List of current systems for electric rail traction

List of current systems for electric rail traction

This a list of the power supply systems that are, or have been, used for tramway and railway electrification systems.

Note that the voltages are nominal and vary depending on load and distance from the substation.

Many modern trams and trains use on-board solid-state electronics to convert these supplies to run three-phase AC induction motors.


Key to the tables below

  • Conductors:
    • overhead line or
    • conductor rail, usually a third rail to one side of the running rails
      • Conductor rail can be:
        • top contact: oldest, least safe, affected by ice, snow and leaves
        • side contact: newer, safer, less affected by ice, snow and leaves
        • bottom contact: newer, safer, least affected by ice, snow and leaves

Systems using standard voltages

Voltages are defined by two standards: BS EN 50163 [1] and IEC 60850[2]

Overhead systems

500 V DC

Country Name of System Location Notes
Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong Tramways Hong Kong  

550 V DC

Country Name of System Location Notes
India India Kolkata Trams Kolkata  

600 V DC

This voltage is mostly used by older tram systems worldwide but by a few new ones as well.

Country Name of System Location Notes
Australia Australia   Adelaide  
Belgium Belgium Antwerp Tram Antwerp  
Belgian Coast Tram    
Brussels trams Brussels  
Ghent Tram Ghent  
Canada Canada Calgary Transit C-Train Calgary  
Edmonton Transit LRT Edmonton  
Toronto Transit Commission Toronto Streetcars only
Czech Republic Czech Republic Most tram lines    
England England Blackpool Tramway Blackpool  
Estonia Estonia Tallinn tram Tallinn  
Finland Finland Helsinki tram Helsinki  
Germany Germany Stadtwerke Augsburg Verkehrsbetriebe Augsburg Tram
Hungary Hungary      
Italy Italy Most tram lines    
Japan Japan Most tram lines    
Chōshi Electric Railway Chōshi, Chiba  
Eizan Electric Railway Kyoto, Kyoto  
Enoshima Electric Railway Kanagawa  
Iyotetsu Takahama Line Matsuyama, Ehime  
Shizuoka Railway Shizuoka, Shizuoka  
Tokyu Setagaya Line Tokyo  
Wakayama Electric Railway Kishigawa Line Wakayama  
Netherlands Netherlands Amsterdam Tram Amsterdam Including line 51 south of Station Zuid
Poland Poland city tram networks Bydgoszcz, Częstochowa, Elbląg, Gdańsk, GOP, Gorzów Wielkopolski, Grudziądz, Kraków, Poznań, Szczecin, Toruń, Warszawa, Wrocław gauge 1435 mm, except Bydgoszcz, Elbląg and Toruń (1000 mm)
Warszawska Kolej Dojazdowa (WKD) Warszawa and suburbs  
Suburban trams in Łódź (Lodz) plus Konstantynów Łódzki, Lutomiersk, Ozorków, Pabianice and Zgierz Łódź 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) (Metre gauge)
Slovakia Slovakia Trencianske Teplice   1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) (Metre gauge)
United States United States Kenosha Streetcar Kenosha, Wisconsin
PATH Manhattan, Newark, Harrison, Hoboken and Jersey City 650V.
MBTA Boston For Boston's MBTA, the entire MBTA Green Line streetcar system, and the part of the MBTA Blue line northeast of Airport Station.
New York City Subway New York City Design voltage is 625V.[3]
RTA Rapid Transit Cleveland, Ohio All three lines.
San Diego Electric Railway & San Diego Trolley San Diego The San Diego Electric Railway is defunct, and is succeeded by the San Diego Trolley.
San Francisco Muni San Francisco  
Twin City Rapid Transit Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minnesota Defunct. Streetcars removed from service 1954, though some heritage/museum portions run in the summer.

750 V DC

This voltage is used for most modern tram systems.

