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#104471 - 03/04/03 07:45 AM Trains Around the USA  
Joe Tedesco  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Here's the first of many pictures I will post of trains and their electrical systems.

This is a Boston "T" train and operates at 600 volts.

I will post more from this area, and other areas around the USA showing the electrical systems along with some safety violations.

[Linked Image]

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides

#104472 - 03/20/03 06:48 AM Re: Trains Around the USA  
Joe Tedesco  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Boston, Massachusetts USA
The system is 600 volts but I am not sure of the amperage, etc.

[This message has been edited by Joe Tedesco (edited 09-10-2003).]

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

#104473 - 03/20/03 07:07 AM Re: Trains Around the USA  
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
If you ride the "T" in Boston through the Tunnels you can see some interesting things.

When going thru a work area I saw pieces of plywood hung on the walls with 5 porcelain keyless sockets with at least 200 watt lamps in them, they appeared to be wired in series so as to be powered from the 600 Volt feeds.

The subway cars that stay underground use the "3rd rail" for power and nothing stops you from contacting this in the station, other than an elevation change of about 4 feet, as a teenager we would cross these tracks in the station because we were so "Cool" [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 03-20-2003).]

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#104474 - 03/20/03 11:50 AM Re: Trains Around the USA  
SvenNYC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
I saw pieces of plywood hung on the walls with 5 porcelain keyless sockets with at

These are common around construction sites in the NYCTA subway system also.

However, the NYCTA's "work lights" consist of a cast plastic resin batten with five yellow rubber lampholders screwed on and connected in series by a cable running through a smal trough in the middle of the batten.

The hook-up wires are thick yellow cables terminated in huge alligator-clip style clamps. It's difficult to tell what gauge the wires are because the insulation is really thick.

One of these cables is connected to the "third rail" and the other is connected to ground (one of the normal rails). Two hooks on the back of the batten are used for wrapping the cables after use and also for hanging the entire lamp assembly from a pipe.

Each lampholder is rated for 600 volts, 660 watts!! It's stamped right there on the rubber insulation.

The workmen usually plug in five 75 or 100 watt bulbs in series which gives ample amounts of light in a soot-encrusted tunnel. All bulbs must be of the same wattage.

They are obviously manufactured. They don't look like your regular home-brew stuff...unless the TA actually manufactures these things in a shop for their own use. But they're very well crafted.

Wonder how much one of them would cost....

My only problem is that I think each bulb should have a protective plstic cage to prevent the bulb from getting accidentally banged and shattered and exposing a person to live electricity across the exposed wires.

#104475 - 03/20/03 02:34 PM Re: Trains Around the USA  
n1ist  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 183
Malden MA
Actually, the T is a mix of catenary and 3rd rail systems. The Green Line (the light rail pictured in Joe's initial post) is cat-powered throughout. The Red and Orange lines are 3rd-rail everywhere; above ground they run on a fenced-off right-of-way. The blue line (at least the last time I rode it) ran 3rd rail underground and catenary outside. I am always amazed at how cavalier T workers seem around the 3rd rail, stepping over it to cross from Wellington station to the car barn. I can only guess what the OCP is on that circuit :-)


#104476 - 03/20/03 10:42 PM Re: Trains Around the USA  
ThinkGood  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,081
Milwaukee, WI
Mr. Tedesco:
If nobody else has the answer to the question about marking branch circuits on trains, somebody at might know...

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