Technical Reports

Technical Feasibility Study of Railroad Electrification with High Voltage (10-50kV) Direct Current

  • 01
  • Jul
  • 1976
AUTHOR: Richard A. Uher
SUBJECT: Track/Train Interactions, Evaluation
KEYWORDS: DC Railroad Electrification, DC High-Voltage Rail Applications, DC Switching Equipment, DC Power Distribution
ABSTRACT: High-voltage (10-50 kV), direct-current (HVDC) power distribution may prove to be an economically and technically attractive option for railroad electrification. There may be potential economic advantages in both wayside installation and operation, and in the propulsion equipment aboard the rolling stock. However, before an economic comparison with AC systems can be completed, the technical feasibility of DC systems must be determined, which was the purpose of this study. This study was directed toward the wayside equipment only. The problem of HVDC rolling stock was not considered. The preliminary analysis in this report shows no technical obstacle to the use of HVDC power distribution systems for application to the wayside portion of railroad electrification. Circuit breakers, which can be applied to these systems, are in various stages of development and with reasonably directed research can meet the duty requirements. Likewise, rectifiers which can satisfy both current and voltage requirements are within the state of the art. An alternate to using the DC breaker (namely, sectionalizing on the AC side of the system) is a viable option. This option can sacrifice some operational flexibility as well as performance.