Country Name of System Location Notes
Argentina Argentina PreMetro line E2 Buenos Aires  
Tranvía del Este Buenos Aires  
Australia Australia Sydney Light Rail Sydney  
Austria Austria Local lines of Stern & Hafferl   Also listed as having 1500  and 600 V lines
Germany Germany Albtalbahn Rhein-Haardtbahn Railway of the Upper Rhine
Tram-Train Cologne-Bonn Frechen, Cologne, Brühl, Wesseling, Bornheim, Alfter, Bonn, St. Augustin, Siegburg, Königswinter, Bad Honnef Both lines between Cologne and Bonn originally electrified at 1200 V, one was 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) (metre gauge)
Hong Kong Hong Kong Light Rail (MTR) Hong Kong  
Republic of Ireland Ireland LUAS Dublin
Italy Italy Metropolitana di Genova Genova
Japan Japan Enshū Railway Hamamatsu, Shizuoka  
Hakone Tozan Railway Line Hakone, Kanagawa Between Hakone-Yumoto and Gōra.
Iyotetsu Yokogawara Line and Gunchū Line Ehime  
Kintetsu Utsube Line, Hachiōji Line Yokkaichi, Mie  
Sangi Railway Hokusei Line Mie  
Malaysia Malaysia Kelana Jaya Line (RapidKL Rail) Kuala Lumpur Between Kelana Jaya LRT station and Gombak Station
Philippines Philippines Manila LRT Yellow Line (Manila Light Rail Transit System) Metro Manila Between Baclaran to Roosevelt
Manila Metro Rail Transit System Metro Manila Between North EDSA to Taft Avenue
Norway Norway Oslo T-bane Oslo Holmenkollbanen only
Sweden Sweden Saltsjöbanan Stockholm Originally 1500 V (1912), changed to
750 V in 1976 with new rolling stock. Actually fed with 900V due to great losses.
Gothenburg tram Göteborg  
Turkey Turkey Eskişehir Tramway System    
United Kingdom United Kingdom Manchester Metrolink Manchester  
Midland Metro Birmingham to Wolverhampton  
Nottingham Express Transit Nottingham  
Sheffield Supertram Sheffield  
Tramlink South London  
United States United States Central Corridor (Minnesota) Minneapolis/Saint Paul Projected light rail
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Dallas, TX and adjacent suburbs Light rail
Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) Denver, Colorado Light rail portion
Hiawatha Line Minneapolis/Bloomington Light rail. In use
Lynx Rapid Transit Charlotte, North Carolina Light rail
MAX, TriMet Portland, Oregon Light rail
Portland Streetcar Portland, Oregon Tram/streetcar
Sacramento Regional Transit (RT) Sacramento, California Light rail
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (SCVTA) San Jose, California Light rail
South Lake Union Streetcar Seattle, Washington Tram/streetcar
Tacoma Link Tacoma, Washington Light rail
TRAX Light Rail Salt Lake City, Utah Light rail
Valley Metro Phoenix, AZ [4]

1,500 V DC

Country Name of System Location Notes
Argentina Argentina Buenos Aires Metro Buenos Aires Lines C,D,E and H
Tren de la Costa Buenos Aires Suburban line
Australia Australia CityRail Sydney  
Melbourne Suburban Railways Melbourne  
Brazil Brazil São Paulo Metro São Paulo Lines 4 and 5
China China Shanghai Metro Shanghai  
Guangzhou Metro Guangzhou except Line 4 & Line 5
Shenzhen Metro Shenzhen except Longgang Line
Czech Republic Czech Republic České dráhy (ČD)   Tábor-Bechyně line only
Denmark Denmark Copenhagen S-train Copenhagen  
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Santo Domingo Metro Santo Domingo  
France France Société Nationale des Chemins de fer (SNCF) 25 kV AC used on new High Speed Lines (TGV) and in the north.
Hong Kong Hong Kong SAR Mass Transit Railway Corporation Hong Kong East Rail Line, West Rail Line, Ma On Shan Line are 25 kV AC
India India Mumbai Suburban Railway Mumbai Being converted to 25 kV AC[5]
Indonesia Indonesia KRL Jabotabek Jakarta  
Republic of Ireland Ireland Dublin Area Rapid Transit Dublin  
Italy Italy Metropolitana di Roma Roma Line A, Line B, Line Roma-Ostia Lido  
Japan Japan Japan Railways (JR) lines   Most electrified lines in Kantō, Chūbu, Kansai, Chūgoku, and Shikoku. (except Shinkansen and Hokuriku region)
Most private railway lines    
Most subway lines    
Philippines Philippines Manila LRT Purple Line(Manila Light Rail Transit System) Metro Manila Between Santolan to Recto
Netherlands Netherlands Nederlandse Spoorwegen - Dutch Railways (NS) 25 kV AC used on new High Speed Lines and new freight line Betuweroute.
New Zealand New Zealand Wellington Suburban Wellington
Otira Tunnel Arthur's Pass-Otira, Southern Alps, South Island De-electrified 1997
Christchurch-Lyttelton South Island De-electrified 1970
Portugal Portugal Cascais Line    
Singapore Singapore Mass Rapid Transit   North East Line, operated by SBS Transit
South Korea South Korea Seoul Subway Seoul National Capital Area except Korail Line 1, Line 4, Bundang
and Yongsan-Deokso Line
(See 25 kV 60 Hz,below).
Incheon Subway Incheon  
Daegu Subway Daegu  
Busan Subway Busan  
Daejeon Subway Daejeon  
Gwangju Subway Gwangju  
Slovakia Slovakia Tatra Electric Railway    
Spain Spain Catalan Railways    
Switzerland Switzerland Berner Oberland Bahn (BOB) Interlaken  
Schynige Platte Railway (SPB) Interlaken  
Wengernalpbahn (WAB) Interlaken  
Chemin de fer Nyon-St-Cergue-Morez (NStCNM) Vaud Converted in 1980s from 2200 V DC
Sweden Sweden Roslagsbanan Stockholm  
Turkey Turkey Bursa LRT Bursa  
United Kingdom United Kingdom Tyne and Wear Metro Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead and Tyneside  
Manchester-Sheffield-Wath Manchester to Sheffield Operated 1949-1981. Suburban services in Manchester converted to 25 kV, 50 Hz AC as far as Hadfield and Glossop (remainder abandoned)
Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway Manchester Opened in 1931.
Converted to 25 kV 50 Hz AC in 1971
Great Eastern Main Line London (Liverpool Street) to Shenfield (then Chelmsford) Opened in 1949.
Converted to 6.25 kV 50 Hz AC in 1960 and later to 25 kV 50 Hz AC
Shildon to Newport County Durham Industrial line. Operated 1915-1935.
United States United States Metra Electric District Service Chicago  
Chicago SouthShore and South Bend Railroad NICTD Line Northern Indiana & Chicago  
Central Link Seattle Light rail

