Third Rail - Running Rails For Power Supply

Running Rails For Power Supply

The first idea for feeding electricity to a train from an external source was by using both rails on which a train runs, whereby each rail is a conductor for each pole insulated by the sleepers. This method is used by most model trains, however it does not work so well for large trains as the sleepers are not good insulators, furthermore the use of insulated wheels or insulated axles is required. As most insulation materials have worse static properties compared with metals used for this purpose, this results in a less stable train vehicle. Nevertheless, it was sometimes used at the beginning of the development of electric trains. The following systems used it:

  • Gross-Lichterfelde Tramway
  • Ungerer Tramway

Some trains used for rides for children at beer festivals also use this method for power supply.

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