Lionel used the center rail for power and the two outer rails for ground. For example, with a three-rail system, the track can loop back on itself without any issues. A two-rail system has to reverse the polarity in order to avoid a short circuit in that situation. In 1906, there was no good, easy way to do that.
Who invented 3rd rail for electric trains?
Inventors William Wilgus of Yonkers and Frank Sprague of New York came up with a design that covers the third rails three sides and leaves only the bottom exposed so that it can come into contact with a spring-loaded shoe on the train and power can be delivered to the engine.
What is the third rail made of?
chrome stainless steel The sliding contact surface of the steel-aluminum composite third rail is mostly made of chrome stainless steel, which has good corrosion resistance and wear resistance, which can extend the life of the 3rd rail and the power receiving shoe. The steel-aluminum composite 3rd rail has good economic benefits.
What is a third rail Urban Dictionary?
For those of you who have never heard the phrase “The third rail,” here are a couple of definitions to get you started. The Urban Dictionary defines it as: “A dangerous area of discussion, a point at which the mere mention of a subject results in disaster. Commonly used in politics.”
What does my third rail mean?
The third rail of a nations politics is a metaphor for any issue so controversial that it is charged and untouchable to the extent that any politician or public official who dares to broach the subject will invariably suffer politically.