3 kV DC

Country Name of System Location Note
Belgium Belgium Belgium National Railways (SNCB) 25 kV AC used on High Speed Lines.
Brazil Brazil      
Canada Canada Deux-Montagnes Line Montreal Built by CNoR in 1918, converted to 25 kV AC/60 Hz in 1995 by AMT.
Chile Chile      
Czech Republic Czech Republic Czech Railways (ČD) Northern lines only (around Prague, Most, Česká Třebová, Olomouc, Ostrava, along river Labe - Elbe)
Estonia Estonia      
Italy Italy RFI - Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (Italian Railways Network) 25 kV AC used on new High Speed Lines.
Latvia Latvia Latvian Railways (LDz) Western lines only.
Luxembourg Luxembourg Chemins de fer luxembourgeois (CFL) The line between Luxembourg and Arlon 25 kV AC on the rest of the network.
Morocco Morocco      
North Korea North Korea National standard
Poland Poland Polish State Railways (PKP) Planned new High Speed Lines, including 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 56 in) Russian gauge, will use 25 kV AC
Russia Russian Federation Russian Railways (RZD) New electrification only 25 kV AC
Slovakia Slovakia Slovak Republic Railways (ZSR) northern main line (connected to Czech Republic and Poland) and eastern lines (around Kosice and Presov), conversion to 25 kV AC planned, and the broad gauge line between Kosice and the Ukraine border (it will remain 3 kV until new broad gauge line construction, then convert to 25 kV AC), new broad gauge line will use 25 kV AC
Slovenia Slovenia Slovenian Railways (SZ) National standard
South Africa South Africa     National standard. Also 25 kV
Spain Spain Spanish National Railways (RENFE) 25 kV AC used on new High Speed Lines.
Ukraine Ukraine Ukrainian Railways In east (Donetsk industrial zone), in west (west from L'viv - connecting to Slovakia and Poland), to be converted to 25 kV AC[6]
United States United States Morris & Essex Lines New Jersey, lines towards New York City By Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad in 1930.[7] Converted to 25 kV 60 Hz by NJT in 1984

15 kV AC, 16⅔ Hz (16.7 Hz)

Country Name of System Location Notes
Austria Austria Austrian Federal Railways National Standard. Planned new High Speed Lines, including 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 56 in) Russian gauge, will use 25 kV AC
Germany Germany German National Railways National Standard
Norway Norway Norwegian National Rail Administration  
Sweden Sweden Swedish Transport Administration
Switzerland Switzerland Swiss Federal Railways  
Sihltal Zürich Uetliberg Bahn Zurich Sihtal branch only[8]

