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Mad Electrical Engineering: powering the trams

I’m amazed that this is a real thing.

Located in Laxey, on the Isle of Man.

(source) (photo and text by Ron Strathdee)

The Manx Electric Railway get their electricity supply from six
substations, which convert the electricity to 550v DC that the
tramcars need to operate.

Each substation was fitted with a mercury arc rectifier (MAR) to
convert the electricity to 550v DC. Following the failure of the MAR
at Groudle last winter, Laxey is the last working example on the
island although power is now supplied to the electric railway via a
replacement substation provided at Laxey last winter.

The mercury arc rectifier at Laxey’s MER substation has been working
over 70 years and when the trams draw current it really glows and
hums…this is almost at rest!

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2 Comments

  1. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon October 28, 2013

    These are wonderful. Its on my to do list. ^_^

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