the basic concepts of it then you can easily ace this section. There are questions that involve distance and time. One formula that you need to keep in mind is d= st, where d is distance, s is the speed and t stands for time. Let’s look at a question which involves this formula:

Question: Train A travels at 50 mph, Train B travels at 70 mph. Taking into account that both trains leave the station at the same time, evaluate how far apart they will be after two hours? 

Solution: To calculate the distance here you need to add the distance traveled by both the trains together.

Distance traveled by train A will be: d=st, the rate at which it travels here is 50mph and the time is 2 hours.

So the distance traveled by train A will be 50×2 = 100.

Similarly, distance traveled by train B will be 70×2 = 140.

Now if we add the distances 140+100= 240, hence the distance at which they travel apart from each other would be 240 miles.

If the trains are traveling in the same direction then we would subtract distances traveled by both the trains i.e. 140-100= 40, then the answer would be 40 miles.

Length of the train

In these type of questions, you need to find out the length of the train with the given information in the question. These questions usually include relative speed and the formula used here is the same  d= st. Let’s look at an example in order to understand the problem more clearly. 

Question: A train is traveling at a speed of 60kmph it then overtakes a bike that is traveling at 30kmph in about 50 seconds. Now calculate the length of the train.

Solution: To calculate the length of the train we need to find out the distance traveled by the train, since the bike is also in motion we need to look at the relative speed of the bike and the train. 

Since both the objects are moving in the same direction we need to subtract the distance traveled by both the objects i.e. 60-30= 30, so the relative speed is 30kmph.

Now let’s find out the distance traveled by train while taking over the bike, applying the formula, d= st, distance will be 30kmphx50 seconds. Now let’s convert the distance into meter per second.

1 kmph = 5/18 m/sec

Therefore 30kmph= 30×5/18= 8.33 m/sec

Therefore distance traveled will be 8.33×50= 416.5 meters, the length of the train is 416.5 meters.


Understanding the concepts behind problems on trains can help you in developing strategies to solve those questions. While we have tried to give you all the important information required to tackle these questions, it is natural to feel stressed about the entrances. The experts at Leverage Edu can help you plan for these exams so that nothing comes between you and your dreams.

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