25 kV AC, 50 Hz

Country Name of System Location Notes
Argentina Argentina Ferrocarril General Roca Buenos Aires Partially electrified in the 1980s. Some suburban branches still operate with diesel locomotive-hauled trains.
Australia Australia Queensland Rail, Citytrain Brisbane, North Coast Line, Coalfields Queensland
Transperth Perth Western Australia
Adelaide Metro Adelaide South Australia. To be electrified 2009-2018.
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina      
Botswana Botswana     Proposed line to Namibia
Belarus Belarus      
Belgium Belgium Belgium National Railways (NMBS/SNCB) High Speed Lines and some other lines The rest of the network is 3 kV DC — see Rail transport in Belgium
Bulgaria Bulgaria Bulgarian State Railways BDZ  
China China      
Republic of the Congo Congo      
Croatia Croatia Croatian Railways (HŽ)   Smaller part 3 kV DC, being replaced with 25 kV AC
Czech Republic Czech Republic České dráhy (ČD)   Southern lines only. (Around: Karlovy Vary, Cheb, Plzeň, České Budějovice, Tábor, Jihlava, Brno)
Denmark Denmark Banedanmark See Rail transport in Denmark The vast majority of the Banedanmark network is not electrified.
Finland Finland Finnish Railways (VR) National standard
France France French National Railways (SNCF)  
Germany Germany Rübelandbahn Harz
Greece Greece Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE) nationwide National standard. See Railways of Greece for details of progress.
Hong Kong Hong Kong SAR Mass Transit Railway Corporation (East Rail Line) (West Rail Line) and (Ma On Shan Line) Hong Kong
Hungary Hungary Hungarian State Railways (MÁV)  
India India Indian Railways (IR)   National standard, Large parts of Mumbai Division (Western and Central Railways) are 1500 V DC, but are being converted to 25 kV AC.[5]
Delhi Metro Delhi  
Iran Iran     Under planning
Israel Israel Israel Railways   In planning stage.[9]
Italy Italy     New high-speed lines only.
Japan Japan JR East Tōhoku, Jōetsu, and Nagano Shinkansen   60 Hz in some areas, see

60 Hz overhead below.

Kazakhstan Kazakhstan      
Latvia Latvia Latvian Railways (LDz) Eastern lines only.
Lithuania Lithuania Lithuanian Railways (LG) Naujoji Vilnia-Kaunas and Naujoji Vilnia-Trakai National standard, Rest of the Lituanian Railways network is not electrified. No plans to electrify further lines.
Luxembourg Luxembourg Chemins de fer luxembourgeois (CFL) National standard The line between Luxembourg and Arlon is electrified under 3KV DC.
Republic of Macedonia Macedonia Macedonian Railways    
Malaysia Malaysia KTM Komuter Service    
Montenegro Montenegro Railways of Montenegro Belgrade - Bar railway Podgorica - Nikšić line currently under electrification
Namibia Namibia Proposed line to Botswana    
Netherlands Netherlands Used on new High Speed Lines and Freight Lines 1.5 kV DC used on the rest of the network.
New Zealand New Zealand North Island Main Trunk Railway   Central North Island section, 411 km between Palmerston North and Hamilton
Pakistan Pakistan      
Poland Poland Linia Hutnicza Szerokotorowa To be electrified, 3 kV DC used on the rest of the network.
Portugal Portugal Portuguese Railways (CP)  
Romania Romania Romanian Railways (CFR)  
Russia Russian Federation Russian Railways (RZD) National standard
Serbia Serbia Serbian Railways  
Slovakia Slovakia Slovak Republic Railways (ŽSR) South-western lines only (around Bratislava, Kuty, Trencin, Trnava, Nove Zamky, Zvolen) and the entire network (except narrow gauge lines) to follow
Spain Spain     New high-speed lines only.
South Africa South Africa Transnet    
Thailand Thailand Suvarnabhumi Airport Link Bangkok  
Turkey Turkey      
United Kingdom UK Network Rail Except Southern region and Merseyside
Ukraine Ukraine Ukrainian Railways National standard, In most of the west; also 3000 V DC in east.
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan      
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) Gweru-Harare De-energised in 2008

25 kV AC, 60 Hz

Country Name of System Location Notes
Canada Canada Deux-Montagnes Line Montreal Built by CNoR in 1918 as 3000 V DC, converted to 25 kV AC/60 Hz in 1995 by AMT.
Japan Japan Tōkaidō-Sanyō Shinkansen
Nagano Shinkansen
Kyushu Shinkansen
Western Japan, Central Japan, Eastern Japan, JR Kyushu 50 Hz in eastern Japan, see 25 kV AC 50 Hz overhead above.
JR Central Central Japan  
JR West Western Japan  
Mexico Mexico Ferrocarril Suburbano de la Zona Metropolitana del Valle de México Mexico City  [10]
Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Railways   National standard
South Korea South Korea Korail South Korea All Korail freight/passenger lines except Seoul subway Line 3 (see 1500 V DC overhead above)
A'REX Incheon, Seoul  
United States United States Morris & Essex Lines and North Jersey Coast Line of New Jersey Transit New Jersey North Jersey Coast Line-only between Aberdeen-Matawan and Long Branch. Ex 3 kV DC lines, converted in 1984 and an extension of Pennsylvania Railroad 11 kV 25 Hz AC line
Northeast Corridor (NEC), Amtrak New Haven to Boston in 2000. See Amtrak's 60 Hz Traction Power System

50 kV AC, 50 Hz

Country Name of System Location Notes
South Africa South Africa Sishen–Saldanha railway line Northern Cape, Western Cape Opened in 1976 and hauls iron ore.

