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Railway electrification system




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Electric locomotives under the wires in Sweden
Dual electrification; both overhead wire and third rail for different trains

A railway electrification system supplies electrical energy to railway locomotives and multiple units so that they can operate without having an on-board prime mover. Their main advantages are high energy efficiency and low operating cost. Building their wires and other infrastructure is expensive, however.

Power supply

Electricity may be sent to the train in different ways. Different countries use different systems. The most widely used systems are:

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