This glossary has been developed for those folks with little or no knowledge of traction systems.  Like many things on this site, it will start with the basics. We will continue to add to this section as we have the opportunity and as need dictates.  In addition, we will provide some discussion of the various terms and try to put them in to prospective with modern technology.

Glossary of Traction Terms

ARTICULATION

A "hinged" arrangement allows a car to be larger than the standard sized car.  This allows the car to negotiate sharper curves.


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BOW COLLECTOR

It has two side poles similar to that of a trolley pole and are connected by a cross-piece that resembles a bow.


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CABLECAR (or Cable Car)

A system which employes a continuously running cable operating in a “vault” beneath the street.


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CATENARY TROLLEY WIRE SUSPENSION

A construction method which holds the wire flat and is not as subject to temperature changes.


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COMMUTER RAIL

Train operation between city center and distant suburbs providing inbound morning and outbound evening travel.


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CONDUCTOR

Primary job is to ensure the safety of all passengers.


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CONTACT WIRE: (See Trolley Wire)

A "hinged" arrangement allows a car to be larger than the standard sized car.  This allows the car to negotiate sharper curves.


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DIRECT SUSPENSION TROLLEY OVERHEAD WIRE

A single strand of wire suspended about 20 feet over each set of rails at approximately their mid-point. It can be various heights above the rail, a common distance is 20 feet.


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