50 kV AC, 60 Hz

Country Name of System Location Notes
United States United States Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad Arizona First line to use 50 kV electrification when it opened in 1973. This is an isolated coal-hauling short line.
Canada Canada Tumbler Ridge Subdivision of BC Rail (Now Canadian National Railway) British Columbia Opened in 1983 to serve a coal mine in the northern Rocky Mountains. No longer in use.

Conductor rail systems

600 V DC

All third rail unless stated otherwise.
Used by most older US subways.

Using this type of electrification
No longer using this type of electrification
Type Country Name of System Location Notes
Top Contact Argentina Argentina Urquiza Line Buenos Aires  
Top Contact Canada Canada Toronto Subway and Rapid Transit Toronto Only on subway lines
Top Contact Greece Greece EIS/ISAP Athens Used between 1904 and 1985, now 750V
  Italy Italy Superga Rack Railway Turin  
Top Contact Japan Japan Tokyo Metro Ginza Line and Marunouchi Line Tokyo  
  Japan Japan Nagoya Municipal Subway Higashiyama Line and Meijō Line Nagoya, Aichi  
Top Contact Sweden Sweden Stockholm Metro Stockholm 650V, Green and red line.
  United Kingdom United Kingdom Glasgow Subway Glasgow  
  United Kingdom United Kingdom Southern Railway   Some areas up to 1939.
Top Contact United States United States Chicago Transit Authority Chicago Elevated and subway lines
Top Contact United States United States Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Boston Red and Orange Lines, the subway part of the Blue Line southwest of Airport Station
Top Contact United States United States New York City Subway New York City  
Top Contact United States United States PATH New York City metro area  
Top Contact United States United States Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Philadelphia Broad Street subway
United States United States Walt Disney World Monorail System Bay Lake, Florida

750 V DC

All third rail unless stated otherwise.

Using this type of electrification
No longer using this type of electrification
Type Country Name of System Location Notes
  Austria Austria Vienna U-Bahn Vienna  
Bottom Contact Brazil Brazil São Paulo Metro São Paulo Except lines 4 and 5
  Bulgaria Bulgaria Sofia Metro Sofia  
Side Contact Canada Canada Montreal Metro Montreal (Guide bars, see DC, four-rail below)
  China China Beijing Subway Beijing  
  China China Tianjin Metro Tianjin  
Bottom Contact Czech Republic Czech Republic Prague Metro Prague  
  Denmark Denmark Copenhagen Metro Copenhagen  
Bottom Contact Finland Finland Helsinki Metro Helsinki  
(Top Contact ?) France France Paris Métro (conventional metro) Paris
Side Contact France France Paris Métro (rubber tired) Paris Positive (and sometimes negative) polarity on guide bars, see DC, four-rail below
Side Contact France France Lyon Métro Lyon Positive (and sometimes negative) polarity on guide bars, see DC, four-rail below
Side Contact France France Marseille Métro Marseille Positive (and sometimes negative) polarity on guide bars, see DC, four-rail below
Side Contact France France Lille Métro Lille Positive (and sometimes negative) polarity on guide bars, see DC, four-rail below
Side Contact France France Rennes Métro Rennes Positive (and sometimes negative) polarity on guide bars, see DC, four-rail below
Side Contact France France Toulouse Métro Toulouse Positive (and sometimes negative) polarity on guide bars, see DC, four-rail below
  Germany Germany Berlin U-Bahn Berlin Top and bottom contact and positive and negative voltage used on different lines.
  Germany Germany Munich U-Bahn Munich  
  Germany Germany Nuremberg U-Bahn Nuremberg  
  Germany Germany Hamburg U-Bahn Hamburg  
  Greece Greece Athens Metro Athens  
  Greece Greece ISAP Athens Was 600 V before 1985
  Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong International Airport Automated People Mover Hong Kong  
  Hungary Hungary Budapest Metro Budapest  
  India India Kolkata Metro Kolkata (Calcutta)  
  Japan Japan Most lines of Osaka Municipal Subway Osaka, Osaka  
  Japan Japan Kintetsu Keihanna Line Osaka, Osaka
Ikoma, Nara
Nara, Nara
  Japan Japan Sapporo Municipal Subway Namboku Line Sapporo, Hokkaido  
  Japan Japan Yokohama Municipal Subway Yokohama, Kanagawa  
  Netherlands Netherlands Amsterdam Metro Amsterdam Including line 51 north of Station Zuid
  North Korea North Korea Pyongyang Metro Pyongyang Based on fleet of cars from Beijing and Germany
Bottom contact Norway Norway Oslo T-bane Oslo  
Bottom contact Poland Poland Warsaw Metro Warsaw  
  Portugal Portugal Lisbon Metro Lisbon  
  Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Tren Urbano San Juan  
  Romania Romania Bucharest Metro Bucharest  
  Russia Russia     Undergrounds and metros.
  Singapore Singapore Mass Rapid Transit Singapore North South Line, East West Line and Circle Line, operated by SMRT Corporation
Top Contact Sweden Sweden Stockholm Metro Stockholm Blue line.
  Republic of China Taiwan Rapid Transit Taipei Green, Orange, Red, Blue Lines
Bottom Contact Thailand Thailand BTS Skytrain Bangkok  
Bottom Contact Thailand Thailand Bangkok Metro Bangkok  
  Ukraine Ukraine Kiev Metro Kiev  
  Ukraine Ukraine Kharkiv Metro Kharkiv  
  Ukraine Ukraine Donetsk Metro Donetsk There is currently a metro system under construction in Donetsk, with the first stage totaling 6 stations to open by 2012
  Ukraine Ukraine Dnipropetrovs'k Metro Dnipropetrovs'k Dnipropetrovsk metro system, opened in 1995, which consists of one line and 6 stations.
Top Contact United Kingdom United Kingdom Merseyrail Liverpool  
Bottom Contact United Kingdom United Kingdom Docklands Light Railway London  
Top Contact United Kingdom United Kingdom Northern City Line London Access to City (Moorgate)
Top Contact United Kingdom United Kingdom LNWR Suburban Network London Formerly four-rail out of Euston and Broad Street, curtailed, upgraded and standardised
Top Contact United Kingdom United Kingdom Southern Region of British Railways
and successors
Southern England 660 V system upgraded and expanded
Side Contact United States United States Las Vegas Monorail Las Vegas  
Top Contact United States United States Long Island Rail Road New York City  
Top Contact United States United States PATCO Speedline Philadelphia, PA  
Top Contact United States United States Washington Metro Washington, DC  

