In Spiderman 2, Peter Parker a.k.a your friendly neighborhood Spiderman stops a runaway trains with his spider webs. Taking a look at the facts it shows that the total mass of the runaway train which was speeding at 55mph was 200,000 kgs and it took spidey 50 seconds to stop it which means his webs can handle a force of 300,000 Newtons. Also Spiderman shoots eight strands of around 5 mm thick webs on both sides of the train on lengths of 15-18 metres and the train stops after 615 metres since it started decelerating from the webs.
Three University of Leicester physics students have recently published a paper named “Doing whatever a spider can” in which they tried to ascertain the physical aspect of the stunt. With all the data it became easy to evaluate the Young’s Modulus (measure of elasticity) and material toughness which comes out to be 3.12 GPa and 500 MJ per cubic meter.
A normal orb-weaver spider weaves a web upto 12 GPa Young’s Modulus. While the toughness of Kevlar (the material used in bulletproof vests) is 33 MJ per cubic meter. The toughest spider slik is that of Darwin’s bark spider, in Madagascar, which measures up to 520 MJ per cubic meter.
With the data available, it is possible for a person with extra tough silk web to make it sustain the load of a fast moving train provided that they get a place to anchor their web from.