Tag Archives: railway electrification

Inspecting the overhead wires on the Ukrainian Railways

As I travelled across Ukraine by train I noticed a few complicated looking contraptions parked in sidings along the way. With a small platform at the end of a scissor lift, these railcars are used to inspect and repair the overhead wires that power electric trains.

Ukrainian Railways track machine for accessing the overhead wires Continue reading

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Electric trains, trams and trolleybuses on movable bridges

The Russian city of Saint Petersburg is a located across a collection of islands, divided by the Neva River, and reconnected by a series of lift bridges that allow boats to head upriver. So how do electric trains, trams and trolleybuses make their way across?

Disused tram tracks across Trinity Bridge (Тро́ицкий мост) over the River Neva Continue reading

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Steam power and trains in modern Russia

Russia has a history of railway electrification dating back to the 1930s, leading to the retirement of their last steam locomotives by the 1970s. However the distinctive smell of burning coal has not disappeared from the Russian Railways – just take a walk down the platform at any railway station.

ЧС2Т class electric locomotive ЧС2Т 954 ready to lead our train out of Saint Petersburg Continue reading

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Moscow Metro train depots

Every railway needs somewhere to store and repair their trains – and the Moscow Metro is no different. On my visit I travelled past one of these facilities – the электродепо (electric train depot) at Фили (Fili) on the Filyovskaya Line.

Looking across the Moscow Metro depot at Фили (Fili) Continue reading

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When tram and trolleybus wires cross

Trams and trolleybuses have one thing in common – they pull their power supply from wires above the vehicles. This presents difficulties when the two modes of transport cross paths.

Combino Supra #2030 passes a stopped trolleybus Continue reading

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Keeping ice off the overhead wires

In a land of freezing cold winters, it isn’t just the tracks that get covered with snow – ice builds up on the overhead lines used to power electric trains, acting as an electrical insulator to prevent the pantograph contacting the wire, which interrupts the flow of current and creates a shower of sparks. So what issues does that cause to rail operations?

електри́чка (suburban electrical multiple unit) train outside the city of Ясинувата (Yasynuvata) Continue reading

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Bucharest Metro mixing third rail and overhead power

The metro system in the Romanian city of Bucharest is like most European urban rail networks, and uses a third rail to power their electric multiple unit trains. However on my journey around the network I discovered something odd – a miniature pantograph on the roof of some trains – so why would a railway mix two different ways of current collection?

Third rail running along the tracks of the Bucharest Metro Continue reading

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