Systems using non-standard voltages

Overhead systems

Voltage Current Name of System Location Country Notes
120 DC Seaton Tramway Seaton, Devon UK Half scale trams. Operated 1969-date
250 Chicago Tunnel Company Chicago USA Operated 1906-1959
500 Many tram systems      
525 Bergbahn Lauterbrunnen-Mürren Lauterbrunnen Switzerland  
550 Manx Electric Railway Isle of Man UK including Snaefell Mountain Railway
650 Pittsburgh Light Rail Pittsburgh United States
900 Gruyere - Fribourg - Morat Fribourg Switzerland  
Montreux-Oberland Bernois Montreux  
1,000 Rhätische Bahn (RhB) St Moritz - Tirano  
Budapest (HÉV) Budapest Hungary  
1,100 Buenos Aires Metro (Subterráneos de Buenos Aires) Buenos Aires Argentina Only Line A (will be converted to 1,500 V DC if La Brugeoise trains were to be replaced by new rolling stock)
1,200 Barcelona Metro Barcelona Spain Uses an overhead conductor rail/beam system.
Sihltal Zürich Uetliberg Bahn Zurich Switzerland Uetliberg branch only - uses an offset overhead line and pantograph to allow running on track shared with the AC-electrified Sihltal branch.[8]
Sóller Railway Palma - Sóller, Majorca Spain [11]
Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Cuba Havana - Matanzas and branches Cuba Originally (and still known as) the Hershey Electric Railway
  Lusatian Germany 900 mm (2 ft 11 12 in) gauge mining railways in the brown coal district
    Estonia (Elektriraudtee) 1924-1941 and 1946–1958
1,350 FART Domodossola-Locarno Italy - Switzerland  
2,400   Lausitzer Germany Work line of the Lausitzer Brown Coal AG company.
Chemin de fer de La Mure Grenoble France -1,200 V, +1,200 V two wire system from 1903-1950. 2,400 V since 1950.[12]
3,500 Bury - Holcombe Brook Manchester UK Operated 1913-1918.
5,500 16⅔ Hz Ammergau Railway (German: Ammergaubahn) Murnau Germany 1905–1955, after 1955 15 kV, 16.7 Hz
6,000 DC     Russia Experiments in the late 1970s (3000 V lines)
6,000 50 Hz     Germany Factory railway of Rheinbraun AG
6,250 Great Eastern suburban lines London United Kingdom Great Eastern suburban lines from Liverpool Street London, 1950s-c1980 (converted to 25 kV)
6,300 25 Hz Hamburg S-Bahn Hamburg Germany Operated with AC 1907-1955. Used both AC and DC (1,200 V 3rd rail) 1940-1955.
6,500 Mariazellerbahn Sankt Pölten Austria  
6,600 Thamshavnbanen Orkdal Norway  
6,600 50 Hz Hambachbahn and Nord-Süd-Bahn Cologne Lowland Germany Transports lignite from open-pit mines to powerplants.
8 kV 25 Hz Alb Valley Railway (German: Albtalbahn) Karlsruhe Germany 1911–1966, today using 750 V DC
10 kV Hofpleinlijn The Hague - Rotterdam Netherlands From 1908, in 1926 converted to 1,500 DC. In 2006, replaced by 750 V DC light rail
11 kV 16⅔ Hz Rhaetian Railway (RhB)   Switzerland  
Matterhorn-Gotthard-Bahn (MGB)   Formerly Furka-Oberalp-Bahn (FOB) and BVZ Zermatt-Bahn
50 Hz Mont Blanc Tramway   France  
12 kV 16⅔ Hz Chemin de fer du Midi lines in Pyrenees France most converted to 1,500 V 1922-23; Villefranche-Perpignan diesel 1971, then 1,500 V 1984
12.5 kV 25 Hz Northeast Corridor (NEC), Amtrak Washington, DC - New York City United States  
Keystone Corridor, Amtrak Harrisburg, PA to Philadelphia, PA  
SEPTA Philadelphia Regional Rail system only
New Jersey Transit North Jersey Coast Line New Jersey Only between Rahway and Aberdeen-Matawan
60 Hz Metro-North Railroad Pelham, NY-New Haven, CT  
20 kV 50 Hz Höllentalbahn Freiburg Germany Operated 1933-1960. Converted to 15kV 16 2/3 Hz.
Société Nationale des Chemins de fer (SNCF) Aix-les-Bains - La Roche-sur-Foron France Operated 1950-1953. Converted to 25kV 50 Hz
Most electrified JR/the third sector lines in Hokkaidō and Tōhoku JR East, JR Hokkaidō, and others. Japan  
60 Hz Most electrified JR/the third sector lines in Kyūshū and Hokuriku region JR Kyūshū and others  
50 kV 50 Hz Spoornet Sishen - Saldanha South Africa Iron ore line
60 Hz Black Mesa and Lake Powell Arizona USA Coal line
Tumbler Ridge Subdivision, BC Rail [13] British Columbia Canada Coal and Timber in remote BC, from opening in 1983 until de-electrified 2000 using GMD GF6C.

