This problem is prominent in rail yards, areas with steep inclines/declines and near stations. Third-rail electrification systems are, apart from on-board batteries, the oldest means of supplying electric power to trains on railways using their own corridors, particularly in cities. The first railway to use the central third rail was the Bessbrook and Newry Tramway in Ireland, opened in 1885 but now, like the Giant's Causeway line, closed. The conductor rails have to be interrupted at level crossings and at crossovers, and ramps are provided at the ends of the sections to give a smooth transition to the train shoes. Lionel track uses a third rail in the center, while the two outer rails are electrically connected together. The Woodford haulage system was used on industrial tramways, specifically in quarries and strip mines in the early decades of the 20th century.

The changeover is made whilst stationary at Farringdon when heading southbound, and at City Thameslink when heading northbound.

This has been cited to claim that he invented the third rail system of current distribution.

The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) uses a third rail which is tiny in section compared with the usual; thus fewer substations are required. Overhead catenary is not used in the underground section, because of tight clearances in the 1904 tunnel under Boston Harbor.

[citation needed].

As such, diesel service on Metro-North, Long Island Rail Road, and Amtrak uses special diesel-electric locomotives that have the ability to be electrically powered by third-rail. The train is then said to be "gapped". This advantage is especially marked in urban and rapid transit systems with a high traffic density. However such a power system would not have worked, as it is not possible to insulate a third rail for such high voltages in close proximity to the rails.

At the time of the Metro opening (1980), the third rail system had already been removed from the existing lines, there were no third-rail light rail vehicles on the market and the latter technology was confined to much more costly heavy rail stock. Elsewhere in the world, extruded aluminum conductors with stainless steel contact surface or cap, is the preferred technology due to its lower electrical resistance, longer life, and lighter weight. The ‘shoe’ maintains continuous contact with the third rail, and does so with the help of gravity reinforced pressure from springs. The electricity is transmitted to the train by means of a sliding shoe, which is held in contact with the rail.

The reasons for building the overhead powered Tyne & Wear Metro network roughly on lines of the long-gone third-rail Tyneside Electrics system in Newcastle area are likely to have roots in economy and psychology rather than in the pursuit of compatibility. The route has been previously used by diesel shunting locomotives moving new metro trains to the electrified section of the line.

An accident occurred in the UK when a Eurostar driver failed to retract the pantograph before entering the third rail system, damaging a signal gantry and the pantograph. On many systems an insulating cover is provided above the third rail to protect employees working near the track; sometimes the shoe is designed to contact the side (called side running) or bottom (called bottom running) of the third rail, allowing the protective cover to be mounted directly to its top surface. The main reason for using the fourth rail to carry the return current is to avoid this current flowing through the original metal tunnel linings which were never intended to carry current, and which would suffer electrolytic corrosion should such currents flow in them. In New York City, the New Haven Line of Metro–North Railroad operates electric trains out of Grand Central Terminal that use third rail on the former New York Central Railroad but switch to overhead lines in Pelham to operate out onto the former New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. If one supply is DC and the other AC, an undesired premagnetization of the AC transformers can occur. When we talk about the third rail, we mean the live rail which provides electric power to a train through a conductor placed alongside the rails. In curved sections with a radius of 300 meters (980 ft) or more, straightaways, and tunnels, the contact rail is welded to a length of 100 meters (330 ft); at surface running, 37.5 metres (123 ft); and, on tight curves and park paths, 12.5 meters (41 ft). At Amsterdam Zuid it switches from third rail to pantograph and catenary wires. New electrified railway systems tend to use overhead for regional and long-distance systems. The traction current is returned to the generating station through the running rails. For this reason, dual electrification is usually avoided. However, by that time there had been numerous other patents for electrified third-rail systems, including Thomas Edison's U.S. Patent 263,132 of 1882, and third rails had been in successful use for over a decade, in installations including the rest of Chicago 'elevateds', as well as those used in Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company, not to mention the development outside the US.

