A third rail is a method of providing electric power to a railway train, through a semi-continuous rigid conductor placed alongside or between the rails of a railway track. It is used typically in a mass transit or rapid transit system, which has alignments in its own corridors, fully or almost fully segregated from the outside environment. In most cases, third rail systems supply direct current electricity.
The third-rail system of electrification is unrelated to the third rail used in dual-gauge railways.
Read more about Third Rail: Description, Benefits and Disadvantages, History, Running Rails For Power Supply, Technical Aspects, Compromise Systems, Conversions, Highest Voltages, Simultaneous Use With Overhead Wire, In Model Trains
Other articles related to "third rail, rails, rail":
... This meant that although the offset centre third rail was electrified at +500 volts in the northbound tunnel, it was electrified at -500 volts in the southbound tunnel ...
... electric trains became the first model trains to use a third rail to power the locomotive ... Lionel track uses a third rail in the center, while the two outer rails are electrically connected together ... This solved the problem two-rail model trains have when the track is arranged to loop back on itself, as ordinarily this causes a short-circuit ...
... Most electrification systems use overhead wires, but third rail is an option up to about 1,200 V ... While use of a third rail does not require the use of DC, in practice all third-rail systems use DC because it can carry 41% more power than an AC system ... Third rail is more compact than overhead wires and can be used in smaller-diameter tunnels, an important factor for subway systems ...
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“We rail at trade, but the historian of the world will see that it was the principle of liberty; that it settled America, and destroyed feudalism, and made peace and keeps peace; that it will abolish slavery.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)