How are subway trains powered?

Electric Railroad

A subway is an electric railroad that runs under the ground.  Subways provide quick and cheap transportation in many big cities and help keep the streets free from traffic.

Subway trains are made up of several cars that look very much like railroad cars.  Each car may hold 100 or more passengers.

Subway trains run on tracks and are powered by an electrically charged third rail placed beside the track.  The electricity is picked up by a special metal device called a “shoe” that slides along this rail.

The electricity powers the motors that drive the train’s wheels.  A motorman in the lead car starts and stops the train at the stations along the route.  Stairs and escalators lead from the subway station to the street above and trains below.

In England, subways are called “tubes.”  In some other countries they are known as “metros.” – Dick Rogers


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