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complete toy question, very very toy question

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  • 2 years later...

Some stupid questions are fairly obvious, but with an asterisk:

Those rails do not carry a charge that could injure you or even anything you can feel. BUT, the rails themselves are part of the circuit that allows signals to be changed by a dispatcher. Notice on jointed (stick) rail that is part of signal territory you will see on the outside of each joint a little chunk of cable affixed to both rails, to make sure there is a continuous metal connection (should the joint expand slightly and the rails themselves not quite touch anymore). If that conduit is broken on a given signal block, the signals will go red. In the 1995 derailment of an Amtrak train in Arizona, terrorists/saboteurs knew this was the case. They unspiked one rail, moved it out of alignment to set up the disaster, and then either welded or otherwise attached a metal conduit (wire) between the disconnected rails so the signals would not sense anything wrong. One person was killed and 100 were injured (google it for details).

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:lol: :lol: :cool:

alright ive walked along frieght tracks and i know what a third rail looks like and what the non electrifed rails look like, but is it possible, say on commuter trains, for the non third rails to have electricy in them? i doubt it but just wondering if its possible, thats all


THIS.:lol: :lol: :lol: :huh: :huh:

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The third rail is used to transmit power to the train. It can be on either side of the riding rails and it is always energized. as long as you dont pose a risk of shorting to ground you can go near the third rail. The other way elctricity is transmitted to the train is through overhead wires. these are also always energized. The electricity flows from the third rail or overhead wire through the train and into the 2 riding rails (ground). Since it's dc current, it only flows one way so it will not electrocute you when you touch the riding rails.

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