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. Third rail could be susceptible to loss of traction due to snow and ice-buildup, leading to major service disruptions that could leave passenger stranded. A third method rivets aluminium bus strips to the web of the steel rail. Third rail systems are a means of providing electric traction power to railway trains, and they use an additional rail (called a “conductor rail”) for the purpose. On most systems, the conductor rail is placed on the sleeper ends outside the running rails, but in some systems a central conductor rail is used. These technologies appeared in wider use only at the turn of the 1920s and in the 1930s on, e.g., large-profile lines of the Berlin U-Bahn, the Berlin S-Bahn and the Moscow Metro. Luckily the large cross section of the rail means that the large currents neceswssary to power a train at these voltages can be easily handled.

had their pantograph mounting points removed during a maintenance program; these mounts would have been used for pantographs which would have been installed had the Orange Line been extended north of its current terminus. Third rail: safety concerns Ways of delivering infill rail electrification in areas with 750V DC third rail are to be explored in a study for the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB). Third rail systems are always supplied from direct current electricity.

Also in London, the West London Line changes power supply between Shepherd's Bush and Willesden Junction, where it meets the North London Line. A third rail supplied power to the world's first electric underground railway, the City & South London Railway, which opened in 1890 (now part of the Northern line of the London Underground). [citation needed], Third Rail scheme : two brackets and third rail. There is much less visual intrusion on the environment.

This method has suffered, in isolated cases, from de-lamination (where the stainless steel separates from the aluminium); this is said to have been eliminated in the latest co-extruded rails. Benefits and disadvantages of third-rail systems. In 1906, the Lionel electric trains became the first model trains to use a third rail to power the locomotive. In 2011, greenery and aesthetics inspired the Bangalore Metro in India to incorporate a third rail system.[10]. Main-line third-rail electrification was later expanded to some suburban services. Thirty years later, the main-line railway operator, Deutsche Reichsbahn, influenced by the success of the third-rail Berlin S-Bahn, decided to switch what was now called Hamburg S-Bahn to third rail. Early traction engines were DC motors, and the then-available rectifying equipment was large, expensive and impractical to install onboard trains. A third rail is a method of providing electric power to a railway train, through a continuous rigid conductor placed alongside or between the rails of a railway track. F. E. Woodford, An Electric Haulage System: Controlling Cars at a Distance From a Central Station. New York City in both of its stations – Grand Central and Pennsylvania Station – do not permit diesel exhaust in their tunnels due to the health hazard. Third Rail Systems In joint venture with Constellium Group, Railtech Alu Singen develops and supplies complete solutions of composite conductor rail systems (aluminium/stainless steel conductor rail) for all metro applications. The MBTA Orange Line's Hawker Siddeley 01200 series rapid transit cars (essentially a longer version of the Blue Line's 0600's) recently[when?] Other railway systems that used it were the Gross-Lichterfelde Tramway and the Ungerer Tramway.

Third rail electrification is typically used in rapid transit systems (subways and other urban metros), which include over 150 networks throughout the world, spanning over 10,000 track miles. The third rail can also be heated to alleviate the problem of ice.

Several systems use a third rail for part of the route, and other motive power such as overhead catenary or diesel power for the remainder.

This was part of a big project of consolidated U-Bahn network construction. A third rail is still used in the tunnel section of the route, because the size of the tunnels leading to Moorgate station was too small to allow for overhead electrification. Third rail systems with top contact are more prone to snow and ice-buildup, although large quantities of snow can disrupt operations in other configurations as well.

nVent Heating Solutions for Third Rail Electrification. [citation needed] In particular, because carbon impurities increase electrical resistance, all third rails are made using low-carbon steel. In most cases, third rail systems supply direct current electricity.

Third-rail systems are not considered obsolete. The first US third-rail powered city railway in revenue use was the 1895 Metropolitan West Side Elevated, which soon became part of the Chicago 'L'. The position of contact between the train and the rail varies: some of the earliest systems used top contact, but later developments use side or bottom contact, which enabled the conductor rail to be covered, protecting track workers from accidental contact and protecting the conductor rail from frost, ice, snow and leaf-fall.[2].

Most of the Penn Station complex in New York City is also electrified with both systems. On most systems, the conductor rail is placed on the sleeper ends outside the running rails, but in some cases a central conductor rail is used. A third method rivets aluminum bus strips to the web of the steel rail.


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