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Why 3rd rail on the Laurel Line and other Scraton Interurban
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   Why 3rd rail on the Laurel Line and other Scraton Interurban
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   Author  Topic: Why 3rd rail on the Laurel Line and other Scraton Interurban  (Read 231 times)
raytylicki7
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Why 3rd rail on the Laurel Line and other Scraton Interurban
 
« on: May 28th, 2012, 9:45pm »
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This seemed typical of overbuilt railroads of the area...

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NEFAN
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Re: Why 3rd rail on the Laurel Line and other Scraton Interurban
 
« Reply #1 on: Jun 7th, 2012, 8:36pm »
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Both the Laurel Line and the Wilkes Barre & Hazelton used third rail power.  
 
At the time ( early 1900's ) the thought was that the thick third rail was necessary to carry the heavy current needed to power multiple electric motors and heavy trains. The trolley wire technology available at the time would not be able to handle the multiple car trains and heavy freight of the L&WV. - wire size and contact point not robust enough. You could argue that the WB&H, which never had the traffic density of the Laurel Line, could have used the trolley wire system, but they had big hopes when it opened!
 
This DC third rail technology was also used in the new NYC Subways (multiple motors) and the NYC & HR (heavy trains).
 
The improvements in AC technology and catenary later made it more practical for mainline electrification. (NH, PRR)
 
The thing I find most incredible is the unprotected third rail on the L&WV row. Can't imagine that today!


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