Conductor rail systems

Voltage Current Type Contact System Name of System Location Country Notes
50 DC See notes. Volk's Electric Railway Brighton UK Volk's Railway prior to 1884.
(Current fed through running rails)
110 third rail Top contact The world's oldest operational electric railway[citation needed]
160 Top contact Volk's Railway between 1884 and 1980s
100 fourth rail Top contact Monorail at National Motor Museum Beaulieu UK Current fed by 2 contact wires
180 See notes. Siemens streetcar Berlin-Lichterfelde Germany Current fed through the running rails.
Operated 1881-1891.
200 third rail Top contact Southend Pier Railway Southend UK Until 1902[14]
250 Hythe Pier Railway Hythe, Hampshire
Morgan Rack Chicago Tunnel Company Chicago, Illinois USA 1904, revenue service 1906-1908.
400 Berchtesgaden Salt Mine Railway Berchtesgaden Germany
440 Top contact Post Office Railway London UK Disused since 2003.[15]

150 V is used in station areas to limit train speed.

550 Top contact Buenos Aires Metro (Subterráneos de Buenos Aires) Buenos Aires Argentina Only Line B
660 Top contact Southern Railway & LSWR   UK Original standard, mostly upgraded to 750 V
660 third rail with fourth rail bonded to running rail Euston to Watford DC Line London To enable London Underground trains to operate between Queens Park and Harrow & Wealdstone. Similar bonding arrangements are used on the North London Line between Richmond and Gunnersbury and South West Trains Putney Bridge to Wimbledon.
700 third rail Bottom contact Metro-North Railroad New York USA Hudson & Harlem lines, southern part of New Haven line. Original New York Central Grand Central Terminal electrification scheme.
Market-Frankford Line Philadelphia USA Originally 600V, raised to 700.
800 third rail Bottom contact Berlin S-Bahn Berlin Germany  
825   Moscow Metro Moscow Russia  
  Pyongyang Metro Pyongyang North Korea Uses old 750 V Berlin U-Bahn rolling stock.
850 Bottom contact Yellow Train Villefranche France  
Bottom contact Ligne de Saint Gervais - Vallorcine Martigny The infobox mentions lateral (side) contact
    Vienna Austria  
  former Southern Railway   United Kingdom Original route of Eurostar, pre-High Speed 1, upgraded from 750 V
1000 Top Contact Bay Area Rapid Transit San Francisco USA  
1200  third rail Side contact Manchester-Bury Manchester UK Dismantled 1991, converted to Manchester Metrolink tramway (750 V DC overhead)
Side contact Hamburg S-Bahn Hamburg Germany Since 1940. Used both third rail DC (1200 V) and overhead line AC (6300 V 25 Hz) until 1955.
1500  third rail  ? Culoz–Modane railway Chambéry - Modane France used between 1925 and 1976, today overhead wire
 third rail Bottom Contact Guangzhou Metro (Line 4) and Guangzhou Metro (Line 5) Guangzhou China
 third rail Bottom Contact Shenzhen Metro Longgang Line Shenzhen China

