Railway Electrification Systems Worldwide: Explained


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More than determined to continue RE’s mission, for today’s video, we decided to do an overview and presentation of, seemingly complicated, railway electrification systems. We tried not to go too much into technical details (anyway we did 🙂 ) and to stick to the basic principles and essential concepts related to the systems in charge of providing trains with – electric supply. The story of the electrification of railways starts, of course, with the appearance of electric locomotives, but its development and constant improvement continue to these days. At the most superficial level, the electrification system includes the power supply system which includes several components such as transformers, catenary, contact wire, pantograph, and others, which we all discussed and explained in the video. Lets not forget the rail track which is used as a return connection needed to complete the electrical circuit and allow current to flow. It is possible to classify electrification systems according to several criteria. Most importantly, regarding voltages, European and international standards recognize six standard systems, where the division is made according to the nominal voltage and its characteristics (such as 25 kV, 50 Hz AC, 1,5 kV DC, etc). More important than that technical aspect is the fact that because railways developed independently from one another, within the borders of each national country, and with no cooperation principles included, these technical differences are causing many traffic issues, which is nowadays known by one of the keywords of European transport policy – Interoperability. In any case, electrified railways reduce environmental pollution, and enable more comfortable, quieter, and faster electric trains than steam or diesel. This is why, for us, we believe it’s worth making this video, and, for you, it’s important giving it a chance to understand, at least the basic aspects, of railway electrification.

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About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at http://www.sambaman.org.uk
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