   SEARCH HOME Math Central Quandaries & Queries  Question from J, a parent: Two trains left the city at the same time, traveling in opposite directions. The eastbound train travels for ten hours and the westbound train travels for 5 hours. They are now 1300 km apart. The westbound train's rate is 20 km/hr faster than the eastbound train. Find the speed of each train. any help you can provide would be much appreciated. Thanks. Hi J,

The key here is that distance = time × rate. What you are missing is the rate of the eastbound train for if you can determine it then the rate of the westbound train is 20 km/hr faster. So let r be the rate of the eastbound train in km/hr and then the rate of the westbound train is (r + 20) km/hr.

distance = time × rate so for the eastbound train distance = 10 × r miles.

What is the distance the westbound train travels? The sum of these distances is 1300 km. Solve for r.

Penny     Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.