Three-phase systems

Voltage Current Contact System Name of System Location Country Notes
    Three wire Tagebau Gruhlwerk     Rack railway (0.7 km).
Operated 1927-1949
725 50 Hz, Δ Two wire Gornergratbahn Zermatt Switzerland Website
750 40 Hz, 3Ø Two wire Burgdorf-Thun Bahn Burgdorf - Thun Operated 1899-1933.
Converted to 15 kV, 16⅔ Hz in 1933.
800 60 Hz, 3Ø   Corcovado Rack Railway Rio de Janeiro Brazil  
1125 50 Hz, 3Ø Two wire Jungfraubahn Interlaken Switzerland Website
3000 15 Hz, 3Ø   Valtellina Electrification   Northern Italy 1902–1917
50 Hz, 3Ø   Chemin de Fer de la Rhune   France  
3000 16 Hz, 3Ø Two wire   Simplon Tunnel Switzerland, Italy; Simplon Bahn, 1906-1930
3600 16⅔ Hz, 3Ø Two wire     Italy Operated 1912-1976 in Upper Italy (more info needed)
  FS Porrettana railway 1927–1935
5200 25 Hz, 3Ø     Almeria - Gergal Spain 1911–1966?
10 kV 45 Hz, 3Ø Two wire FS Roma - Sulmona Italy 1929–1944
50 Hz, 3Ø Three wire   Berlin - Lichtenhain Germany Test track (1.8 km).
Variable voltage and frequency.
Trial runs 1898-1901
14 kV
(See notes)
38 Hz - 48 Hz
(See notes)
Three wire   Zossen - Marienfelde Test Track (23.4 km).
Trial runs 1901-1904

Variable voltage between 10 kV and 14 kV and frequency between 38 Hz and 48 Hz.

Special or unusual types

DC, plough collection from conductors in conduit below track

DC, one ground-level conductor

  • Wolverhampton Corporation Tramways, England. (stud contact) (1902–1921)

DC, two ground-level conductors

DC, two-wire

  • Greenwich, England. Previously used by trams when in the vicinity of Greenwich Observatory; separate from trolley-bus supply.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Tram (streetcar) system used this arrangement throughout, probably due to legal constraints on ground return currents.
  • Havana and Guanabacoa, Cuba. Tram (streetcar) systems in both cities used this arrangement.

DC, power from running rails

DC, four-rail

Voltage Current Type Contact System Name of System Location Country Notes
750 DC guide bars Lateral to both guide bars (one guide connected to running rail) Paris Metro Paris France Rubber-tyred lines only
Lateral (positive) and top of running rails (negative) contact Montreal Metro Montreal Canada Rubber-tyred lines
third and fourth rail Lateral (positive) and top (negative) contact Milan Transportation System Milan Italy Metro (only line 1)
630 Top Contact London Underground London UK Transport for London [16]
Clive's Underground Line Guides [17]

See also


  1. ^ EN 50163: Railway applications. Supply voltages of traction systems (2007)
  2. ^ IEC 60850: Railway applications - Supply voltages of traction systems, 3rd edition (2007)
  3. ^ "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". | Facts and Figures. Retrieved 7 September 2011. 
  4. ^ page 5
  5. ^ a b "Indian Railways FAQ:Electric Traction - I". Indian Railways Fan Club. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  6. ^ Railway Gazette International April 2008, p 240
  7. ^ Electrified D. L. & W. Time magazine archives Retrieved 2007-08-12
  8. ^ a b "[Railway S4/S10]" (in German). SZU. Retrieved 2011-09-01. 
  9. ^ Israel Railways Electrification - TEDEM Civil Engineering
  10. ^ "Espacio del Viajero: Conoce los Trenes" (in Spanish). Mexico City: Ferrocarriles Suburbanos. Retrieved 24 May 2011. "Alimentación (Vcc. catenaria): 25000, 60Hz" 
  11. ^ Sóller Website
  12. ^ Chemin de fer de La Mure
  13. ^ West Coast Railway Association, BC - Access 09-11-2008
  14. ^ "Southend Pier Railway". 
  15. ^ Disused since 2003
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ Clive's Underground Line Guides

External links

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