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Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
Electric Railways: 1880-1990

Electric Railways: 1880-1990

by Michael C. DuffyMichael C. Duffy


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Electric Railways 1880-1990 explores the history of the integration of both electric and diesel-electric railway systems and identifies the crucial role that diesel-electric traction played in the development of wireless electrification. The evolution of electrical technology and the modern railway produced innovations in engineering that were integral to the development of traction, power and signalling systems. This book presents a thorough survey of electric railway development from the earliest days pf the London Underground to modern electrified main line trains. The distinction between 'enforced electrification' and 'economic electrification' is also discussed and the pioneering role of J.J. Heilmann assessed.

Developed from many years of research into railway engineering, topics covered include signalling and communications, power supplies, and a detailed survey of traction systems, both AC and DC. The introduction first of mercury arc rectifiers, and later of power semiconductor controls, is also discussed in detail. The author has a long-standing interest in engineering history and has written many papers on aspects of railway technology. This book will be of particular interest to scientists and historians interested in the development of electric railways.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780852968055
Publisher: Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
Publication date: 02/11/2003
Series: History and Management of Technology Series , #31
Pages: 474
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x (d)

About the Author

Michael Ciaran Duffy gained his degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Edinburgh and went on to carry out postgraduate research into strategic technology, American innovation and the electric railway at Victoria University, Manchester. From 1969 to 2001 he lectured in mechanical engineering, history of technology and the role of the engineer in society at the School of Computing and Technology, University of Sunderland. He has published numerous papers on railway engineering, engineering history and philosophy of engineering.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Telegraphs, track circuits and signals before 1890
  • Chapter 2: Electric railways and American practice
  • Chapter 3: The electrification of street railways
  • Chapter 4: Heilmann, Ward Leonard and the electric railway
  • Chapter 5: Electrification of British rapid-transit lines
  • Chapter 6: Electrification 1900-20
  • Chapter 7: Track circuits, describers and electrical signalling 1890-1920
  • Chapter 8: Evolution of the electric railway 1920-40
  • Chapter 9: Railway electrification and the thermal-electric locomotive
  • Chapter 10: Converters, the mercury-arc rectifier and supply to electric railways
  • Chapter 11: Signalling, communications and control 1920-40
  • Chapter 12: Railway electrification 1920-40
  • Chapter 13: Electro-Motive, General Motors and oil-electric traction
  • Chapter 14: The mercury-arc rectifier locomotive
  • Chapter 15: Railway electrification in Britain 1920-60
  • Chapter 16: Signalling, communications and control 1940-70
  • Chapter 17: Main line direct current traction in Britain
  • Chapter 18: Main line alternating current traction in Britain
  • Chapter 19: Solid-state electronics, motor control and the locomotive
  • Chapter 20: Solid-state electronics in signalling, communications and control
  • Chapter 21: The electric railway 1965-95

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